A road sign installed in recent days near a baseball park is causing confusion in Gatineau.
The sign in question shows a large circle of prohibitions against a baseball player. Everything is on a light pole along Aydelu Park, which hosts both parties from the Bantam and Midget ranks, as well as adult play every summer.
“To respect the neighborhood and ensure the safe practice of the sport, thank you for making sure you keep the balls inside the field”, we can read in addition to seeing the logo of the City of Gatineau.
Does this mean that the municipality will be looking for fake balls and home runs?
This is what parents of young baseball players have deduced. The same goes for the leaders of the Aylmer Amateur Baseball Association (ABAA), where several of the teams play their local matches at this stadium, not far from the Duchesnay arena.
“I was speechless the first time I saw this sign, especially a drawing of a baseball player with a big red bar on it. It’s ridiculous. Then I read the text “, maintains the president of ABAA, Daniel Caron.
“It’s not a player who has fun hitting a bad ball during a game,” he adds. The object of the game is to keep the ball inside the court. It is not the case that we have control over what can happen to bats. ”
The city of Gatineau, it claims to have listed “five complaints related to lost bullets found on residents’ land around the park.”
“The sector’s service center and the municipal councilor for the Aylmer district have therefore taken steps to install the poster in question,” the communications department explained in an email sent to Law. The purpose is to educate users not to practice with a bat outside the baseball field. In addition, a net will soon be installed on the first baseline to reduce the number of balls coming out of the court during play. ”
The current advisor is the Audrey Bureau. She indicates that “people living on Lord-Aylmer Street have been talking about this issue for several years”. But the complaints had not been documented until recently.
“I support them in their efforts for this subject. It is above all a concern related to the safety of their children, ”explains Bureau, who lives not far from the park in question on Court Street.
“But my house is not affected by the problem,” she emphasizes.
The latter became aware of the scream caused by the new signage. She wanted to emphasize that Gatineau does not ban fake balls.
“We understand that fake balls in a match, it happens. It’s part of the sport. The biggest problem is the people who practice outside the field. That’s what annoys him. “
Teams kept warm-ups between the park and the houses while they waited for the game. Bullets will then be accidentally hit on properties.
At the ABAA, it was said on Thursday afternoon that he had tried to get explanations from the City of Gatineau without success. It is claimed that they were never contacted before the installation of the new signage.
It is recognized that fake balls are hit during a match. “There are trees around, but that does not always prevent the balls from passing and ending up near the first two or three houses,” emphasizes Daniel Caron.
The latter is a reminder that Aydelu Park has been a part of the district’s decor for decades. That the neighboring houses on Court Street have been built in recent years.
“People knew there was a ballpark across the street when they bought,” he says.
An owner of a house on Lord-Aylmer Road states that he and his neighbors “have never been against baseball”. “We never complained about the lights or the noise that exists,” notes the person who wanted to keep his name quiet.
“If I chose my home, it’s because I thought it was fun to have a baseball field near my home. I even like to open the window and listen to the fights. What we think is problematic is that people train outside the park and sometimes throw the ball in the courtyard. Last summer, a bullet was hit in the neighbor’s garden. The players jumped over the fence to pick up the ball. “
The neighbors want a network to be installed eventually. A bit like the City of Gatineau has done elsewhere in its territory, especially in the Allen and Garneau parks.
“We do not want to shock anyone. We want to live in harmony with the baseball people. We just want the site to be secure. Some neighbors have small children playing in the backyard, ”said the owner.