Baseball team has no place to call home

Seven On Your Side
May 21, 2012 8:16:24 PM PDT
It took less than 3 years to build New Yankee Stadium, but the baseball fields in Harris Park are still under construction more than 4 years after they were started.

That's left the Bronx High School of Science baseball team with no home field for years. It was time for rally caps - and a last ditch effort from 7 On Your Side.

While the sod planted last fall looks like it has taken hold, the parks department says it's still not ready.

"Some of my seniors have been here four years, never play a home game," coach Mike McGrath said.

Practice is shoehorned between softball games on the soccer field or in the school gym and every one of their games is a schlep to another team's field.

"We have to go a mile and a half away, sometime 2, 3 miles away to play home games where fields are not in good condition," senior Nick Reade said.

"It is a little frustrating to see that we're so close to a field that's in good condition and we still can't play on it," Jackson Comstock said.

Their field was filled with contaminated soil and the project originally budgeted at $6.6 million is now more than double that cost.

A posted sign says it will be open late spring, but a closer look shows it's been delayed again.

What's even worse is each afternoon children from the neighborhood and other schools crawl under the fence and play on the very fields forbidden from Bronx High. While we were there, a middle school played for hours on the forbidden fields.

The coach showed us a signed permit, but the parks department told us he was on the wrong field. Yet, his middle school team has been playing on the field since mid-April. No one has stopped them.

After our call to Parks, they repaired all the fences. We hoped to get the boys on the field for the last regular season home game on Friday, but Parks said the grass was too wet to mow after Tuesday's soaking rain. Yet, when we went back to the field on Friday morning, sprinklers were turned on full blast.

So one last rally. After our constant calls, the boys' wishes were granted. And since the team made the playoffs, Parks reversed the call and will let the team on their home field for next week's game.



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