Southmoreland grad hopes Scottdale will OK fast-pitch softball at Loucks Park

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Former resident and Southmoreland High School graduate Josh King is hoping he and Scottdale officials might be able to work together to bring some exposure to the borough through a fast-pitch softball league.

At a previous parks and recreation committee meeting, King presented his idea of using Loucks' field as part of a men's and women's fast-pitch softball league that he says would draw people from the Pittsburgh area into the small borough.

He hopes the matter will be discussed at the parks and recreation meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

If the idea is going to be implemented this year, borough officials have to make some decisions very soon, he said.

“Besides Erie, Scottdale is now one of the only towns in Pennsylvania to have men's fast-pitch softball,” said the California University student and entrepreneur. “Last year, for the first time in years, players started coming from Pittsburgh and West Virginia to play in league games when we had no lights. Now that lights are in place, we expect our league to be stronger than ever.”

In order for the league to succeed in Scottdale, King is hoping borough officials will approve use of the ball field in Loucks Park for the fast-pitch league he is associated with as well as look at changing the borough ordinance to allow signs to be placed on the outfield fence.

“We need the borough to allow local businesses, especially those businesses sponsoring the league, to advertise on the outfield fence,” King said. “Since I have arranged for a local television station to cover the opening day games, we want our town looking good, and the rust on the fences looks bad on camera.”

He added that a working scoreboard is necessary.

“We would cover the cost, and we would like to see if one of our sponsors would like to donate the money in exchange for advertising,” King said.

Chairman Jim Pallygus had asked at the previous meeting if there was any possibility they might be able to renovate the concession stand at that park.

King said they would probably be able to do that and the borough or any local groups would be free to staff the concession stand during the games to bring in funds.

Borough Manager Angelo Pallone said they would need a lot more information before they could even begin to agree to something like this.

He added that there are currently three different leagues using the field, so he didn't know how the logistics of adding a fourth league would work.

One of the things that would make this league successful is teaming with local small bars who are looking for marketing help, King said.

If a league was formed, those who participated would be asked to put down a security deposit of maybe $50, which they would get back at the end of the season after going to one of the sponsoring bars and spending at least $10 sometime throughout the season, King said.

“Local businesses are excited and we expect for the first time that we have enough money to increase our teams in the league from five to 10 to 15 to 20-plus within four years,” King said.

He added that he just wants to see Scottdale succeed and return to its former glory.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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