New baseball field, cages? Not soon enough

Alena Naiden, Staff Writer

Although homeless people sleep on the couches in the dugouts at De Anza’s baseball facilities, neither head coach Erik Raich nor athletic director Kulwant Singh knows when they will find funding for a new field.

“We are hoping the district will go after a new bond measure,” Singh said in a recent interview. “In the meantime, we can make
some improvements.”

Singh said that Raich has spent a lot of time and energy fixing the infield since he was hired in Fall 2014, and it is improving. But Raich pointed out that some things  can’t be repaired.

Photo Credit: Photo by Alena Naiden
The current state of the baseball team’s batting cage, with ripped floors and holes in the walls.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alena Naiden
Geese look for food in the natural grass on De Anza’s baseball field.

“It’s like trying to revive a 100-year-old person,” Raich said.

The 40-year-old field is uneven and covered in rocks, which affects bounce, said to catcher Danny Molinari, 19, management major.

The FHDA district’s bond Measure C was supposed to fund De Anza baseball field in 2004, but the district ran out of money.

Raich, Singh and others, are looking for other ideas to raise funds.

Players suggested another reason for the problems the team has had

“It has to do with the rape scandal back in 2007,” said Tyler Walters, 21, kinesiology major, referring to allegations that former players from De Anza’s baseball program were allegedly involved in a sexual assault incident in San Jose. No players were charged in the highly-publicized case.

The case was taken to court and later dropped because their was a lack of evidence.

Regardless of the reason, the lack of funding doesn’t eliminate the needs of the team.

Walters said the team fundraised on their own to get new uniforms and equipment, and they brought their own couches to the facility.

“That’s how we basically got [the baseball] program to stay here,” Walters said.

In the past couple years the batting cage has become a hazard for both players and the cars that are parked outside of it.

When the team is practicing, balls have been going through the holes in the wall of the batting cages and hitting and damaging parked cars that are parked on the outside.

If the team is able to get a new field, not only will players have a better surface to play on, the team will have a state of the art facility including huge improvements to their batting cage.