Boys Against Girls In Little League Controversy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/24/08 - Tyler

Boys Against Girls In Little League Controversy

A battle is brewing on the pitcher's mound, pitting the boys against the girls. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston was out at the ballpark today, where baseball diamonds are a girl's new best friend, and several people want to make sure that friendship lasts.

For the ladies of Tyler fastpitch, nothing's better than a trip out to the old ball game. Except maybe - a better ballpark. Just days ago, Anthony Springer, president of Tyler Fast Pitch, told KLTV Sports that all he wanted was a safer enviroment for his girls to play in. Today, via telephone, he tells us the wait may be even longer than expected.

"We keep hearing different things, we're going to go over here, we're moving here - we really thought this time it was going to stick."

Today, Springer says he thought a compromise had finally been reached with the City of Tyler. The plan, to take three fields from Faulkner Park and make the temporary homes for the girls.

"They felt the fields were under-utilized, and they said they would convert those to softball fields."

But now, a battle of the sexes is under way.

Mike Farrell with Rose Capital West Little League says that option came as a bit of a shock.

"No one can ever convince me that you eliminate one group of youth for the benefit of the other," he told KLTV 7 on Tuesday.

In a letter to parents, the Rose Capital West Little League Board of Directors writes, the city will soon "taking away three of our eight baseball fields at Faulkner Park" this fall, basically taking away two groups of their young athletes.

"If you eliminate these fields, you virtually eliminate the 13-18 year olds from participation in the Rose Capital West Little League."

Council member Steve Smith says right now there is no definite plan, but the issue needs to be addressed.

"We've got a growing girl's softball league, we got a boy's baseball league, and we need to find a way that will work for everybody."

And, a plan that goes to bat for all the ball playing youth in Tyler.

Councilman Smith says the mayor has asked him to lead a group of all the stakeholders to come up with the best plan.

The group hopes to hold their first meeting next week.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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