A week from tomorrow, the Planning & Zoning Commission will review an amendment to allow lights on town athletic fields.
There will be provisions to limit the number of events held on the fields — which much be at least 20 acres, and include at least 200 parking spots — as well as permits for practices only until 9 p.m.
In years past, proposals like this have created Super Bowl-like interest. Supporters praised lights as the greatest thing since Genesis; detractors warned that lighted athletic fields would mean Armageddon.
This time around, there’s been barely a peep. Does that mean lights are an idea whose time has come?
Or, rather, an idea whose time has come in the midst of far darker concerns?
The Staples High School football field, without lights.
Driving past the very active North Compo Little League fields recently, I flashed back to my own baseball experience, all those years ago.
Sorry — I didn’t mean that. I should have said: I really sucked.
I loved baseball. I truly did. I just couldn’t play it.
Despite years of experience with the cul-de-sac pastime called “running bases,” and plenty of impromptu recess games at Burr Farms Elementary, the organized version of Little League lost me.
I remember being assigned each year to Cap League teams, finally making the minors as a 12-year-old charity case.
I recall standing endlessly in right field, knowing that the rare ball that came my way would never land in my upraised glove. (This was in the pre-contact lens, pre-pre-Lasek surgery days).
And I will never forget standing at home plate, happily trying to follow the coach’s instructions to not swing — “just get a walk.” I was 2-foot-1, so the advice was wise. Still, even 9-year-old pitchers managed to throw with Sandy Koufax-like accuracy against me. I can’t recall ever making it all the way to first.
Going to Yankee Stadium was fun. Going to the Coleytown Elementary field was not.
I still like the game, particularly because it offers such a leisurely opportunity to second-guess strategy, look ahead to the next inning, and answer email.
I’m not anti-baseball. I’m just pro-not-playing-a-sport-I-suck-at.