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Game not as fun with construction problems

Jan. 26, 2001

I love baseball. I honestly believe it is the best sport ever created. Something about the smell of hot dogs, Cracker Jacks and popcorn mingled with the sound of a cracking bat smashing the ball out into the ozone gets to me.

I also love the fans. There is nothing like listening to red-faced men and screaming women; nothing like obnoxious children imitating their even more obnoxious parents shouting obscenities at the opposing team. There is also something magical about sitting on uncomfortable bleachers in rain or shine (or as in Waco downpour or scorched earth) to watch your team. Beautiful.

Sadly, at the beginning of every season, some sort of construction outfit ruins a perfect start for our outstanding baseball and softball complex.

This year, it is a big gaping hole next to our beautiful stadium that has no intention of leaving, even though baseball season starts in six days. I believe that our reigning Big 12 Championship baseball team deserves better.

The stadium's plans became official in February 1998, three years ago. It was supposed to be finished by the start of the baseball season of 1999. Well, that didn't happen. Now the spring season of 2001 is here and the magnificent ballpark has a great view of a big pit surrounded by mounds of dirt with a sign that promises a new tennis complex. Please don't think that I do not want the new tennis complex. It sounds awesome. I believe it will be the best one in the Big 12 conference and one of the best in the nation.

It will have great facilities, including six indoor and six outdoor courts, locker rooms, training rooms and a pro shop. The six lighted outdoor courts will be connected by a series of walkways that will tie into the existing Streich Tennis Courts. As an added bonus, the exterior is designed to complement the baseball and softball complexes.

However, I am extremely skeptical about the proposed finish date. Public relations boasts that it is currently under construction and will be finished by next year's spring season. We all know that in order for that to happen the weather will have to maintain moderate temperatures, no rain whatsoever and the construction workers will (gasp) actually have to work when they're supposed to, and that enough construction workers are devoted to the project.

All I'm asking for is to have one beginning home baseball or softball game as it was intended to be: perfect, with a completed, shining new stadium that is ready to have its fans spit sunflower seeds all over the place. Beautiful.


Sports writer

Amethyst Hensley is a sophomore journalism and professional writing major from Broken Arrow, Okla.