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Kids, Fields, and Coaches

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 17:41
A man drove his car onto the ball field at Maidstone Park just after midnight on Friday, ruining it for the remainder of the East Hampton Little League season.

The senseless destruction of the Maidstone Park ball field last week caused outrage and disbelief. But it also should serve as a reminder of how important organized youth baseball and softball are in this community, and the admirable commitment of the adult coaches who make it all possible. 

Not long after midnight Friday, a 24-year-old East Hampton man, apparently under the influence of only his own lousy decision making, drove in fast circles on the sodden Maidstone Park field, digging deep gouges in the grass and leaving it unplayable at least beyond the end of this Little League season. Adding to the insult, just last year the field had been restored by East Hampton Town at a cost of $67,000 after having been unfit for organized play for several years.

Little League has been made more challenging for coaches and players by this spring’s rain, which has made a joke of its long-set schedule. Practices have been called off, and when there are games, the coaches have been on the field early, raking muddy infields or, in at least one example, using a leaf blower in an attempt to dry a portion of the playing surface. But they are out there, men and women alike, trying to keep the games fun and teaching the kids at the same time.

As this season sloshes toward its eventual end, here’s a tip of the cap to those tireless volunteers who make it possible — the coaches.

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