A couple years ago what used to be the Northwest Santa Ana Little League became Santa Ana Pony Baseball – and they took over the Little League field at Riverview Park. I thought at the time that losing the Northwest Little League would be the end of it but now apparently what used to be the Southwest Santa Ana Little League has also gone over to Pony Baseball. But this time a civil war has broken out – over the baseball fields at Santa Ana’s Memorial Park.
The first salvo was fired by the former Board of Directors of Southwest Santa Ana Little League, on their new Southwest Pony Baseball Facebook page:
Hello Southwest Baseball Families,
First, I’d like to thank all of the Participants, Parents, and Family members who supported Southwest this past season. We placed an operation and financial plan that at times were very challenging. But with the hard work and dedication of our Board of Directors AND the support of our families, we were able to accomplish the many goals that we set forth.
In …2014 we experienced a 30% growth in registration. This season, although our strategies as an organization continue to be the same, there are many action items for 2015 that will help is improve as an organization. One being structuring our business matters so that all members will understand where their investment will be allocated to and spent accordingly. I continue to challenge our Directors to set their goals high and work as efficiently as possible. This will go a long way with our members.
Another key aspect, Communication and team work. This will continue to play a big role in our organization. We will continue to reach out to the Southwest Baseball community with information through any available means of communication. As always and at any point, I will be open to address any questions or concerns that may arise.
Now the portion that I truly love…… BASEBALL. Again our strategies and vision from 2014 continue in 2015….
To provide a quality and well structured recreational program. Through fair opportunities and competition, we will provide an ongoing foundation of support for all athletes to achieve their full potential.
So what does baseball do for our children? It teaches them the fundamental things of life. What sport is there were you can fail 70% of the time and still be considered good? Fail 60% of the time and your great……..Baseball. That’s just one example that will indirectly influence your child for a life time. Just think about all the positive analogies that run through your head when failure occurs, “Don’t give up, work hard, focus, concentrate, practice hard etc.” To all of us, this should be more important than the expectations of only winning.
Recreationally, we continue to enforce rules that will have a good medium for all participants to enjoy.
The Board of Directors, Coaches, and General Assembly felt that many deficiencies were experienced with the competitive aspect of the vision. To continue with this vision and league progression, change was inevitable and necessary for the overall health of our baseball community.
For 2015 our recreational organization will be transferring the play style from Little League to: Pony Baseball
We are all very excited about this transition but we will need the support of the community in order to continue to build a structured program that focuses on the development of good citizens learning the challenges of life through the best sport on this world, BASEBALL.
Development phases continue to be the same. We plan to break a player’s development into 3 phases.
The fundamental fun stage. Tee-ball (Foal), Shetland (this is the machine pitch division) and Pinto divisions fall into this category. The goal is to teach fundamentals at a kid’s level.
The key phase will be the instructional phase. CP Pinto/Mustang divisions. This is the first introduction to real baseball. Situations and strategies will be enhanced throughout process.
The competitive stage will be the focus in the Bronco, Pony and Colt divisions. This will be an important step in the progression of our players. Competition challenges will bring out the best in our kids. We plan to introduce the Select division to further enhance competition at even younger ages. Still in the works but things are coming together.
So why is Southwest changing the play style from Little League to Pony?
The baseball is baseball philosophy from last year rolls over to this year and Pony style of play. The addition of many rules and strategies will only further enhance to overall baseball experience at Southwest. Our youth deserve a recreational program that will support them and define clear direction.
We all need to step up and make a difference: coaches, umpires, team parents, etc.
I challenge each and every one of you to make a difference in your kid’s life and in the lives of the kids in our community through the beautiful game of BASEBALL. The more prepared we are together, the better experience our children will have at Memorial Park. GO SOUTHWEST!!!
Thank you for your time and for joining the Southwest Family. We look forward to a great 2015 season and future seasons to come.
But hold the presses. The Little League response to the Pony heist of Memorial Park was swift – all of a sudden there was a “merger” between Southeast Little League and what was left of the Southwest Little League – and this response was posted on the new Southwest Little League Baseball Facebook page:
Dear Little League Parents, Guardians, and Coaches,
We are gearing up for another great season of Little League Baseball! Southwest Little League invites you to be a part of what has been a proud tradition at Memorial Park for over 60 years. Over the past several weeks, however, it has come to our attention that there is concern and confusion regarding Memorial Park and the baseball program it wi…ll be home to.
There is currently another baseball organization holding its own sign ups at Memorial Park. This organization consists of former Southwest Little League board members who legally and formally resigned in a written and signed resignation letter. Since then, they have been publicly making false claims that there is no little league at Memorial Park and that their organization will be playing at Memorial Park. They have also falsely claimed that Southwest Little League, with its new board of directors, is a fraudulent organization. They have posted on social media one our Southwest Little League sign up flyers with “FAKE” stamped across it warning its followers to be careful to whom you give your money to. Members of this new baseball organization have also bullied and threatened some of the new Southwest Little League board of directors prompting us to get the proper authorities involved for our own safety. Even after their resignation they still have in their possession baseball equipment and other property as well as financial accounts belonging to Southwest Little League that they have yet to return despite being given several opportunities. Showing further despicable behavior they have allowed Santa Ana Pop Warner to post via their Facebook account more false claims and warnings to its followers.
We assure you these are tactics to try and convince parents to join their organization and their actions stem from bitterness and resentment towards Southwest Little League. And to answer some of your questions; Yes, there is a Southwest Little League at Memorial Park. Yes, Memorial Park will continue to be the home of Southwest Little League as it has been for over 60 years.
Southwest Little League is proud to announce to you that it has a new board of directors ready to help and serve our community through the wonderful game of baseball! We have only your children’s best interests at heart and nothing is more important than their safety and well being. We will operate honestly and with the self respect that an organization like Southwest Little League has been in the past. We aim to teach the fundamentals of baseball in a fun and positive atmosphere for an incredible experience for all involved. We have some of the lowest registration fees on the market, can provide free batting cage access for practice, and will have only minimal travel within Santa Ana.
The Southwest Little League legacy is alive and well in its home of over 60 years, Memorial Park. Please come see us Monday –Thursday and Saturdays at the Recreations Center for any questions.
Thank you and let’s play ball!
Southwest Little League Baseball Board of Directors
Well as you might imagine the folks at Southwest Pony Baseball weren’t going to let that response go without one of their own:
Tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov 18th, we will be attending the S.A. City Council meeting at 5:30pm. We need to voice our concerns about the new baseball organization that is taking over at Memorial Park. The Council needs to know and understand what the community wants for our kids. Make a stand and support what we started last year. We all made a difference and it was in the best inte…ntion for the advancement of our kids.
There has been an allegation that our 2015 Board of Directors and I resigned from our corporation, Southwest Little League Inc. That repetitive allegation is false. We would not just quit on our children. The Board of Directors is in tact just the same as you voted on during closing ceremonies this past season. The letter of intent to charter with another affiliate doesn’t mean we gave up nor resigned on the communities organization. It’s not our fault District 30 doesn’t have the best interest of our kids. They SAY they do, but how many times did they visit our park during the regular season? So how would they know?
The other organization has been transplanted from Southeast LL. What kind of experience can you expect at Memorial based on history of Southeast and previous management of THAT league? We already have some evidence of habits that are just not right. Is this the honest habits they rave about? All our checks go to our organizations bank accounts, what about them? Would you have your kid play for that kind of organization?
How many of their own kids do the board have in the program?
Last year we had an average of $75 in direct return to our participants out of a $100 that you invested. What will it be this year for them? Whose companies are going to overcharge and benefit for the basic needs of the league? We can show you that also.
We have some contingency plans in place that will go into action. Rest assured that we will continue do the correct things for the community and educate our parents as to what is really going on at Memorial Park.
I love memorial park and have poured my heart into doing right for the entire community. I stand by my actions in guiding us in to an affiliation for the growth of not only a ball player but a well rounded citizen. We now need to come together to not let what was rebuilt in one season be diminished the very next season.
Thank you all for your time and support. Please come out Tuesday and make a difference…..
So which side are we to believe? Did the former Board of Directors of the Southwest Little League have the right to switch to Pony Baseball? Which league has the right to play at Memorial Park? Which side is actually serving Santa Ana’s youth? I don’t have an answer to this but I would imagine we will be hearing more from both sides in the next few days.