After Hurricane Ian, most of the facilities used for team sports were damaged, canceling some league’s seasons and making others hard to operate.
Charles Phoenix is the Southwest Florida commissioner for the Babe Ruth Cal Ripkin baseball league and spoke with WINK News about the difficulties.
“They’re very passionate about it; they want to put it back together,” Phoenix said.
The Howard Gold Clubhouse plaque for South Fort Myers Little League. CREDIT: WINK News
Howard Gold, the president of South Fort Myers Youth Baseball, also talked with WINK News about the problems some leagues are facing.
“I think kids have always thrived when they have structure to their day or their week. And you know, a normal week is two games in a practice out here. And kids look forward to that,” Gold said.
But, the storm put many of the youth baseball seasons in jeopardy or forced them to change their schedules.
That’s because the lights still work, but some are not angled properly to light the whole field after sunset. Consequently, for the time being, there won’t be any night games.
Damaged lights at the baseball field. CREDIT: WINK News
” I think kids have always thrived when they have structure to their day or their week,” Phoenix said. “And you know, a normal week is two games in a practice out here. And kids look forward to that.”
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; daylight savings is more than eight weeks away.
“Baseball is one of the few sports anymore that normal-size kids can play,” Gold said.
“And here’s the thing in today’s world, you know, kids love to play with their parents, and actually, parents love to play with the kids. But in this world today, that just doesn’t happen enough. So here’s an opportunity for parents and children to work together,” Phoenix said.
The goal is to somehow reposition the lights at the various fields long before daylight savings time, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.