Archive for Wednesday, June 7, 2000

From the Pressbox: Baseball fields … and taxes

June 7, 2000

Friday I was on a run in north Baldwin when I ran by the baseball fields and saw an amazing sight kids playing baseball and softball.

I know, they've been playing for almost a month now. What made seeing the kids on the field amazing was that the night before we received almost an inch and a half of rain.

When I was in Little League we had to use our hands for the glove no wait. When I was in little league, an inch of rain the night before a home game was a cause for celebration. Because if it rained the fields would be in no shape to play on the next day and no game meant swimming!

I need to emphasize HOME game because Eudora, Wellsville and Gardner almost always figured out how to get their fields ready.

The Baldwin fields have never been noted for their lush green outfields or smooth soft dirt. They have been known for their ability to hold water like a Huggies ultra absorbent diaper.

So as I ran back by I reminisced on all the good times I had spent on the field, and was glad that with the improvements on the fields, kids would be able to have even more games to create memories.

As I continued home I passed the elementary ball fields, a whole different world. Three backstops, two grass infields and one grass/dirt/sand infield. A team was practicing on each of these fields, which would make better pastures than baseball fields. The balls the coaches were using were muddy from the soggy infields and kids' shoes were coated with mud.

I also remembered those days in Little League when there were too few fields in Baldwin to practice on. We had to have makeshift fields on Baker's practice football field, or down by the Midland Train Depot.

I thought to myself, "too bad we couldn't some better fields, or at least more fields."

Then I remembered a time in high school that there was a chance to get new fields the "north park" proposal.

You know, the time that lovely Baldwin City became nasty Bureaucratic City.

The real losers of not getting that proposal were the kids.

Some say, "Well now they don't have to cross the highway to get to the pool."

True, but 11&12 year olds have to cross it everyday to get to school. So I guess we shouldn't have passed the new high school proposal either, because kids have to cross the big bad highway.

I hate to open up old wounds, it is just that as high school students during that time we really felt ignored. People were too busy worrying about death and taxes to look at the benefits of the proposal.

So what's my point?

Next time you can vote for, oh, let's say a "recreation/community center," bring the kids into your decision making process, not the fact that you will have to pay one fifth of a penny more for a can of beans.

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