Pointe Claire residents Michael Beaton and Bruno Tremblay would certainly like to, but the pair say the improvements made to Bourgeau Park's main baseball diamond aren't up to senior-league dimensions and the necessary renovations could be made for a fraction of the cost of its new synthetic soccer fields.
"It would cost about $150,000 to make the necessary renovations to this field," which would include some landscaping and other relatively small changes, said Beaton, the president of the Baseball West Island senior leagues, which comprise AA, A, B and Classic divisions, in a visit to Bourgeau Park last Friday. "There wouldn't have to be a (pitcher's) mound, which would mean it would be a multipurpose diamond that could be used for youth and adult games," he said.
Since the 2010 renovation of Terra Cotta Park, there has been no field in Pointe Claire appropriate for senior-league baseball. West Island Baseball youth AA players have access to Ballantyne Park in Dorval, but Beaton said Pointe Claire -- and its base of young families – would benefit from an added baseball presence in the city. At that time, Pointe Claire assured the public steps would be taken to make a field playable for senior ballplayers
"It would be nice to have a presence in Pointe Claire, after the city found $4.5 million for soccer fields and $18 million for a new swimming pool, they could even find $150,000 for a baseball park," Beaton added.
Fellow Pointe Claire resident Bruno Tremblay, who plays in the senior association's Classic division, questioned Pointe Claire mayor Bill McMurchie about the city's commitment to baseball at last Tuesday's Pointe Claire city council meeting.
"You are correct. We said we would take some steps with respect to baseball. Bourgeau Park was the one we said we do some improvements on," McMurchie responded.
Those improvements added up to a higher safety net in left field to protect tennis players and children playing in the playground beyond left field, but Tremblay is worried that's not enough, citing the fence backstop and the insufficiently high fences along the foul lines. He said the city hasn't failed to look after baseball, but he does think the sport has gotten lost in the shuffle to update other facilities.
"I wouldn't call it failure. I'd call it a loss of attention. (Pointe Claire) is preoccupied with other sports, larger sports. That's just where the attention is. I'd just like the game treated the way they treat other sports. They have improved the facilities for soccer, football, swimming and other sports," he said.