City of Selma, Dallas County combine efforts for youth baseball, softball programs

Published 7:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2022

Selma Mayor James Perkins, Jr. and Dallas County Probate Judge Jimmy Nunn announced a partnership between the city and county youth baseball and softball programs during a press conference held Tuesday afternoon at Bloch Park.

The duo, flanked by members of the Selma City Council and Dallas County Commission, each spoke about the collaborative effort before signing the joint agreement.

“I want to congratulate the county for having continued the course and doing what is necessary for our youth,” Perkins said. “Now you have the city as a legitimate partner, and we’re going to continue to do those things that are necessary to strengthen the process.”

Perkins said when he visited Bloch Park 14 months ago, he saw a facility in disrepair and a field in ruin following Hurricane Zeta, but now, it’s in much better shape.

“When I come today, and I see what really looks like a baseball field, ready for games to get started, I’m excited,” he said.

Nunn said both city and county elected officials and staff members put in plenty of hard work to make the agreement happen.

“We’re here to put it together, but now the work begins with the children, the coaches, the directors, the assistant directors – all of them are going to come together now and make it work,” he said.

He added he’s excited to see what the programs can do together after the county brought home a state championship and appeared in a World Series a season ago.

“With the city coming on board, and we’re working together, it can do nothing but strengthen the program,” Nunn said. “I’m looking for great things out of this recreational program.”

Nunn said partnering with the city provides opportunities and expands the reach of its program to support older youth in the county.

“Last year, we couldn’t go up to that age bracket of 19 years of age because our fields are not as long and deep,” he said. “We could only go up to 12 years of age, 5-12. Now, the city and their sports complex, they can go from ages 13-15, and then on this field here, they can go up to 16-19. It’s an advantage to us because now we can bring in additional children who were not allowed to play.”

Perkins noted the strength of a community can be viewed in the strength of its youth programs, and in the past, the baseball program was one of the strongest the city had.

“Our baseball kickoff was like the Olympics,” he said. “You had over 1,000 children in their uniforms and 300-400 coaches volunteering. At every school field and everywhere we could find, the practice fields were filled just about every day and on the weekends, it was baseball time. I’m just so excited that we’re getting back to that …

“Push this program. Let’s get our children back to the fields. Make sure the parents know that the baseball season is here upon us. Get the gloves, get the balls and get the bats! It’s time to play baseball!”

According to Selma Parks and Recreation Director Dr. Denisha Hendricks, over 350 children have signed up to participate in the season. The cost to compete is $20 per youth participant, and the deadline to register is today.