Rockford Pony League Hoping This Season Won't Be the Last

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

It's opening day for Rockford Pony Baseball's 43rd season at Roy Gayle Park; the fields of childhood dreams for Rockford area youth athletes.

"I like playing baseball and I like doing stuff. I like batting. I don't care what position I play," Adam La Marca said.

"It's such a part of these kids lives, from young kids, ages five and up, to kids who are really good," coach Stu Sprecher said.

But Sunday’s excitement for kids and coaches comes at a time where the league's future is unknown. As Roy Gayle park's Texas owners work to sell the field's assets, league officials work on purchasing the field and keep Pony Baseball afloat.

"We're still apart from what we've offered to what they want for the land, so hopefully they'll see the light and understand this is a great venue for kids," Mike Broski said.

Should Rockford's Pony League cease to exist, it's estimated 90 percent of players would lose organized baseball for good, a fact not lost on these young sluggers.

"If Roy Gayle were to disappear, then how would you see your friends and have the friends we have? It'd be not fair," Rachel Johnson said.

"That would mean I wouldn’t have any place to play baseball with my team. It'd be boring," Ezelle Leigh said.

The Pony League's financial team remains confident, crediting the Winnebago and Rockford Park district for pitching in their support.

"It'd be nice if they came out here, saw all these kids having fun. They could see all the joy, and the importance of baseball, of what we have here," Broski said.

It’s a game which these sluggers hope won't fade away after this year's Opening Day.


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