PALMETTO, Fla. - The Palmetto Little League will finally have its very own fields once again after battling with the city, county, and school district for four frustrating years. Now, it's time to play ball.
For eight years as a kid, Derek Goforth played in the Palmetto Little League. His two sons play now, but with no place for the league to call home, Goforth says things are different for the kids these days.
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"We do play games against other leagues in Manatee County, and we alternate games between here and there, and they go there, and the circumstances, the field conditions, are vastly different," said Goforth.
Back in 2009, Manatee County Schools needed to replace Palmetto Elementary School, but the only piece of property large enough for the new school was where Palmetto Little League's fields were, so they made a deal. They gave up their land and the county would build them brand new fields somewhere else.
"It was supposed to take place at the same time, construction of the school and the fields. Well, four years ago the school was completed, the ball fields were not," said Goforth.
Funding has been the problem, but Goforth says he kept up the fight for the fields, and now, construction is finally underway thanks to the City of Palmetto, Manatee County, and even a $75,000 donation from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Now, the construction site will be a $3.3 million field full of dreams by August 2014.