• If you open it, they will come

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    Almost 20 years ago, when the Pacific Grove Municipal Ballpark Master Plan was adopted, there was extensive community involvement in its development. A framework for operating rules allowed community use by youth and adult organized baseball and softball teams was established by the Planning Commission and Recreation Commission and adopted by the City Council in 1992.

    At that time, adult league use of the park, located at the junction of 17 Mile Drive, Short Street and Pico Avenue was the primary concern of neighbors but restrictions were put in place which made it difficult for youth to use the park at all. For example, the high school team was prohibited from using the park before March 1 of each year despite the fact that their season begins on February 1. PG Pony League, which serves about 400 children, were not allowed to play on Saturdays unless the games were classified as tournaments.

    The kids faced a shortage of playing facilities. And the municipal ball field sat idle.

    In recent years, there has been a significant decline in use by adult leagues. Interest in opening playing time to youth has at the same time increased. On March 2, the City Council approved revisions to the usage restrictions on the ballfield and the door was opened to more youth play and better utilization of what City Senior Recreation Coordinator Don Mothershead terms “the finest baseball and softball facility in town.”

    Under the plan, the following changes were put into effect:

    • Adult Softball League: Elimination of program – Eliminates 5 months of play in Pacific Grove, though they can find plenty of programs in Monterey

    • High School Softball program: Increases use by 1 month of practice

    • Pacific Grove Youth Leagues: Reduces the March-August leagues to March-July, but adds a fall league from August – November, adding 3 months of play

    • Adult Socko League (Fall): Season shortened by one month to September – November

    • Tournaments were reduced from 7 Weekends to 5 Weekends and Special Events reduced from 5 per Year 3 per year

    There will be a review in one year.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 18, 2011

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Snapshots of PG

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