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Saturday, Jan 25th

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The loud vocal minority disagrees, but won’t participate

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It’s another rough start for the Gallup Amateur Baseball/Softball Association, which directs and organizes the recreational, yet competitive, baseball and softball teams and leagues for the upcoming summer months.

The president of the association, Kevin Menapace, was forced to resign after some parents insisted on appearing at his place of employment to complain about a variety of small items they didn’t like.

These were most likely the same parents who refused to attend any of the meetings where these decisions were discussed and agreed to, and probably in the same social grouping as those parents from last year that used the same tactics.

Some of the rule changes were necessary for a variety of reasons, but none were as harsh as what many leagues across the country have had to include to keep these vocal but non-participatory quiet. The most simple rule of thumb is: If you want to determine the outcome, you must first help in the organization.

The association has required each player and parents/custodians to sign a Code of Conduct, and violations result in expulsion for the use of profanity or violence towards or by parents, players, coaches or umpires.

As bad as the problem above seems to be, another has also continued from last season as well; the punks are still active! The derogative word, punks, is the only one coming to mind when describing those who want to gain profit – or have fun – at the expense of people attempting to provide recreation and enjoyment to more than 1,000 Gallup kids.

What I am talking about is the break-in at the T-Ball concession stand and the theft of several hundred dollars of merchandise.

The City of Gallup did provide the fields with extra security and locks, but it appears not even those upgrades are enough to stop these cowardly punks, who delight in making life miserable for others. Since the fields are located in non-residential enclaves, it is easy to stay unnoticed, especially at night.

The good news is the enrollment for the association should remain around a thousand to 1,200 depending on how the registrations from the older groups respond. Currently there are 750 registered for the younger age groups, but the season for the 13-18 year age group cannot begin until the high school season is completed.

For added excitement a statewide USSSA tournament is being planned for all ages from June 30-July 2. The Pee Wee Reese Regional Tournament will also be held in Gallup on July 7-9 with the winner going to Puerto Rico for the World Series. And there is a possibility for a Sandy Koufax State Tournament to be held here as well.

The list of officers for GABSA, all of whom have announced their retirement at the conclusion of the season, are: GABSA Vice President Dr. Lawrence Andrade; Secretary Regina Keedah; Treasurer Krista Raney; Softball President Benina Maldonado; Baseball President James Joines; Safety Officer Tammy Houghtaling; and Coaching Instructor Joe Saucedo.

For now, only T-Ball, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays in baseball, and U-8 and U-10 softball will be playing. Pee Wee Reese will start on Apr. 28 and U-12 softball will open on May 2. See schedule in this issue for complete listings of summer league games in blue.

By Tom Hartsock

Sun Correspondent