WATSONVILLE—For years, Pajaro Valley Little League (PVLL) has used the field at E.A. Hall Middle School for its practices and games, providing an essential space for a sport that typically takes a backseat to soccer in South County.
Playing fields for baseball are few and far between, a problem that was compounded years ago when the fields at Ramsay Park were demolished, said PVLL President Rick Stubblefield.
“What has been happening is that baseball has been pushed out of the schools,” he said. “We would really be hurting bad without E.A. Hall, because we have practice out there six days a week.”
Previously, PVLL maintained services on the field, but changes to Pajaro Valley Unified School District rules years ago required approval for any work, Stubblefield said.
A recent unanimous approval of an agreement by the trustees changed that.
An agreement forged on Feb. 26 by PVUSD will now allow the little league to maintain the field at E.A. Hall, and to use the concession stand there. It also plans to take care of the sprinkler system.
The league also hopes to raise the funds to build a batting cage.
In exchange, PVUSD will waive usage fees for the field.
Under the agreement, PVLL uses the fields after school between 4:30 p.m. and sundown, and on weekends.
Both the league and the district will add new exterior lighting, paint the facility and install new locks.
PVLL will be responsible for graffiti removal, mowing and other landscaping, in addition to maintenance such as light replacement.
The league can apply for such projects as a scoreboard and to modernize the facility.
Stubblefield said that the game has long drawn legions of young people, who in turn have brought their own children – and in some cases their grandchildren – to participate.
“Little League is multi-generational in the community,” he said.
PVLL past president John Ceballos said that the agreement will help beautify the field, which in turn will inspire more young people to participate in the sport.
“We need this to support the kids, because as we all know there is so much happening in today’s word with the children,” he said. “To have this support from the district would be very much appreciated and very well needed.”