SAN ANTONIO – Parents are crying foul after wild wind storms caused three light poles to topple in the last week at a North Side little league field.
Concerned families reached out to News 4 about getting the lights fixed at the ballpark at Basse and McCullough.
But those replacements don’t reach national safety standards.
It goes back to a rule the national Little League implemented 20 years ago specifically to avoid similar safety risks.
Neither the city nor the Town & Country Optimist Little League
Board were aware of the rule until News 4 started asking questions.
"The third one fell on a historical building we've had out here forever, from when I was a little boy playing here,” Edward Travieso says.
He’s now an assistant coach for the little league, and his 12-year-old son is a player.
"We're in the middle of all-star practice and we're having issues finding a place to practice,” Travieso says.
So he’s relieved to see crews fixing the poles. Typically, that’s up to individual leagues, but the city stepped in and paid for maintenance this time because of public safety concerns.
"You can tell just by the lights on top, they're pretty outdated,” Travieso says.
And they have been – since 1992. That’s when the national Little League added a rule stating when teams replace light poles, they have to be metal, for safety reasons.
But new poles installed today are wooden.
The board is strapped for cash, but its president Daniel Bishop says now that he knows about the rule, he’ll work to make the changes.
"The [local] Little League is ultimately responsible for fixing the facility so we're trying to get the families of the [local] Little League to come out and try to help out,” Bishop says.
Travieso hopes that promise is kept because he says all of the poles are rotting.
"It just scares me to think that one day, we're playing and all of a sudden that pole comes down and a little boy just freezes and something might happen,” he says.
Bishop says if the Little League can’t raise enough money for metal poles, the teams may just have to go without lights for awhile. He says other area teams still play without lights.
The board is taking donations to help pay for new poles through the Town & Country Optimist Little League website