He was trying to dry the field...
This guy is teaching children?
A high school baseball coach in Utah has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly poured gasoline on his team’s field in an attempt to burn off some water.
Steve Ross, the head baseball coach at Clearfield High School north of Salt Lake City, is accused of pouring 15 to 20 gallons of gas on various areas of the field. A parent complained during a game on March 23 that the field stunk like gas and now the field has been shut down while the health department determines the extent of the damage. The concern is that the gas could leach into the groundwater, so they’re going to dig it up bit by bit and see how far the gas penetrated.
Using gas to dry a wet baseball field is surprisingly not an original idea by Ross. This YouTube video from 2011 shows the method being employed at a Little League field and it’s just as absurd as you’d imagine.
A local field in Alberta was shut down by the health department in 2010 after some genius soaked it with diesel fuel. A college baseball coach in Los Angeles tried the blaze of glory method in 1986 until “the fire department came by and told us to knock it off.”
But they all got off lucky, compared to what happened at Detroit’s Mack Park in 1929. The field was the home of Detroit’s Negro National League team, the Stars. Its wooden grandstand could seat up to 10,000 people. The Stars were supposed to play the Kansas City Monarchs on July 7, 1929, but two days of rain had left the field sopping wet. That’s when John Roesink, who constructed the stadium and later bought the Stars, had the bright idea to douse the field with gas.
“He had stored more cans of gasoline under the stands,” according to the University of Michigan. “Apparently, a carelessly tossed cigarette ignited gasoline on the field, but the fire quickly spread to the stored cans of gas. No fans were killed, but 220 were injured when the grandstand collapsed.”
Just use kitty litter, everyone.
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