Letter to the Editor: The facts about Clippers baseball

Clippers Baseball, You’re Entitled To Your Opinion But Not Your Own Facts

So, we had a little excitement this month, even made the bigs with stories being picked up by major online pubs (mostly because of the NASCAR connection) and some people have decided they need to try and capitalize on this unfortunate set of circumstance and spin tales.

But here’s the thing the City of Martinez, myself included, has been interested in pursuing a baseball club down at the Waterfront Park dating back to February 2014. In his closing comments at the February 5, 2014 council meeting Mayor Schroder discussed a phone call from School Board Trustee and PRMCC Commissioner John Fuller about the idea of bringing baseball to the marina. Apparently, the school district had been approached by representatives of the Backwards K Group about their idea and Mayor Schroder took a meeting with Corey Bush, John Fuller, Pat Ertola and Rami Muth (via phone).

On February 18, 2014 this group of prospective owners (formerly East Bay Lumberjacks) gave a presentation to the PRMCC, I was in attendance and was sold when the owner of the Sonoma Stompers (another team in the Pacific Association of Baseball) played a video from their opening day festivities.

I know we all, well those of us who were excited about the opportunity, had stars in our eyes hoping against hope the City of Martinez could pull something like this off in less than 60 days. On April 2, 2014 acting City Manager Anna Gwyn-Simpson informed council that the Backwards K Group had sent a letter into the city informing us of their sorrow over not being able to secure portable lighting in time to open up their season here in Martinez.

However, on April 3, 2014 a story in the online publication, East County Today ran about this same group approaching the city of Pittsburgh, and ultimately the 2014 Martinez Clippers became the 2014 Pittsburgh Diamonds.

Worth noting – the City of Pittsburgh invested $350,000 in field improvements and established an ongoing maintenance expense of $15,000. What the City of Pittsburgh, and those of us in Martinez who support our city’s decision, saw was an economic development opportunity for their town and they jumped on it.

Our city council, with the support of many residents, had already decided on improving the field to accommodate for future opportunities. We did not gift Field 3 to a for-profit business enterprise, we own it. Let me repeat that, we own the field.

Regardless of the outcome of the legal issues the current owners of the Martinez Clippers are facing, we own the ball field and the improvements; it is a city asset and the money spent, an investment in our own waterfront economy.

You’re entitled to your own opinion, but these are the facts.

– Linda Meza

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