New lights for softball, more neglect for youth baseball

Published 1:01 am Sunday, September 18, 2011

As I went on an errand for work the other day, I happened to pass the City Park softball fields. My eyes could not believe what they saw.

Our city leaders voted to spend what must be a large sum of money on brand-new, very expensive MUSCO lighting for these fields. I would love to know the projected return on this investment.

I’m truly frustrated because I’ve also been associated with youth baseball at Halls Ferry Park for many years as well, and I’ve not seen one improvement there over these years. This park, even though neglected by city funds, continues to generate revenue for the city year after year with the Governor’s Cup and other summer baseball tournaments.

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Our kids who participate in, and the parents who pay $65 per year for recreational summer baseball, deserve fields that can take a little rain and still be playable. This can be done either through better drainage, which I’m sure the city will respond is not possible on the old landfill, or by simply purchasing some crushed red brick for the infields.

The kids should not have to play on fields that might cause a broken leg from all the ruts in the infields and outfields. The 5- and 6-year-olds deserve to have lights on their field, so games aren’t canceled early due to darkness. Everyone who visits the fields deserves clean restrooms that are stocked with tissue and towels.

Of all the bad decisions our city officials make throughout the year, this one is a slap in the face to the youths of this town, and is wrong!

Sherman Simpson