Jones asks for batting cages at Sportsplex

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baseball season is quickly approaching, and interim director of the Selma Recreation Department Lebo Jones is determined to make the game safer and more enjoyable for players in Selma.

At the Dallas County Commission meeting Monday, Jones suggested the Dallas County Sportsplex build batting cages for players to be able to warm up and practice in.

“I just feel like it’s a need for the county and the city to have some batting cages out there for the kids where they can practice their batting even if it’s too wet to get on the field,” Jones said.

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Dallas County Commissioner Larry Nickles plans to meet with Jones at the Sportsplex to look at the facility and decide what they want to do. Jones said he wants four baseball cages built and expects it to cost approximately $3,000.

Nickles is on board with the idea, as he said the cages will allow for more timely play during tournaments and increased safety.

“We don’t need baseballs flying all over the place like they’ve been doing for the safety of our people,” Nickles said. “And anything we can do to improve the quality of baseball and the safety and enjoyment of the people, we’re going to support that if we financially can.”

Both Nickles and Jones said the cages will play an important role in giving players a place to warm up. As a result, the baseball cages will allow games to run more smoothly when the Sportsplex is hosting tournaments because players can warm up while the preceding game is finishing up.

Nickles said he hopes building baseball cages will allow the Sportsplex to be able to host state tournaments and others that welcome teams from out of state.

“Baseball is being played throughout the south on a large scale, and we need a piece of that pie,” Nickles said.

Jones said he noticed a need for change based on what he’s seen at the tournaments he’s brought teams to. He said it’s a small step in the right direction, but one that can reap large benefits.

“Every state tournament we’ve been to has batting cages where we can warm up,” Jones said.

The proposal still needs to be approved at a future Dallas County Commission meeting, but Nickles is optimistic the cages will enventually be put in place.

“It’s going to be a win-win, and all of it’s going to be improving the quality out there and improving safety,” Nickles said.

About Justin Fedich

Staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.

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