Do you have something to say? We’d love to hear from you! Send your thoughts and opinions to: Letters to the Editor, SportsField Management, P.O. Box 449, St. Johnsbury, VT, 05819; or send an e-mail to letters@MooseRiverMedia.com.

Overall, SportsField Management is a good magazine. I look forward to receiving it each month. The Toma Tales editorials in each issue are almost unbearable to read. Everyone in the industry respects Mr. Toma’s place in the industry, however, Toma Tales is a shameless, self-promoting column used by Mr. Toma to promote himself and his agenda. Oftentimes this is done at the expense of others in the industry you serve. It is hard to see a lot of positives coming from this column. I guess the old adage in journalism is that controversy sells. If that is the reason for having this column, then it is definitely a success.

Thank you,
Tom Vaughan
Charlotte, N.C.

Hi Tom,
Whether you like or dislike Mr. Toma, he certainly has stories to tell, and lots of our readers enjoy reading them. We’re not trying to be controversial (that’s the job of my column), but Mr. Toma has certainly earned his place in the industry.
– David Cassidy
Group Publisher

I was saddened reading the “Infield Upgrade” article (June 2008) and Jack Sebesta’s shortsighted look at the dollar and recreation.  Mr. Sebesta did a great deal of research and analysis in his decision to go with an artificial surface infield. Mr. Sebesta proved that he can save money and generate revenue for his programs, but has he made the community of Crystal Lake, Ill., better?

From the article, I gathered he had a highly competent full-time staff, who no doubt took pride in their efforts of preparing ball fields. Now Mr. Sebesta can have those people focus on other projects, but not necessarily doing what they enjoy. Also, what about the seasonal summer position Mr. Sebesta has eliminated? I worked as a seasonal laborer at a softball complex during the summer, very similar to Boncosky Softball Complex. Had I not worked on a ball field that summer, I would not have had the opportunities I now have in this industry. Many young people have probably worked as a seasonal for the 22 years the complex was open, and I predict they would have fond memories of working the fields, lining straight lines, learning work ethic, etc. Too bad a crumb rubber infield doesn’t offer those opportunities to the young people of Crystal Lake.

How about the suppliers in the Crystal Lake community that sold dirt, chalk, clay, shovels, rakes, etc.? A little of their income is now lost to those from Sprinturf in Dalton, Ga. Finally, what about the recreation users? Sure, no more rainouts or bad hops, but isn’t that a part of life? I would prefer to take a bad hop on the chops in front of third for a chance to slide into home plate and beat the throw, than pay to play on some slow-moving rubber “on the safety side.”

Mr. Sebesta’s passionate quest for the almighty dollar is something to be acknowledged, but may be better served as a CFO for a large company than a superintendent of recreation. I noticed he didn’t include the money spent on his time and travel to develop these cost-saving measures.

Thank you for including articles like this in your magazine. It is important to understand all the aspects of our industry, even those we don’t like or support.

Josh Bertrand, Manager of Operations
Infinity Park—City of Glendale
Glendale, Colo.