Wake up Ketchikan!
By Tony Gwynn
August 28, 2008
While I admire Ketchikan Little League board member's aspirations
of a baseball facility that would match a professional team's
spring training site, I wonder if it's time to stop dreaming
of a pot of free gold and instead concentrate on reality.
Indeed, a 7-million dollar facility would be fantastic. Indoor
fields, housing for visiting teams, state of the art baseball
and softball instructional equipment. But where is this money
going to come from? Last year a portion of that money was in
a bill (I believe it was only $60-to-$100,000, I don't recall
the exact total) that was shot down by Gov Palin. We can't get
a hundred grand, why in the world are we thinking we're eventually
gonna get seven million dollars? Where is that money going to
I suggest we follow the lead of Sitka, a town half our size.
Their coaches, parents and city leaders got together and erected
a simple steel building. It holds two batting cages, some work
out equipment and a moveable pitching mound. That's it. The result?
Sitka won three consecutive high school state championships from
05-07 and was in the championship game this season. And several
of their baseball players have received college scholarships.
Sitka's baseball lords didn't care about housing visiting teams,
having the most expensive indoor facility on the West Coast,
being able to play games indoors, or their own "legacy"
in being the people behind the Golden Dome. They realized that
the most important thing was building a facility that their youth
baseball and softball players could use year round to sharpen
and improve their skills. And that's what they did. Quick and
easy and they didn't have to beg the governor to fork over millions
and millions of dollars.
I can't remember the last year that our Little League or our
high school team won a Southeast championship. I think it's time
we stop dreaming of 7-million dollar facilities and focus on
building a useable warehouse that our kids could start using
I also think the Borough should be ashamed of themselves for
hijacking the quonset hut and old tennis courts (across from
Schoenbar). A history lesson will educate you on what that land
was originally attended for. And I promise you it wasn't to park
busses on. What a shame that an area designated for youth activities
is now used as a bus parking lot and car wash.
Wake up Ketchikan! We can follow Sitka's lead and use community
support to erect a steel building. State championship and college
scholarships will follow. Or we can sit around and dream of 7-million
dollar luxury facilities and completely skip this generation
of youth baseball and softball players, while waiting for a gov
that is gonna sign a 7-million dollar check for a baseball practice
building. Check with the Bridge proponents and see how that's
going for them.
About: "Ketchikan Sports
Received August 25, 2008 -
Published August 28, 2008
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