Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Baseball Park at Pershing Park

Harping suggested we do a post on the baseball park and pointed to an article in the Indie last week that I can't find now that it has had a makeover! Still, this topic takes me back to the days when we called Mayor Blum "The Slugger" as it has been on the books since BlogaBarbara began two years ago...

What are the pros and cons? We have a world champion baseball team right here in Santa Barbara! Too much stress on that West Beach neighborhood? or does it make sense?


Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

I think it all depends on what you think of the social dimensions of baseball. Clearly Brian Barnwell is a fan and so are plenty of others--and why not a Sunday afternoon at the park which sounds so civilised and all American? We can all sing: "Take me out to the ball park and give me some cracker jacks etc."

But just around the corner is the City College Football field and how much civilising of the local neighborhood and Santa Barbara takes place there? Are the stands full and how often? This quest to remake Persching Park and the neighborhood is getting pretty cosmic in its dimensions.

But its all interesting to think about and work on. After all, this is the historic neighborhood of the bath house and pool (Los Banos) and the once upon a time excitement of the Potter Hotel.

If Dave Davis, former community development director extraordinaire, could think about IMAX theatres and the Southwest Museum down at the waterfront, why not a baseball park? Anyone for a roller coaster and cotton candy?

These institutional movements that help the Carriage Museum and Fiesta seem interesting too.

4/21/2007 6:46 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Here's what Barney wrote last week (I was able to access it through the good old Google cache):
"Baseball in the Air: Big changes are cooking at Pershing Park — if the city, Old Spanish Days, and Santa Barbara Carriage Museum folks can agree on a deal. For one thing, an anonymous donor would kick in “seven figures” to build a “Cadillac” softball diamond open to the public but handy for the City College softball team, according to City Councilmember Brian Barnwell.

The Carriage Museum would move to a city-owned two-acre site off Calle César Chávez, near Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. The city, using redevelopment funds, would build a new Carriage Museum on its parcel between the railroad tracks and the construction material batch plant. That would mean the annual Fiesta parade and its hundreds of horses would form up there instead of at Pershing Park. Not only will the Carriage Museum get new facilities, but its proximity to the DoubleTree is likely to give it wider exposure, Barnwell said.

One offshoot is that moving the existing Carriage Museum and its outside storage clears the way for creating an improved pedestrian access for Westside residents to get to Pershing Park and the waterfront. A major benefactor of this would be the City College women’s softball team. By building an NCAA-standard softball field and stands, the women could hold tournaments and earn support money, Barnwell said. There is also some sentiment, he said, to locate the upgraded softball diamond at Dwight Murphy Field instead.

To do all this, Old Spanish Days would have to sign over a portion of the ball field it now owns. Removing the Carriage Museum would permit moving the present parking area back and allow the softball diamond to expand.

The deal is by no means done. Mayor Marty Blum and Councilmember Grant House, present at a Fiesta event last week at the museum, told me they like the idea; Fiesta and museum officials are studying the plan. One question: Is there enough room on the parcel for everything that has to go there? “Fiesta has to be convinced,” Barnwell said.

The plans also call for converting the existing baseball field (on the far side of the park near Cabrillo Boulevard) — used by the City College men’s team — into a full-fledged baseball park. The extra space being created would allow an outfield fence to be built and also permit the Santa Barbara Foresters semi-pro team to move there from UCSB and major league farm teams to visit, Barnwell said.

And yet another part of the plan is to build a sports center for teams from area high schools and colleges, including a hall of fame for Santa Barbara sports heroes."

No mention anywhere of what the neighborhood's residents & business owners think about this idea. Does anyone know if they have been asked for their input?

4/21/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Surly as I am alive Harping, someone in the neighborhood of this baseball fantasy will say "not in my backyard." It can't help but movtivate the NIMBY thereabout. Can that NIMBY be you?

Basically in Santa Barbara if there is a rock in the road and you want to move it to the left, two constituencies will automatically form. One will insist you must move it to the right and the other will demand you leave the rock right where it is. The political discourse will be long and intense. Years will pass and most likely so will the issue. And so it goes in Santa Barbara.

4/21/2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

"Surly as I am alive"....Well Don, I wouldn't necessarily call you surly. ;-) But I don't think dragging out the NIMBY label helps the conversation. I don't live anywhere near Pershing Park, but I've thought about the people who do--have you? How would you feel if changes were proposed to your neighborhood without anyone asking how you felt about it? That is my question. Has anyone surveyed the area's residents to find out if they would like to have a ballpark in their midst? If so, what was the response?

4/21/2007 2:36 PM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

Everything will be fine as long as the name of the baseball team is STEELHEADS


4/21/2007 3:24 PM  
Anonymous lower westie said...

Don Jose, I think you are right about the long term prospect of a stadium, and that's too bad. Harping, your response was funny.

I live smack dab in the area in question, and on most development issues I would be a NIMBY. But on this one I offer my full support. Not that I like baseball, or that I ever see La Playa stadium full, but I believe the location would be perfect. Have you ever walked on the path from Pershing Park to Montecito Street? It offers a perfect view of what the spectators would be seeing. It would be so beautiful to sit in the stands and look out over SB and up at the mountains. As an example, the County Bowl is a unique venue for musicians to play. Carved out of a canyon in a residential area of town. But could the Bowl be built today?

And David, if you want to take into account the people that live in the 'hood, a better name would be the POTHEADS.

4/21/2007 7:02 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

Why ask the neighbors....afterall they just live there<<<(facetious). My opinion is that there is already plenty enough to do here in Santa Barbara. There seems to be little time for the masses to be really thoughtfull and this will be yet another distraction for all those busy mommys and daddys who are already tearing up the city and planet. The county bowl and earl warren were both donated properties with limited intentions and for specific uses. But once the "community" gets a hold of donated properties they usually pervert and overuse the parks and abuse the neighborhoods with, traffic, drunkedness, littering, vandalism or simply debauchery.... "lower westsides's" overglams with hype of beautifull backdrop vistas but really you don't know how the finished will turn out and there will be tremdous impact to your hood. Besides, it appears we should be preparing for this area to become wetlands within about thirty years<<<(not facetious.)

4/21/2007 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but, did you see the slimy little article on Jerry Roberts in today's paper.Gee, I wonder who the "staff reporter" was on this story? On a newspaper where all lines of responsiblity have been blurred and only a fistful of reporters remain, is there any doubt? This story, for some of us anyway, was out there last year when the slimeballs from the News Press first floated it. and the Police dismissed it. The only question now is why did they pick this time to slander Roberts and a fine man like Raul Gil? Can you finally see what type of through the looking glass world the former News Press employees lived in?

4/22/2007 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would only add to the environmental crisis and should be opposed at all levels and costs.

4/22/2007 8:48 AM  
Anonymous I know how to use the search functions said...

What does this mean in the anonymous comment above?
"slimy little article on Jerry Roberts in today's paper"

What is "today's paper"?

If this means the Newslessmesspress, nothing is in it today about Jerry Roberts or Raul Gil, nor apparently anything close.

A little comment quality control, please, in the moderation, if for any reason that a comment is not so vague it is meaningless.

4/22/2007 10:47 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

If there was a decent pro team here, I'd be saving the planet by not driving down to Dodger stadium several times during the season. dd

4/22/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:47 AM -- please see the post above.

4/22/2007 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4/22/2007 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The article did not appear in the online edition.

4/22/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally dumb idea.

This is a relatively quiet area and yes, the motels in this area, many of them long-term residential motels deserve consideration and they would give this half-baked scheme a resounding no.

You got that one right, put it in Blum/Barnwell's back yard if they are so hot to trot.

What this town really needs to do is turn the vast number of unused public tennis courts into soccer pitches - can easily be done with little changes. This is a huge under-used amount of city real estate tarted up for the privileged few who are no longer playing tennis for two and could be used now for the many.

Start with the Las Positas courts and you could get at least two soccer fields and plenty of access and parking. And they are in no one's back yard.

4/23/2007 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about workforce housing instead?

4/23/2007 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4/22/2007 3:46 PM said...

"10:47: The article did not appear in the online edition."

In fact, it is in the online edition. Go to NewsPress and check the Local and scroll to Sunday --- It's titled " News-Press seeks exam of computer used by ex-editor Roberts containing child porn"

4/23/2007 3:43 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks -- we cleared that up in following posts. it didn't show up at first. Almost 12 hours after stories usually show up, it finally did.

4/23/2007 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about taking care of the people already here? The heck with those who still want to come. There needs to be more done for those who already got here. ASAP. Nope, soccer fields it is.

4/23/2007 5:59 PM  

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