Let us talk softball and baseball for a minute. Effingham is the center of fast-pitch softball in this part of the Southeast. With this being said, we have a low quality of fields to play on. It’s time we take a look at what our teams have done and what they have to play on.
In the past few years, our boys and girls have won World Series and most people don’t even know it. Effingham should be able to put on a tournament almost every other weekend. This is open league and recreation league, but most teams have come in here in the past and will not come back. They tell other people about the poor quality of the fields and they don’t come at all. We are losing money. People should be pouring into Effingham to see what our teams are all about. Like I said, when teams come to play, they bring money to our county.
We have girls leaving the rec league to play open league when they are not ready to play and end up sitting on the bench. A year or two more in the rec league, they would be ready to play open league — all because of better playing conditions.
Take Sand Hill Complex, one of four parks. Effingham missed a great chance to build something good. The builder must have put all the money into the concession stand/scorekeeper area, which is not even being used. People would rather have a burger from a grill and a drink out of an ice chest so their child could have a better field. It did not happen here.
With all the room out there, they didn’t put up a batting cage. The biggest problem is the fields. You can’t tell where the infield starts and the parking lot begins. At a good park, the infield is soft clay. We have colored sand and cement. Our girls have already gotten hurt by making good slides in the preseason tournament. It was said at a coaches meeting that it was a water problem, but after three weeks we must still have a water problem. The problem is not the water — it is we don’t have clay.
At other parks, we have grass fields that are made to look like Astroturf. Then where the grass meets the cement, there is a hump. We are lucky that players will even stay down on a ground ball. We have some good players at the rec department, but they don’t have anything to work with.
Would someone please help our children and our teams to solve this major problem? In the meantime, I ask you to go to Bluffton, S.C., and take a look at Frasier Park. Now they did it right and probably for less money. This is what we should have. Our boys and girls are all we have and they should have the best. Let’s bring the game home.