Time to reconsider baseball fields at schools?

The brand new school sits where you’d never see it if you didn’t know it was there. It’s been open over a year now, yet, the “field of dreams” is just getting finished. The lot is a funky size to begin with, with fences running every which way but square, and here as you enter the school property sits the single ball field, with its intricately cut “diamond” and crafted hump of a pitcher’s mound.

What’s missing is the benches- but, I’m sure they’ll come- because in order to play baseball- you need to sit at least 8 people down doing nothing while watching two people play catch while one person tries to hit the little white orb over a fence (but, thanks to the the odd lot- there is no outfield fence for the home run- nor are there foul poles either).

I remember having an intern from Austria- and taking her to a Dragons game and trying to explain what a strike, a ball, an out and a foul were- and started to realize that unless you grew up watching and playing baseball, the idea of a strike zone or why you can tip the ball on strike 2 as many times as you want, is pretty confusing to most.

I also remember playing baseball as a kid- and don’t ever recall breaking a sweat- not like hockey, or track, or soccer, or even football- where there are still many lulls in the action. Face it, you can play baseball and be fat– need proof, go watch the police softball tournament that comes into town every summer. If you can swing your belly into that bat- and put the ball over the fence- you don’t need speed to get to first base- and in the home run derby they play- who cares about running.

So as I look at that new baseball field, and see how it cuts out the possibility of building much else on that odd shaped lot, I wonder why? Why are we building diamonds so people can stand around and wait for the ball to come- when instead we could be building soccer fields where 20 people at once are running up and down the field chasing a ball? It would seem that soccer is much better exercise and a use of the land, with lower maintenance costs, never mind lower equipment costs: 20 people, 1 ball for a soccer game- vs. 18 people, with bats, balls, gloves, catcher equipment, bases. etc.

I know that baseball is “Americas pastime” but maybe, it’s past its time these days. Whose idea was it to build a baseball field at a brand new elementary field? Why? Call me a heretic, or un-American, but maybe it’s time to reconsider what a field of dreams really looks like.

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