Letter: We can do better during tourneys

Published 8:30 pm Friday, July 30, 2021

Good day,

I am writing this on my own behalf.

This past weekend (July 23-25), Albert Lea was the host site for the 2021 U11A, U11AA and U11AAA youth state baseball tournament held at Snyder Fields and the new Hammer Complex.

Thirty-four teams from all over Minnesota were in Albert Lea playing some 70+ baseball games. Thirty-four teams with moms and dads, siblings and grandparents visiting our restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, sporting goods stores and hotels. What a great opportunity to show what we have to offer here in Albert Lea and for our businesses to benefit from it too.

This is the second time Albert Lea has hosted this event. Albert Lea Youth Baseball Association does a fantastic job in running these tournaments, the city takes care of waste removal and field preparation, volunteers run the concessions and yours truly lines up the officials. We all work together.

With all the games scheduled, the tournament was fortunate to utilize one of the fields at the new Hammer Complex. However, the bathrooms were not available. Several attempts were made to contact the person in charge; however, he did not answer or acknowledge the attempts.

Six games scheduled on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m. One hundred twenty players, 40 coaches and over 300 people watching, with the bathroom facilities locked, the closest bathroom was one porta-potty 600 feet away. How unfortunate for the families when they could have walked just 20 feet.

Is this a big deal? It was to the grandparents and families with young children who had to leave the complex and go to a nearby gas station to use the bathrooms. We can do better.

I voted for the referendum to improve Hammer Complex because it was sold as a win for the entire community, and honestly, we needed it.

This recent lack of commitment from the person in charge (you know who you are) makes me want to take my vote back.

You cannot choose when you want to be in. You’re either in or out, there is no in-between.

Jeff Jimenez

Albert Lea