, Newburyport, MA

November 13, 2013

Stepping up to the plate

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

It’s an interesting and concerning time for baseball in Newburyport. The passion for baseball in New England is high right now with the Red Sox winning the World Series, but baseball in Newburyport is probably at an all-time low.

I recently read an Oct. 31 Daily News article stating the city has proposed a field at the Bradley Fuller Field area. As usual, it’s a plan that does not necessarily suit all those involved; and to top it off, funding will have to come from private sources. City officials knew years ago they would be taking away a baseball diamond with the construction of the new Bresnahan School, but did nothing to replace this valuable athletic field.

Newburyport has never been known to have great baseball facilities for the older players, but this goes beyond not maintaining what we had. It blatantly stole a viable field and has made it difficult for our youth to continue playing what many consider our national pastime.

This past spring our JV and freshman teams were forced to practice and play many games in West Newbury and it looks like this will be an unacceptable plan again this spring, since a new field will not be built by then. I’m sure no other high school on the North Shore has to ship their teams out of town to play a sport.

Baseball has a great tradition in Newburyport, having accumulated more championships than any other sport. However, the lack of a viable second baseball field is making it easy for our youth to give up the game. City officials as well as the citizens need to step up and do the right thing for our youth and get a field built now, no excuses.

John Notargiacomo