Grateful to the Tides

Published 8:12 pm Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thanks to a few thousand Facebook votes and a compelling story, the Bennett’s Creek Little League Challenger Field will get a makeover soon, courtesy of the Norfolk Tides.

The Tides ran a Facebook-based contest in which they asked their fans to vote for area Little League fields most deserving of help, choosing from a group of 20 that had been nominated by league officials. The Bennett’s Creek field came in third in the voting behind one in Ocean View and another in Smithfield. The Suffolk field was then chosen as the third of three winners by a committee of Tides employees.

The minor league baseball team deserves a lot of credit for putting the contest together in the first place. Little Leagues and the fields where they’re hosted are labors of love by the parents, businesses and community organizations that sponsor them and volunteer to administer and maintain them, and the tasks can be daunting.

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Major improvements are often beyond the means of those organizations and are sometimes postponed for years while the money to make those improvements is raised and saved. The Tides’ promise of financial and physical help on the projects is generous and shows a laudable measure of concern for the team’s extended hometown. The Tides’ help will assure three deserving teams can now improve their fields much more quickly than they could have hoped.

The folks at Bennett’s Creek Little League were understandably ecstatic to hear of their selection. The field they will improve is used for disabled players and is in need of improvements that will significantly improve the experience those players have with baseball.

Grateful words have, no doubt, already been exchanged between local league officials and the Tides organization. But grateful acknowledgement of the Bennett’s Creek Little League’s organizers and volunteers is appropriate, as well, both for getting Challenger Field into the contest and for their continuing sacrificial work on behalf of kids of all abilities.

We can hardly wait to see what the new field will look like.