After six years of often acrimonious relations, Keizer’s two major youth baseball organizations are talking about putting themselves back together. Keizer Little League and the Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) are in talks to merge and be one again.

That’s good news for sports fans and really good news for Keizer’s kids.

The split between the two groups was always a head-scratcher for outsiders. A group of Little League supporters sought a different set up for baseball, broke off and formed KYSA.  They didn’t exactly take their ball and go home; they took their ball and started their own club. It may have made the founders of KYSA feel good but it wasn’t always the best route for our kids who just wanted to play ball.

The current merger talks are really about maintenance of the fields. The job of maintaining and repairing the baseball complex is so big it needs the help of everyone involved with youth baseball in Keizer.

After winning the management contract from the city, Keizer Little League management soon discovered that operating the baseball fields is no easy task. Volunteers need to irrigate and mow grass, assure the infrastructure—concession stand, bleachers, parking lot—need to be cleaned and maintained. Like many volunteer-driven organizations, it is 10 percent who do most of the work. If the need to better take care of the facility is the impetus for merger talks, that’s just fine.

Apparently, early discussions about actual baseball is to create tournament and non-tournament teams; games for everyone whether they just want to play or if they want to vie for championships. Baseball as it should be: something for everyone.

We encourage both Keizer Little League and Keizer Youth Sports Association to do all it can to assure a seamless reintegration and focus on their core mission. The kids in Keizer will win because they’ll be able to play the type of baseball they choose. The Little League complex will win because all the volutneers will work together to maintain one of Oregon’s finest sports facilities.

It remains to be determined what  the name of the merged organization will be be and how its mission will fit into Little League requirements and limitations. It doesn’t matter what name is used, what matters is that the people who love baseball in Keizer are putting their own interests aside to focus on our kids.

Play ball!

 — LAZ