Ball park a gathering place

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 28, 2007


Wedged between Selma, Potter’s Station and Valley Grande lies a field of dreams.

Each year about this time this spot along Highway 219 bustles with baseball. Between the Sports-Plex and the Baseball Complex, more than 115 teams are currently playing out their last week of regular season.

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Girls and boys from age 5 and up play Tee Ball, softball and baseball. Girls’ fastpitch softball is set to start next week.

Both centers are complete with restroom facilities and concessions. Fans have ice cold Gatorades, burgers, cheese fries and peanuts while taking in ball games.

Selma City League play ends June 8-9 and the playoffs begin. All teams are eligible, and it’s double elimination, said Elton Reece, parks and recreations director. Reece even scheduled an operation so he’d be back up on his feet by the playoffs.

“I’m going to try to go back to work Tuesday,” said Reece, who oversees one of the largest city recreation baseball/softball leagues in Alabama.

The rules are designed for enhanced participation.

Winning is in how you play the game, Reece said.

All players on every team are required to play at lease three consecutive outs on defense, which ensures everybody gets to play.

The Complex has four 300-foot fields, and the SportsPlex has five 200-foot fields.

The Selma Recreation Department fertilizes and cuts a total of 21 acres for league play. Each game is staffed with two officials.

The balls and strikes are visible on the nine lighted scoreboards – in case you missed the call from behind the plate.

What was once part pasture and woods is today a place where dreams are realized.

Sometime in late June this rural patch of Dallas County will yield new champions, and create a deeper resolve in those who came close.