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Play Ball !

Baseball is looked upon by many as the All-American sport. This is no less true for today’s Ocracoke, where school kids and adults alike began informal baseball efforts many years ago, in such areas as the current Day Care Center lot and the NPS parking lot.. The long story, as is usually true on the island, is one of perseverance.

As available land suitable for a baseball field dwindled, practices were limited to the yards of helpful residents. The new school gym had space to rig netting for batting practice.  Summer baseball under the auspices of the Ocracoke Youth Center, with support from the Ocracoke Civic and Business Ass’n,, led to an Ocracoke team, the Raptors, of 10-12 yeas olds who joined the Hatteras Island Babe Ruth Little League. Hone and away games were played at Burrus Field in Buxton, more than an hour  and a ferry  ride away. When shoaling shut down the ferry the Coast Guard would provide transport across the inlet.

And, two years in a row,  the Raptors won the championship, often in dramatic fashion. Clearly, Ocracoke needed to solve the problem of a “field of dreams”. Some dedicated  people, the Baseball Committee, scrutinizing GIS mapping of the village, found hiding in plain site an available  property. After further study it was agreed that this would fill the bill, the owners (the Burruss family, believe it or not) were willing,  terms were drawn up and a contract was closed.last December..

.The field will also support soccer and other field sports, and provide a venue for a new Youth Center. Funding for all this is progressing, permitting (yes, even that) is complete and we’re on our way. In the contrived linguistic arithmetic of the blogger, “If you build it they will come” + “Take me out to the ball game” = “Play ball !” Won’t it be nice when home games can truly be played at home?

 

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