Portland little league selling one of their fields; owners blame - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland little league selling one of their fields; owners blame squatters

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A hypodermic needle stuck in the sole of a little leaguer’s cleat, dugouts turned into makeshift homes and a storage container that has been broken into. Those are just a few of the reasons why the Parkside Little League says it plans to sell off one of their fields.

The ball park known as Bob St. Aubin Stadium on Burnside near Northeast 135th has been around since the 1950’s.

In the last two years, squatters and homeless campers have moved into the ball park.

Melissa Fritz with Parkside Little League says they’ve called police to report trespassing and so have the neighbors but the campers and squatters just keep coming back.

“It sucks and it is heart breaking,” Fritz said.

Holes were cut in the back of the dug outs, needles litter the pavement near the concession stand and the bathroom doors were broke open.

Fritz says in the last month the police have been called almost every day. She says last season coaches had to check the property to make sure it was safe before the kids were allowed to practice.

It was when one player got a hypodermic needle stuck in their cleat when Fritz says they decided enough was enough and are selling the land.

Fritz says Green Canopy of Seattle plans to buy it. The development company builds environmentally friendly homes.

Neighbors near the field say they are sad to see this icon go but know a change was inevitable.

“It was big-time for us,” Kevin Brown said.

Brown grew with the field in his back yard. It has been apart of his family for roughly 50 years.

“Mom’s would volunteer in the snack shack,” Brown said. “We ate many hot dogs for dinner in the summer time out here, loved it too.”

He says the park was like having their very own sandlot feet away.

“We could get a group of neighborhood kids together anytime and we had our own ball park,” Brown said. “All we had to do was hop the fence.”

Seeing the field in its current state he says is disappointing.

“It is just disgusting and sad to see it like this and I don’t even recognize it, you know, and I have been here 50 years,” Brown said.

The Parkside Little League says it could cost them anywhere from $3,200 to $3,600 to clean up the field before it is sold.

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