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Heat hits during busy week at Grand Park's ballfields

The sports complex is hosting 350 teams playing 900 games over the next few days.

WESTFIELD, Ind. — Hundreds of games are happening this week at Grand Park Sports in Westfield as high school baseball players show off their skills to see if they have what it takes to play college ball.

But with the hot weather heating up more than just the field, they're taking precautionary steps to make sure everyone stays cool.

Shena Harris and her family were ready to watch their son Shemar hit the field Wednesday.

"Our 17-year-old son is playing his last year of travel baseball. So we're here to support," Harris said.

The family drove in from South Holland, Illinois, to watch him play and hopefully, help him get scouted for a college team. His team was scheduled to play two games Wednesday, meaning they'll be out in the heat all day.  But Harris said they are ready.

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"I'm going to have my water in my 'awesome baseball mom' cup. I'm ready," Harris said. "Of course, we had to get all of the baseball gear out of the garage — the wagon, the tent, the chairs. I have a little umbrella I can connect to my chair. And my awesome visor!"

The hottest week of the year in central Indiana is falling on an important one for high school players, with scouts watching to see if they can play college ball.

"A lot of scouts. This is probably our highest scouted event of the summer," said Michael Tucker, vice president of Grand Park Sports Campus. "Last year, we had about 250 to 300 college scouts from D-1, D-2, D-3 — all over the Midwest, really all over the country."

To make sure the heat stays on the field, they're taking steps to help keep everyone cool. Players are limited to one or two games a day. For staff and umpires working, they're keeping water at the ready and the umpire locker room open for umps in need of a cooldown. 

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"We highly encourage people to hydrate. Drink lots of water. We'll go through about 300 cases of water this week alone for umpires and our operations staff, gate staff. It's very important to us," Tucker said. "In the event that somebody does overheat, we have an ice bath on site. We have certified athletic trainers on-site all week long that can evaluate people for heatstroke or overheating."

With 350 teams playing 900 games over the next few days, Tucker said safety is top of mind for them.

"The goal for this week is for everybody to leave happy and healthy," he said.

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