When the seniors on the Mount Pleasant High School baseball team last played a home game, they were freshmen. That’s because, as was noted in a May 31 column by Bill Reynolds (“Even in hard times, Mt. Pleasant baseball team pulls together”), their field has been covered in rocks, holes and patches of overgrown grass for three years, and the city has not stepped up the plate. Giving our students athletic opportunities is an important part of a full education, and this field should never have been allowed to deteriorate to this extent.

The current state of the Mount Pleasant field — and so many fields around Providence — represents a lack of imagination on the part of our city’s leadership. Cities and towns all over Rhode Island service their ballparks by getting creative about allocating funds through schools and public works departments, and there’s no reason our capital city can’t do the same. In my administration, I will never let bureaucratic red tape and budget priorities get in the way of giving our kids a place to play ball.

We can rebuild this field together. I’m excited to hear that state Rep. Ray Hull will be coordinating efforts to restore this ballpark. I look forward to joining him, and I hope everyone who believes our students deserve a field they can be proud of will join us too.

Brett Smiley


This letter was featured in the Providence Journal on June 9, 2014. Photo by Bob Breidenbach of the Providence Journal.