LEOMINSTER (CBS) – The season opener isn’t until next month, but the Leominster American Little League already has a challenge on its plate.
It seems the league and the mayor are at odds over a scoreboard named for a fallen soldier, but there may be some misunderstanding in all this.
Mayor Dean Mazzarella bought land next to some Little League fields 25 years ago and now wants to build a house on it. His insurer won’t play ball because there is a big scoreboard on the property.
The scoreboard is dedicated to PFC. Jonathan Roberge, a Leominster native who was killed in Iraq.
The league was rattled when an e-mail from Mazzarella’s girlfriend mentioned removing the scoreboard.
“We go down there, we watch the kids play and I can just see my son running around,” says Roberge’s father.
League officials were already upset with Mazzarella when he built his daughter’s house on the property last year. That construction took away from an existing t-ball field.
“He literally came to a ball field that children play at, and destroyed it,” says Jim Xarras the league director.
The league believes they have some legal rights to the fields because they have used them since the 50’s. The mayor says that field was no more than a loaner during his ownership.
The mayor says the situation with the scoreboard got ugly when it shouldn’t have. He says he is seeking to have the scoreboard moved to left or centerfield, not removed altogether. He has even offered to help foot the bill.