Baseball and Softball Both Deserve Support: An Update to a Conversation on Campus Athletic Facilities and Equal Treatment

By Olivia Libowitz 
Elm Staff Writer

I enjoy literally one sport and that sport is baseball. Did that sound familiar? This week I’m doing a follow up article to my piece last week on the softball team’s facilities. This time we’ll be looking at the baseball team, and their feelings on their own facilities, and how they stand on campus in the eyes of the Washington College community.

I’d like to start off by reiterating some of the points from my last article. An entirely opinion based piece, I interviewed a sophomore on the school’s varsity softball team, and asked her how she felt their team stood as far as recognition and quality of resources went. Her thoughts included feeling as though the softball field was much farther away from main campus than the baseball field, that they had no adequate restrooms, and that it didn’t always seem as though the field was kept up or prepared for games. In her opinion, this differed from the baseball team.

Junior baseball player Nicholas Roberti reached out to me to share his own feelings on the differences and similarities between the two teams.

He commented on how limiting the scope of our gaze to just the fields neglects a large part of what goes into making up a team in preparation and in execution. I’m glad he did, seeing as I usually look at sports from a spectator’s point of view, and wouldn’t think of what all goes into the preparation process. He said, “we share the same trainers, lifting coaches, indoor training facilities, sports doctors, web broadcast, away-game transport, field maintenance crew.” These are all, of course, invaluable aspects. It is fair to say that these areas, I’m sure, are quite equivalent.

Let’s look at last week’s article. Perhaps it would have been better to phrase it as a look at the disconnect between sports teams on campus. The fact that enough softball players feel there is some form of imbalance in quality, enough so that I felt the need to address it in an article, might imply a need for better communication and camaraderie between the various teams.

Roberti went on to express that the baseball team actually shares some of the same concerns with upkeep as the softball team does. As far as un-watered, hard dirt goes, Roberti expressed that the Wednesday the 11 “was the first day all season [they] got water.” This was, he went on to clarify, due to maintenance being concerned about frozen pipes. He expressed that the baseball team has the same feelings about the lack of bathroom facilities, as even though they have a closer and larger bathroom in the Kirby Stadium, they only have access to it when it is open.

He even drew attention to a concern of the baseball team in relation to softball. “A simple glance at WC’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or other media…Softball players are all over it,” he told me, expressing concern that the baseball team doesn’t get as much recognition for their achievements on our school’s sites as the softball team does.

So what can we glean from this? It is an inarguable fact that the softball field is located farther from the main campus, which honestly must be a drag. A look at our school’s social media does show more softball content than baseball, which must be a bit disheartening.

Again, I am not an athlete, nor am I abundantly involved with our school’s athletics. I do know the value of supporting each other, though, and I feel like our athletic community—and the WC community as a whole—would do well to put energy into equally encouraging the players, attending the games, and supporting the triumphs of these brother and sister team’s equally. Unless you usually drink a whole lot of water, there’s no reason to not go cheer on both teams when they play

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