By Karen Billing
Solana Beach Little League t-ball players will get a chance to feel like the big boys as the Solana Beach School District board voted 4-1 to grant use of a section of field at Solana Vista School to the youngest ballplayers. Typically, Solana Vista is the site for the Major division, children 10 through 12, and the 4-6 year old t-ballers get one chance a year to play on their turf on Buddy Day.
“The kids love it and we’re trying to give them another opportunity to be up there and have that experience,” said Sean Pope, a Solana Beach Little League board member. “Those are the kids we need to get excited about playing baseball.”
The board voted to allow the league to set up a temporary t-ball field every other Saturday for one game, rotating between the six t-ball teams.
The location of the field is still to be determined — Pope said the league’s preference is in front of the school’s kindergarten play structure, but the board had some concerns about its proximity to a neighboring home. At the board’s request, the league will also consider a space in the northeast corner of the field, closer to Santa Victoria
The sole dissenting vote was board member Debra Schade, who was strongly against the proposal. Schade argued that the league already has two fields at Skyline, one field at the Child Development Center and two fields at Solana Vista. She said the area they would like to use for t-ball is where families like to go on the weekends or children who are not playing baseball go to play.
“I do not support using up any more grass,” Schade said. “There’s ways to do what you want to do without taking any more grass space away from our kids. We’re really the only source of fields in Solana Beach.”
She said that board members are elected to represent the community as well, and she questioned whether granting the league so much real estate was servicing the community as a whole.
The season opens March 1 and runs through May. League game scheduling will begin in the next few weeks. Visit www.solanabeachlittleleague.com.