After the events of the last several days I would be remiss not to express my disappointment with the arrogance and short-sightedness shown by the board of directors of Ellisville and Ballwin Athletic Associations. Your positions on your respective associations require you to first look after the best interest of your youth sports programs. However, your membership in St. Louis County Athletic Association (SLCAA) gave you a much larger responsibility for the entire youth of West St. Louis County.
A more ethical way of leaving the SLCAA would have been first to air your grievances/concerns in the open forum of a County meeting. No mention of your concerns reveals your desire to keep your decision under the table with lack of respect for other members.bAlthough after hearing the list, it was obvious that the departure was based entirely on ego and the want of power. There was no reason given that could not have been worked out with other members.
In case your County Representative never told you, no SLCAA vote was ever decided by only 1, 2 or even 3 votes. No increase of power that you indicated that you wanted in SLCAA would have changed an outcome of any vote since I have been attending these meetings. As for your want of larger and more competitive tournaments, no SLCAA rule ever prevented EAA and BAA to co-host a tournament at both venues.
In your wake, you leave a devastated league with a mere three months to pick up the pieces.
Many managers will not understand the ramifications of your decision and will be frustrated with their own decisions related to where they should compete; given the new distribution of competition. By the time all of this is communicated to them, they will only have weeks to make these decisions. Some will make the wrong choice for their team and their players (children) will suffer. The effects will run deep, and will be felt by many families.
You forced Pond’s hand in voting to join your departure, making the sting to SLCAA even worse. I’m confident that this domino effect was in your plan all along. Change is always welcome, but wouldn’t an above-table, planned departure over the next season have been a better solution for everyone involved? Again, this merely shows arrogance and no concern for the health of youth baseball in St. Louis County.
It really is very sad. I remember the days of playing at Ellisville when it was at the corner of Manchester and Clarkson; a small association trying to keep up with Ballwin. What a great windfall when K-Mart moved in. I remember keeping score as a child on the manual scoreboard for the Ballwin legion teams that went to the World Series. Ballwin Ballpark was literally my backyard. I played every home little league game as a Ballwin Bullet, Bomber or Mustang. Watching my father volunteer his time night after night (after working all day as a union electrician) wiring and installing the lights so Ballwin could play night games, I learned the passion to give of myself for the betterment of youth sports.
As I said, I’m just very disappointed, I was under the impression we did this for the kids, all kids!
President, Eureka Sports Association