Everyone knows that baseball is America's pastime, right?
This year I began the journey of coaching my 7-year-old son's Pinto Baseball team. This is his first year of playing, and honestly the first time I realized how down-and-out our youth baseball community is.
If you are 25 years of age or older, I would imagine you have great memories of a jam-packed Old Timers Baseball Complex where kids ages 6-14 would learn to love and play the game of baseball. I have so much admiration for the pride, time, and effort that went into making that complex what it once was. Harry Cunningham and all the Old Timers are legends of our community due to the sacrifices they made for our once-amazing youth baseball community.
Now fast-forward to present day, where ELAYB (East Liverpool Area Youth Baseball) is doing everything in its power to keep youth baseball alive in our community. This group works countless hours just to make sure our youth have a place to play ball.
The disturbing news is they have no complex, no actual fields, and most practices are held on crowded youth football fields. The other day we had three teams practicing on one football field at Thompson Park. I know some people will read this and say, 'at least they have a place to play.' My question would be why do we always have to settle for at least? Why wouldn't we want the best for our children/grandchildren? Do kids get excited about playing on an old run-down softball field with a make-shift fence? Or having no batting practice due to a lack of space? Or traveling out of town 2-3 nights of week just to make sure they can play a game?
As it stands today, ELAYB needs land. They have the ability to obtain grants and funding to deliver what is needed to build a great baseball complex for our youth. Without land, this is only a dream. The question is where and who this land will come from. I have been told it needs to be a 99-year lease with a minimum of 8 acres. I know someone, somewhere has the needed acreage. The opportunity and honor to be that person/organization is a great one.
I guess time will tell which direction our youth baseball takes. My only question is who will become the person who gives back to our youth and brings pride back to our struggling youth baseball community?
"Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together."
Let's bring better youth baseball back to our community.
Got Land? If so, please contact the ELAYB via email at firstname.lastname@example.org