Thursday, December 24, 2009

Youth baseball event backed - Council set to spend $273,000;

Youth baseball event backed

Council set to spend $273,000;
economic impact — $515,000-plus

By Vic Bradshaw
The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Play ball!

That seems to be the message Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth League International officials are likely to get from the City Council next month.

At its monthly work session, the council advanced a resolution to provide funding for the 2011 Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth League International 10-Year-Old World Series.

The event would be held at Yost Field in Jim Barnett Park.

The resolution calls for the city government to spend $40,000 to secure the contract for the event.

It also allocates up to $158,000 for necessary facility improvements, as well as $75,000 from the Department of Parks and Recreation’s fund balance toward operational costs for the event.

The operational costs will be offset at least partly by vendor fees and money from souvenir sales, event-related banquets, and other revenue streams.

The city government has applied for a grant that could pay the $100,000 cost of lighting improvements.

Brad Veach, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said some of the improvements required to acquire the event need to be made soon regardless.

The event should have an economic impact of between $515,000 and $895,000 locally, he said. The city also could be in line to host future events at various levels.

“It’s my understanding that Babe Ruth [officials] really enjoyed what Winchester has to offer when they’ve visited here,” Veach told the council.

For the remainder of the article, follow the link below:

This is great that Winchester is going to host such event BUT I have a few questions:

- What is the breakdown of the kids playing in the Winchester Baseball league for ages 8-12?

    * - How many kids are actually WinchesterCity residents?
    * - How many kids are from FrederickCounty?
    * - How many kids are from ClarkeCounty?
    * - How many kids are from ShenandoahCounty?
    * - How many kids are from WarrenCounty?
    * - How many kids are from the state of WV?

- How many City residents' kids out of the 12-15 team members will be on this World Series team?  From years past, the perception has always been that the All-Stars teams are pre-selected because the All-Star coaches are always hitting indoors at the Armory or other venues which allows indoor hitting.

- Will these other counties be assisting with the money that is needed from City to host such event?

- Who will foot the bill IF that $100,000 grant for the lights if that does not go through?

- What happened to the $250,000 that was allocated with within the last 12-24 months for Bridgeforth Field lights which are terrible and way below standard?

I have much concern about funding a project were more than 75% (educated guess) are non-city residents.  If my educated guess is realistic, then I feel that the County of Frederick and other counties need to support help this project in my honest opinion.

The Winchester Baseball league, is it operated in a way for the masses or just for a "select" few ... example: "All-Star" teams?  It's ridiculous that the regular season is OVER and COMPLETED basically by the time school is over at the beginning of the summer.

Bottom-line ... "All-Star" teams are ruining local high school baseball because they are going overboard with these teams that start at the age of 8yr, 9yr, 10yr, 11yr and 12yr old and the kids are getting burnt out.

Look at the Handley High School which had just 25 kids for both JV and VARSITY teams last year and 7 or 8 of those kids were 8th graders.  Folks, something is seriously wrong here, what is the problem?

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