Saturday, August 4, 2007

Eastview Little League - Get Real!

I've been following San Pedro's Eastview Little League since Target decided that the citizens of San Pedro couldn't live without a big box discount store, and they booted out the Little League field that had been at that site for decades.

With my son enrolled in Torrance Little League since he was a tot, I had hoped Eastview would find a field to relocate to. But, real estate doesn't come cheap, nor does usuable land fall from the sky, or become available just because we cross our fingers.

Things began to look up when a Knoll Hill location became available. It wasn't a great solution - the fields would displace an existing dog park, and, come to find out, the property is only available for three years, as it will become the future site of a K-9 training center and a port facility. Any additions or structures must be strictly temporary. Still, the league would be forking out $300k of their own funds to get the field up and running.

$300k? That would buy a lot of baseballs.

Then, a miracle happened. The Navy offered a four acre site - for free. Yes, you heard me right - FREE. Not only that, it's a permanent site.

Sounds great, right? Not so fast. Apparently, looking gift horses in the mouth is a popular pasttime this year, and beggers CAN be choosers. Eastview found the site 'unworkable'.

I'm sorry, but since when is FREE unworkable?

It's not a perfect site. It's adjacent to some fuel storage containers. It's a weird shape. But Lomita Little League fields are directly adjacent - and they've been at that location for 20 years. Other fields, including our own, are built on landfills. West Torrance fields look like a rock quarry built on a landfill.

I believe Eastview will lose the support of their community if they reject this generous offer. Even I, an avid baseball fan, pro-Little League mom and generally nice person cannot envision why this site is so repulsive to Eastview.

I think the real problem comes down to this: board member do not want their own children to lose this upcoming season. To hell with the kids playing 4, 5 or 10 years from now. OUR kids might miss out if we don't do something quick.

And another thing: why isn't Eastview working with Lomita Little League? Lomita has been losing enrollment for years - they're financially unstable, and may possibly not have a league this year. Why not, dare I say it, cooperate?

Rejecting the Navy fields makes Eastview look like a bunch of self-serving bums, only concerned with this upcoming season. The reality is the 2008 season may already be a bust - it's an absolute guarantee in three years it WILL be a bust, if they choose to ignore this latest offer. It's taken Eastview three years to come to this. If they start today, maybe they'll have the good fortune to find another 'unworkable' site.

But I doubt it.

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