article by Jeff Zurcher
Opened in 2008, Prasco Park, located on the campus of Prasco Laboratories in Mason, OH, is the home of the Cincinnati Spikes amateur baseball program. In 2013, the program will have a college-age team, a 13U team, and a 10U team.
Prasco Park’s steel, bricks, and concrete are set upon a foundation of vision, the vision of Phil Arington, who founded the Spikes in 1990 and who also serves as Prasco’s Vice Chairman.
“Prasco Park was created as a safe haven for kids and families to come and enjoy the game of baseball free of bad language and bad behavior that has unfortunately has become commonplace not only in amateur baseball but also in other youth sports,” said Arington.
The park has, and prominently displays, a code of conduct-directed toward both those playing in the game and those watching it-that does not allow profanity, alcohol/tobacco, disrespecting others, and/or unruly behavior.
But Prasco Park is known just as much for what it provides as what it prohibits. For instance, it provides players the chance to compete on a-very soft-100% sand-based surface, one of only six in the state of Ohio (the other five belonging to professional teams). The infield skin is comprised of DuraEdge and the grass is all low-mow Kentucky Bluegrass. Teams are housed in 40-man sunken dugouts, complete with wood benches.
The park provides fans 500 permanent, chair-back seats complete with armrests. In right-center, the park has 15’x9′ video board, a 9-inning electronic scoreboard, and giant, back-lit analog clock. Children can play in/on the many inflatable games in the parking lot along right field. And everyone can enjoy (for a mere 50 cents!) Prasco Park’s famous “Diamond Dog,” which is made up of a hotdog shipped in from Lodi, CA, and bun-a potato roll, toasted just right-shipped in from Chambersburg, PA.
The park provides the community the opportunity to attend-free of charge-many special events throughout the year, such as: the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) World Series in May; Chick-fil-A night and other themed games during the Spikes’ summer season; and family movie night in the fall.
All of these things provide for a wonderful experience for all who visit Prasco Park. And that experience, Arington says, is intended to demonstrate-and share-God’s love.
“I have had the great fortune to travel and coach in many different parts of the country. I have never been exposed to another venue like this. A venue that is outward in delivering its core beliefs in the Christian faith, all the while delivering a top-notch baseball experience for fans and game participants. This park is dedicated to excellence in order to glorify the Lord and serve all His people.”
And if you ever get to Prasco Park, you will no doubt say, “Amen.”