Letter: Everett Field Must Be Renovated

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To the editor:

My name is Jonathan Mayo and I grew up in Verona, graduating from VHS in 1989. I recently returned to Verona for the first time in a very long time and was pained to hear that Everett Field had fallen into such disrepair and had barely been touched, fixed up, or renovated since my days playing there over 40 years ago (and from what I hear, even longer before that).

I got my love for baseball from my parents. But if they planted the seeds, it was Verona Little League that allowed it to grow and blossom. I played two years at Everett Field, not to mention countless Barnstormers games over the summers… and the two seasons I spent umpiring there while getting the chance to play for a couple of years at VHS.

The kids who use Everett now dream of playing in the big leagues, and they should reach for that as long as they are able. But I am proof positive that a love of baseball can lead to a long and productive career in the sport. I just hit my 25th anniversary covering the sport for MLB.com and there is no question in my mind that my time at Everett Field helped build the foundation of wanting to stay close to the sport I loved so much.

Even for those who won’t play beyond their time at Everett Field, or work in the sport, getting the chance to be on a baseball team teaches so many invaluable life lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship.

The good news is it sounds like you have the opportunity to do the right thing and give the next generation of Verona kids the chance at having the same kind of experience that I had. With both the Bond for Preliminary Planning Expenses that is being discussed and Governor Murphy announcing Verona as one of the recipients of funding recommendations for the Green Acres Program, there is the chance to have the funds allocated, both locally and eventually from the state, to renovate Everett Field up to the standards everyone in Verona and in the region deserves.

As a proud alum, I strongly urge you to do whatever is within your power in order to help this next generation of little leaguers create their own dreams.

Let me know when the ribbon cutting is and I’ll be there!

Sincerely,

Jonathan Mayo
Senior Writer, MLB.com

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