by Nikki Wilson
Special to TownTalk News

Baseball is big in Seagraves. Local resident Vickie Rodriguez is hoping to make it bigger.

In the past few years, young people in Seagraves who wanted to participate in Cal Ripken baseball could not do it in Seagraves because there was not a local league. That has changed.

Rodriguez has organized a group of people and formed a local Cal Ripken League. Art Ontiveros, Seagraves High School Principal and High School Baseball Coach, is the president of the league.

Rodriguez and Ontiveros are working with Junior Rodriguez, Fabian and Amy Flores, Ruben and Christy Valles, Wes Rodgers, and Manuel and Alex Minjarez to bring two Seagraves baseball fields up to standards to be a part of the Cal Ripken League.

Work will begin Saturday at 8 am on the field next to the community building between Avenue F and Avenue E.

If Rodriguez can get the field up to standards, she can use it and the extra baseball field at the walking park to enter Seagraves Little League teams in the Cal Ripken League.

“It’s been neglected for a long while,” said Rodriguez. “The stands have chipped paint. The concession stands are old. There’s no speaker.”

To meet regulations for league entry, Rodriguez said the fields will need a portable mound and holes for the portable bases. One portable mound alone can cost as much as $2000.

“What we’re trying to do is do it ourselves,” said Rodriguez. “We’re trying to save money.”

They have the go ahead from the city, but Rodriguez is looking for help in the form of volunteers and donations.

Ontiveros said, “We currently have about $1400 from donations that we’re starting with.”

Currently, kids who want to participate in the Cal Ripken League are travelling to Seminole, Denver City, and Brownfield. Rodriguez wants to bring those kids back to Seagraves.

Little League Baseball starts with T-ball at age 3 1/2 and goes through the Majors at age 12, but Rodriguez thinks that could be expanded.

“We’re starting softball. We’ve never had anybody do softball. Christina Aguirre took her team to Brownfield. She wants to start from working with kids from 7-8 up to 13 and 14,” said Rodriguez.

Anyone wishing to help with either time or donations can contact Art Ontiveros at Seagraves High School at 806-387-2520 or Vickie Rodriquez at 806-215-5000.