The needler in the haystack.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mapp acts to end baseball wars

Youngster wanting to play baseball crowded Council meeting in 2010
after Mayor Robinson-Briggs and Negro League blocked
shared use of Rock Avenue ballfields (see more here).

Saying he is putting
Plainfield's young baseball enthusiasts' interests ahead of warring adults, Mayor Adrian O. Mapp has acted pre-emptively to end the so-called 'baseball wars'.

In a post on his blog on Sunday evening (see here), Mapp details some of the history since he took office a year ago, including an effort at cooperating for the 2014 season.

The Mapp administration has been meeting with disaffected Negro League supporters in recent months, but no agreement was able to be reached. The sticking point seems to be that while the Queen City Baseball League is happy to support its work through fees and fundraisers, the Negro League supporters want the city to fork over taxpayer money to run their league.

As Mayor Mapp points out, it was only in recent years under a policy of his predecessor that the City began picking up the tab. For as long as anyone can remember, Plainfield's bseball program was run by the Police Athletic League, until Mayor Robinson-Briggs made the change. (For an overview of Robinson-Briggs' 2010 moves to restrict use of city fields,see my previous post here.)

Mapp is giving the Negro League supporters the opportunity to go forward on exactly the same basis as the Queen City League, with the City providing access to the ballfields at Rock Avenue on an equitable basis and nothing more.

In a post to the Plainfield Latino Facebook page at 1:00 AM on Sunday (see here), Negro League supporter and organizer Faye Clark states her case and urges supporters to come out to tonight's Council meeting (7:30 at the Courthouse/Council Chambers, Watchung Avenue at East 4th Street).

Since Mayor Mapp is offering a level playing field to both baseball leagues, it looks like the only thing for the Negro League supporters to do is get busy organizing themselves for the 2015 season.

As Mapp points out, he would have preferred cooperation, but competition is just as much an American option.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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