Horseshoes and hand grenades," Steve Humphreys jokes as he adjusts a roof panel on the dugout. He pulls the wood another inch to the left, then down, then up, trying to get it flush with another panel. Hammers hang from the chain link fence where bats normally hang. Ladders and drills, extension cords and screws litter the ground underneath the bench.
Steve and two other Little League dads have taken off work the first day of fall to make a dent in the list of field improvements at the Daniel Boone Little League complex. "We thought we'd spend some time together to do something good for the kids," says Kevin Harrison.
College students help out with labor over the summer. "Moms and dads do the work the rest of the year," Tim James explains.
They've recycled the roof from the old Challenger Field dugout, stretching their $15,000 annual facilities budget a little further. They joke with each other as they secure the roofing in place. They talk about football. They brag about the league's accomplishments.
In six hours, the job is done. The roof will protect the kids from the sun and foul balls. The league's 50th anniversary is next year, and they have plans for more improvements. The main concession stand needs work. The junior field dugouts are aging. With a day off here and there, the moms and dads are getting the job done.