New scoreboards, bullpen additions highlight DN upgrades

By Bob Behre | March 3, 2021

Diamond Nation’s Musclelicious Foods Field was opened in October.

Fresh off an exciting fall season that saw the christening of its seventh field — a beautiful diamond complete with stadium seating — Diamond Nation roars into spring while facility upgrades continue.

For those who have yet to see Field 7, also known as Musclelicious Foods Field, it is the most eye-catching of the facility’s recent upgrades. By the time the summer season begins at the state’s largest and busiest baseball/softball complex, Fields 2-through-7 will have been retrofitted with brand new scoreboards. Those scoreboards will boast various digital enhancements, including team names, game clocks and pitch speeds.

“The new scoreboards are a significant upgrade and we look forward to their installation,” said Nick Massari, Diamond Nation’s general manager.

The facility’s improvements will continue this spring with the addition of new batting cages near Field 7, a new restroom facility near Field 6 and upgrades to the bullpens on the five large diamonds.

“We are staying ahead of the curve in providing our customers with the best amenities, all designed to put their players in an ideal position to succeed on our fields,” says Massari. “The snowy winter put us behind in our upgrade plans but they’ll still be completed and operational for the summer season.”

The addition of pitcher walls to the bullpens are nearly complete. The walls allow for the use of plyo balls and will have hooks for resistance bands, which aid a pitcher’s ability to get stretched out and loose before entering a game.

That’s not all.

Diamond Nation’s new scoreboards will have pitch speeds and a game clock.

HiCast Sports, which streams every game at the Diamond Nation complex, will now include the score of the games on the screen for the viewer to see.

“Having an in-game score on the screen has been something we identified as a “must-have” from the very beginning of our live-streaming days, so we are thrilled to finally be able to make it happen,” said Massari.

Parking for umpires will be improved, too, courtesy of upgrades to the arbiters’ parking area at that end of the complex.

Also, Victus Bats is looking to further its commitment to the complex by installing a permanent retail space just inside the entrance.

JCBA’s Swan Song

Part of Diamond Nation’s recent upgrades includes a final transition away from its original home, Jack Cust Baseball Academy on nearby Route 31.

Before there was a baseball/softball complex called Diamond Nation on River Road in Flemington, N.J., the indoor and outdoor facility at Jack Cust Baseball Academy (JCBA) was one of the first of its kind in the northeast.

Jack Cust Baseball Academy was born in 1997 to provide players with an indoor facility to groom their game during the harsh New Jersey winter months. The all-turf diamond, HealthQuest Park, was built adjacent to the facility in 2000 creating a remarkable indoor/outdoor complex that would bustle with activity 12 months a year. Players were drawn to the facility from several states.

From 2003-2017 JCBA was home to America’s largest amateur sports dome. At 140,000 square feet, it covered the baseball diamond during the winter months and gave players and athletes of all sports a place to hone their skills 12 months a year.

JCBA certainly gave birth to a statewide and, indeed, regional travel baseball/softball boom. The subsequent recruitment benefit to ball players in the northeast still reverberates.

JCBA served a transformative purpose and its success would trigger the company’s expansion to the Diamond Nation complex around the corner. Indeed, there would be no Diamond Nation without the ingenuity that laid the groundwork for Jack Cust Baseball Academy. The unbridled success and physical growth at Diamond Nation led to a desire by the company to bring all of its baseball and softball operations to one location.

“This is actually the last month for JCBA,” says Massari, as the property is scheduled to be converted into a luxury condominium complex. “We’ll now conduct all of our tournament and instructional programs on the same campus on River Road, which will be more convenient for everyone; and certainly easier for us to manage our tournaments and events.”

Jack Cust Baseball Academy will be well remembered, too, for hosting the New Jersey Super 17 team that was the home to several future major league ball players, including Mike Trout, Rick Porcello, Matt Szczur and Anthony Desclafani, to be followed by Super 17ers Mike Ford, Matt Thaiss and Rob Kaminsky, to name a few.

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