There are plenty of bad, rough and tumble playing surfaces at different schools across the country, particularly in the arid Southwest. Still, none of those dirt fields can hold a candle to the horrendous playing conditions that have forced the Kirkland (Wa.) Lake Washington High baseball team to become perpetual road warriors.
As reported by Seattle TV Network KING-5, and brought to Prep Rally’s attention by USA Today, the Lake Washington field was shut down by the school district because of exposed pipes and dangerous metal spikes. The closure has forced a crisis shift for the Lake Washington baseball team, which suddenly finds itself scrambling to host practices, let alone games.
Field of dreams? This is a field of nightmares, with any turn through the field a potential for a quick series of appointments with a tetanus shot.
Incredibly, the school district has yet to even announce formal plans to fix the field, leaving parents of athletes at the school moving forward with a unique blend of vigilante volunteerism and outright fury at school administrators that let the field’s condition deteriorate so rampantly, as one baseball parent, Sim Osborn, articulated to the news station.
"There are literally pipes that we have dug out or pulled out with a tractor. Parents, not the school district. Parents. The field has never ever been maintained by the school district even though it's their responsibility."
District officials have said that a plan to handle the field’s deteriorating conditions is forthcoming, though there is little chance that the field will be operational in time for any portion of the spring baseball season. In fact, if the district moves forward with a plan to re-seed the site, it won’t be playable for at least another year.
That delay has led to calls for a turf field, though district officials have balked at the cost of such a move, despite the decision being set against a backdrop of rapidly rising parental angst.
“These kids love the game,” another Lake Washington baseball parent told KING-5. “They go out and do their job.”
For now, they’re doing it on a distant site because someone else didn’t do their job.