A new track an artificial turf field could be on the way to Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park if voters decide to OK 6.6 million in general obligation bond debt to go toward the funding of construction and equipment costs for park improvements at city-located parks. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

A new track an artificial turf field could be on the way to Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park if voters decide to OK 6.6 million in general obligation bond debt to go toward the funding of construction and equipment costs for park improvements at city-located parks. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Opinion: It’s time for turf

lease vote yes on Proposition 2.

  • By Michael Cesar
  • Wednesday, September 21, 2022 5:32pm
  • Opinion

I am writing to you as a former high school and collegiate baseball player, born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. I played the sport for 18 years and have never come across a field in the United States that has worse or even similar conditions than we have at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Growing up, I witnessed many other fields in the state accommodating turf fields and always wondered why we were never candidates, even though we have a historic program. In all my years of travel ball, nobody believed the conditions of our field when I showed them pictures. Many images of our field in rainy conditions went viral on Instagram and were accused of being photoshopped. People couldn’t believe that the city was allowing kids to play on a field like that.

Over the years, I saw communities such as Sitka, Kodiak, Bartlett, Fairbanks, etc all get their own turf fields, and even the football field being re-turfed, while we sat back and played on glacial silt and had rocks pop up in our eyes. I remember the confusion and anger as a child that I felt, feeling unheard and left out.

Players from across the state hated traveling to Juneau to play because of field conditions. A turf field would yield safer conditions, bring more travel ball to Juneau, and increase community involvement paralleled by bolstering community pride. For years the baseball and softball communities have pushed for this. Please vote yes on Proposition 2.

• Michael Cesar played baseball in Juneau for 14 years, in college for four and was named the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have somethincg to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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