City mows baseball field after coach, parents contact Call 11 for Action

(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - UPDATE: Two days after this Call 11 for Action story aired on WTOL 11, the city was at the park mowing the grass on the baseball field.

City officials say the team never got a permit, which would have prompted more frequent mowings.

It's a nostalgic image seared in the fabric of America: Kids in a public park playing America's pastime.

The baseball diamond at Burroughs Park is neglected to say the least. It is overgrown with weeks. The kids who play there struggle to make even the most basic of plays. Sometimes they are never able to find the ball they hit.

Now coaches and parents say they are fed up.

"We lose equipment, we lose balls, they can't see the holes in the ground," said coach Doug Saar.

Saar says he has coached youth baseball in the park for eight year and has never seen a diamond in a public park in such bad condition.

"But I mean some of the nicer neighborhoods, their fields are cut," Saar explained. "South End. You know, we're on the bottom I guess."

Vickie Vasquez is an Army veteran and the grandmother of one of the players who use the park. She says it is a disappointment to the kids who want to enjoy the game of baseball.

"It hurts me that they have to do this. It hurts me that all of them," Vasquez said.

She says the kids on the team love the game of baseball. She is thankful the game keeps the kids out of trouble.

"It's like a little family and it disgusts me that this looks like this," Vasquez said. "I am so scared with the grass being so high with ticks going around. And this is a Toledo city park. I don't understand. It's just three diamonds."

Coach Saar says a well cared for park will lift his team's spirits.

"Get out here and cut the grass, City," Saar said.

In statement to WTOL, city spokesperson Janet Schroeder says the parks condition is partially due to a communication issue.

"The team was not registered with the City. If teams are going to be regularly using the parks, the best thing is to contact the Division of Parks Recreation and Forestry to let them know the schedule so we can have the ball fields ready for them. There was no permit pulled for Burroughs. We ask the team organization to contact so we can get that to be ready for their practices.."

The coaches tell WTOL 11 they have already completed the necessary paperwork.

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