Fairdale Youth League asking for help to fix failing field conditions

Fairdale Youth League asking for help to fix failing field conditions
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 6:56 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Baseball’s most famous phrase is, “if you build it, they will come.”

But what happens if you build it and don’t maintain it?

Fairdale Youth League’s executive board is quickly learning the answer to that question.

The group is sounding the alarm and asking for help to fix horrible field and facility conditions.

“We need help,” League President Valerie Vogedes said. “We need help.”

The league plays at Nelson Hornback Park on Fairdale Road.

As it stands, the fields are not in game shape.

Most notably, the outfield wall of Field 1 is bent and leaning, the bleachers are unstable, the pitcher’s mounds are homemade boxes and the facility’s batting cage is missing the netting.

“It’s an oversight,” Vice President Nikki Mohr said. “It’s a South End oversight. We weren’t loud enough for too long, and now we’re being loud. Now we want to be seen. Now we want you to hear us. We need your help. We need what you’re supposed to do to be done.”

Mohr and Vogedes are raising their voices, looking for volunteers and dollars to help them get the field in playing shape.

They’ve reached out to Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Seum, the councilman who represents Fairdale’s district.

Seum said he’s been canvassing the business community in his district for help, while also looking into how he can help on his end.

“We’re looking at around $250,000 to help get this thing up to date,” Seum said. “And it doesn’t have to be top of the arts and all that, it’s just got to be something that the kids can be proud of, that they can function with.”

Both Mohr and Vogedes believe the field conditions have also affected registration.

As of February 1, Vogedes said 32 kids had registered for the 2023 season. She told WAVE News that number typical approaches 100 around that time.

”Once you come aboard Fairdale you understand the family values,” Mohr said. “And the ones that are leaving aren’t leaving because they don’t feel like family, they’re leaving because they want their kids to go to that next level. And we are a rec league, we are not a travel-ball league, but some of these other facilities can give you that travel-ball experience with their fields, their batting cages, the coaches and stuff that they can get there. And we’re just not there.”

Fairdale’s board is also asking for help from Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation.

However, per the Recreation Committee Agreement between Metro Parks Fairdale Youth League, Fairdale is “the party responsible for the scheduling, programming, maintenance, and care of the facility and amenities.”

Vogedes has also established a GoFundMe page to ask for donations with the field work. The page has the facility’s biggest needs listed on it.

To view the GoFundMe page, click here.