A memory stolen

I’d like to start this letter by wearing my feelings on my sleeve; shame on you, Mayor Campana. Every person has that high school memory they will always look back on that they will cherish. Perhaps his being crowned king of their senior prom, throwing a fourth quarter touchdown pass to win the homecoming football game, or maybe even becoming the class valedictorian.

For most of us, however, our greatest high school memory will be doing something important with the people most important in our lives. My high school memory, in contrast, is one I will never get to live. Dozens of other local baseball players from the surrounding school districts will unfortunately have to share in this loss with me. The memory of being able to play in the Backyard Brawl under the lights at Historic Bowman Field has been shattered by your selfish ambition to build an ice hockey rink right on the exact location we planned to play on. You had promised us that field would be ready to play on come May, and you let each one of us down.

A former hockey player myself and a devout Pittsburgh Penguins fan, you would think I’d be ecstatic to hear hockey is coming to Williamsport to play on an outdoor rink right on Bowman Field, right? In fact, the first thing that went through my mind was how awful of an idea this “project” will turn out to be. Knowing the repercussions from the very beginning, you chose to ignore hundreds of passionate and dedicated citizens of Williamsport for your own benefit of saying you brought hockey to this city. Well Mr. Mayor, you did anything but that. You brought a mediocre hockey team that went bankrupt by the end of the season and left the burden of paying for their debts to the people of Williamsport.

Williamsport holds the distinction of harboring the second oldest minor league ballpark in America, where baseball has been played almost continually and has established a rich history. Baseball is rooted into the history of Williamsport, it has been America’s pastime, and it is Williamsport’s past and present. I have been, and still am, all for hockey in this city, but not at the expense of ruining the opportunity to play baseball.

Here we are after months of anxiously waiting to see if we can finally step onto the same field that professional baseball players have played on to show off our talents to our friends, families, and neighbors, and we are given the news that the opportunity will not come as you had promised us seven months earlier. I hope that you enjoyed shivering in the snow while the glass froze up watching those hockey games all winter, because I will surely feel a sense of emptiness and betrayal playing in the Backyard Brawl my senior year on a field that holds no significance or aura to that of Historic Bowman Field. Go Millionaires.

Aaron Weber


Submitted by E-Mail