To the editor:
You’ve heard the argument for and against Blair Park. You’ve seen the mailers, seen the lawn signs. But lost in the shuffle is Coaches Field. This field is the only 60 & 70 foot baseball diamond in Piedmont. Thanks to the efforts of the Piedmont Baseball Softball Foundation (PBSF) and the Piedmont Recreation department, the field is now one of the best in its class. It’s nicer than fields in Orinda and Moraga and a jewel for baseball and softball in Piedmont.
But the controversy around Blair Park has led some ill-informed and short-sighted individuals to suggest paving over the beautiful baseball field with a plastic soccer field. Somehow this is considered “the lesser of two evils.” I strongly disagree and hope that the rest of Piedmont does too. The baseball and softball programs should not be sacrificed in the name of 24/7/365 soccer. The field at Coaches was clearly designed as a baseball/softball field, with soccer as a secondary use. There are already U10 soccer games and practices there. To sacrifice baseball and softball for soccer is not appropriate. This is the only baseball field that can accommodate our 10- to 13-year-olds. The city only has two baseball fields: Hampton and Coaches. Hampton is used by the 7- to 10-year-olds and Coaches by the next group. Our older Pony players (13- and 14-year-olds) use the Witter Baseball field for games, which is a school district property, but they also practice at Coaches. Coaches Field is also used for adult and youth softball. To lose this wonderful field to a plastic grass soccer field would be a shame to Piedmont and a disservice to the youth baseball and softball programs.