The annual "Backyard Brawl" among local high school baseball teams was the first casualty of the ill-fated experiment with outdoor, minor league hockey at Bowman Field over the past fall and winter.
Let's hope it's the last.
Even the rainout of the "Backyard Brawl," an annual showcase for high school players that gives them a chance to play on a professional baseball field, raises Bowman Field related questions. The event was scheduled at Robert B. Logue Memorial Field because crews were unable to get Bowman Field into baseball playing shape. Had Bowman Field been in normal May playing shape, we wonder if the event even would have been rained out.
While spring was slow to come to the area, the added work necessary after the hockey rink apparatus was belatedly removed from the infield at Bowman Field was the main reason the field is not yet ready. We won't pile on excessively with the obvious criticism of the city administration and Mayor Gabriel J. Campana. A number of mistakes were made before the hockey team got here, after they were here, and when they left.
We hope a lesson was learned here so that the city will not embarrass itself again like this. Enthusiasm for the city and promotion of it is a good thing. Intriguing ideas such as minor league hockey are a good thing. But enthusiasm and novelty do not trump practicality and attention to detail. The move to bring minor league hockey to Williamsport was too hasty. The terms with the franchise were too loose and not thought out with any pragmatism. And the notion that this could work at an outdoor facility in the dead of winter was downright unrealistic.
It's time for everyone to move on, admit mistakes, attempt to recoup money owed, get the field in shape for the Williamsport Crosscutters minor league baseball season and not repeat these judgment errors again.