City of Newcastle owes baseball better support

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Dear Editor,

Baseball is not important? That is what the city thinks, but to the community of Newcastle, baseball is an essential sport. The city should fund Newcastle baseball more.

The Newcastle Babe Ruth baseball team has been in the state championship a total of three times in the last three years, and last year brought it home. This group of boys love the sport and to participate in it. In 2016, Peter Levine in an article titled, “Join A Club! Or A Team – Both Can Make Good Citizens,” stated how playing in a sport can do good for young adults.

“Sports have positive effects on students later civic engagement, an athlete is more likely to volunteer. Also sports participation reflects an outgoing personality, better schools, and more supportive families,” he said. Clearly, participating in a sport such as our baseball players points the town and the athlete in the direction to a good future. Because of our great team, the community has given the program a lot of support.

The past few seasons the city has shown little to no support towards the team, whereas the community has. A key to having a winning team is to have support. The community gave lots of support especially while fundraising for the trip to Washington for regionals. The community showed they wanted baseball more than any other sport.  “Community Support,” printed in 2012, explains what community support is.

“Financial contributions are one of the first things that many schools and districts look for in their community partners, and many different stakeholders can provide direct support,” the report stated. This is something that our community did well, but our city could have provided more.

Even with all the support the team got, they only got to host about three home games. Clearly, this sport is wanted in the town, but needs to be given more support from the city.

The three home games hosted in Newcastle took place last season. The city would not allow us to replace the lights on the field, so the president had to schedule games before it got dark, which was hard.

What the city needs to look at, is that hosting the games could actually bring money to the town rather than take it away. In 2011, Ben Keller in an article titled, “City Balks At Funding Sports Event Marketing,” stated that bringing games to a town can provide some money.

“Having a tournament, bringing 50 teams from surrounding states with expectations of generating 1,000 hotel room nights and $420,000 in economic impact to the city,” it said. Of course, this city is much larger than ours, but these numbers show how much money could be brought to a town in one single weekend— rather than our team driving to other places bringing another city money.

Overall, the city should help fund and support the town’s baseball program more for the team’s success and also the cities.

—Lauren Lacey

(Ed. note: The preceding letter was written for an assignment in Debb Proctor’s Freshmen English class. Please send any responses to this letter to editor@newslj.com)

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