Niles resident Thomas Corwin stands in front of his home across the street from the Niles High School baseball field. Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

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Foul balls damage Niles man’s property

Published 3:02pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Niles resident who lives near the Niles High School baseball field says the school isn’t doing enough to keep foul balls from damaging his property.

Thomas Corwin, of 1606 Eagle St., said baseballs have cracked the windshield on two of his vehicles and caused enough damage to the roof of his home and garage that both need to be replaced.

Corwin has asked the school to pay for repairs to the roof of his home and garage, estimated at $5,000.

Niles High Athletics Director Jeff Upton called Corwin’s request to repair the roof unreasonable.

The school did reimburse Corwin for the cost of replacing a car windshield that was damaged last summer by a foul ball. Corwin said he is waiting for the school to reimburse him for replacing the windshield on another vehicle damaged this spring by a baseball.

Upton said he and a Niles police officer met with Corwin last fall to discuss the issue. Upton also followed up the meeting with a letter, but said the school shouldn’t be responsible for fixing Corwin’s roofs. Upton said he hasn’t received complaints about foul balls from other people.

Corwin purchased the home in the winter of 2010. It is located across the street from the high school baseball field on the first base side.

Corwin estimates anywhere between two to 10 foul balls enter his property during one baseball game. There are two holes in a window screen on the northwest side of the house Corwin said were damaged by baseballs.

“I’m surprised there hasn’t been more damage than there was,” said Corwin, who works third shift.

“When I sleep I have to put in earplugs otherwise I hear balls hit the roof all the time.”

Corwin said he has had problems with people retrieving foul balls from his front and back yards, often without asking for permission.

He believes the school could solve the problem by erecting a net designed to stop foul balls.

Upton said the school was scheduled to put up a net Sunday, but a mechanical issue forced them to push it back. Upton said a net would be put up in the near future.

“We are doing what we can,” Upton said.

Corwin said if the school doesn’t pay him to fix the roof of his home and garage, he might take the matter to court.

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