Resolution found for travel baseball teams' need for field

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WARWICK-They worked it out, at least for the remainder of this season. The baseball travel league will use the girls' softball field at Memorial Park for the remaining six home games this season. The Little League, village, and travel baseball officials met on Monday to discuss a home for the travel teams that wish to modify and use the girls' softball field for their home games. The request originally came last spring. The dilemma n the official dimensions of the travel field are 70 feet between bases and 50 feet to the pitcher's mound. The girls' softball field has dimensions of 60 feet and 40 feet respectively. In order to use the field in regulation games, the travel teams have to move the bases further out by 10 feet and plop down a mound. This is a one-time-only deal, said Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard. The Little League agreed to change the dimensions of the field temporarily when the travel teams proved there were no liability issues. "It came down to liability," Newhard said. "That's what the village was interested in." After hearing from a couple of softball players and a coach, the Village Board went ahead last month and denied the travel teams' request to modify the field and use it when the softball teams had nothing scheduled there. Two weeks ago, travel representatives came to the village to ask for a rethinking of that decision. "Maybe we acted too hastily, but it was because of where they were in the season," said Mayor Michael Newhard. "There were just four weeks left of playing." Newhard said there are no flex fields in the village, except the over-35 men's field. That field is used in the fall by the youth football program. "It would be great to have a home of their own for the girls," Newhard continued. "What we're dealing with is pressures of growth. The village and the town will be working to find a flex field to accommodate other teams as well." There is another option, including a field out at the Pine Island Park that Little League officials and softball personnel have strongly suggested to the travel league. Newhard also volunteered the services of the village's Department of Public Works manpower to help ready the field. A field at Stanley-Deming Park was considered too. However, after Applefest, the condition of the park was so poor that all agreed it wasn't worth putting the money into it. The large field out at the Town Park on Union Corner Road is larger than the travel teams need, with bases at a distance of 90 feet and the mound at 60. Having just replaced the infield with new grass, they can't move the bases in without ruining the new infield grass. Using one of the standard boys' field would involve moving the bases as well as the permanent mound. "The bottom line is the Little League wants to work and help these teams get their own field," Cheney commented. All sides hope that by the time the spring rolls around, that mission is accomplished.