March 18 11:54 AM
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Parent questions Imlay boys baseball board

To the Editor:

I am a very concerned parent with regard to where our Imlay City Boys Baseball League is headed this year.

I feel it is my responsibility to share this story. My son was involved in an altercation on April 25 at the little league and partial football fields. A Swiss Army knife was pulled on my son and he protected himself with a speed stick which is used to hit little whiffle balls (not a baseball bat). Both boys were ball players and both received the same disciplinary action. Unfortunately we were not allowed to tell our story (even though we asked, but our call was not returned by anyone), nor were any of the other children who witnessed the whole incident. We were told the board took all the information they needed to make a decision from police reports. A letter was then written to tell parents about the altercation, but there was no warning to parents of a knife on the fields during practices. It was very clear in the letter that the issue was closed as it stated "further inquiries regarding this issue will not be addressed" by the board. This I find frightening! The board who we appointed will not answer our questions?

I'm also saddened to learn that the board decided this year there will be no opening day ceremonies! The children will not be allowed to dress up in their uniforms with their teams and coaches and parade around town or even just the Babe Ruth field. No hot dogs, no baseball game—not even a first pitch by an honorable member of the community and no national anthem! This is my 15th season with IC Boys Baseball and I don't remember a year without it!

This year there was no baseball clinic set up to help our little guys improve their skills. I was told because "it doesn't make money." What has our community become when making money is more important than teaching our children skills?

I just find it heartbreaking because of my personal history with these fields. As a kid I loved watching my uncle play on the Babe Ruth field for 'Spider & Co.,' and watching my little brother and cousin play on these fields. Then as an adult watching my own boys grow up on these fields. In case you wonder I love baseball and played myself. In my opinion this year's board is on a path of destroying this league, and the season has just begun!

If you are concerned or saddened as I am please email our board

Editor's Note: The Imlay City Boys Baseball Board of Directors responds as follows:

"The incident referenced in the letter was reported to the Imlay City Police Department on the afternoon of April 25, 2009; therefore, the incident became a police matter requiring further investigation.

"The Imlay City Boys Baseball Board of Directors worked with local authorities throughout the investigation process in order to review all facts available to make an informed decision. Considering all facts provided at the conclusion of the investigation, the Imlay City Boys Baseball Board of Directors issued appropriate disciplinary action toward each child involved in the incident.

"The Imlay City Boys Baseball Board of Directors discussed the issue of Opening Day at length and sought input from league membership. Considering all factors, including multiple inter-league season start dates with surrounding communities, the decision was made not to conduct an Opening Day this year."

Laura L. Gleasure, Imlay City
May 13, 2009

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