AP NEWS

Volunteers Clean Up Neglected Baseball Field In Parsons Park

April 15, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — A group of volunteers in the city’s Parsons section is trying to give new life to a neglected baseball field owned by the city.

The field in Parsons Park along Scott Street hasn’t been used in years and thus wasn’t regularly cared for.

But some local residents think at least a few city youth sports teams could find a use for it, even just for practice.

“Rake it and they will come,” Dave Magda joked while recently doing work at the field.

In the past two weeks, volunteers have cleared dozens of bags of grass and debris that the city hauled away. They have been trying to dig up the baselines and infield turf that has overgrown with grass.

A city T-ball team has already started using the field for practice, he said.

The field previously was used for the city’s Minor League, the division youths played in between T-Ball and Little League.

Magda, 47, who owns a nearby deli and pizza shop, said he hoped to do the work last year, but the city kept gates to the field locked. Also, one of the city’s unions threatened to file a grievance if volunteers were allowed to do work on city property, he said.

For whatever reason, the group was allowed to do the work this year.

Jacob Allen, 28, who has been helping with the maintenance, has started using the field as a coach for his son’s T-ball team.

“There’s just not enough fields in the city,” Allen said.

Previously, the team practiced elsewhere in Parsons Park on a grassy field used for youth football.

Parsons Park does have another baseball field, which is used by and cared for by the Parsons Little League through an agreement with the city.

Since the field they are rehabilitating is on Scott Street — a main thoroughfare in Parsons — Magda felt it should look nice and be used.

“It’s a gateway to the whole park and it looked like crap,” Magda said.

Magda said various local businesses have donated to the cause, which he joked is becoming like his very own “Field of Dreams.”

Councilman Bill Barrett, who represents the Parsons section, saluted the work of the volunteers.

He said he thinks the park wasn’t maintained regularly because no groups were using it. Additionally, he said it was difficult to get large city equipment into the park for maintenance due to the fencing.

“If they have a use for it, that’s great,” Barrett said.

Contact the writer:

bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2055, @cvbobkal

 

WANT TO HELP?

Those wishing to volunteer or donate to help fix up the former Minor League field at Parsons Park can get in contact with Dave Magda by visiting Magda’s Pizza and Deli at 180 Gardner Ave. in Wilkes-Barre or by calling 570-270-3600.