District 2 – Candidate Responses

What are your personal experiences with amateur and youth diamond sports in Minneapolis, such as baseball or softball? (ie. As a player, parent, or fan)

Becka Thompson – This did not exist as far as I know in Minneapolis when I was a child but I was a big time softball player when I was younger. I have not had much experience as an adult.

Mike Shelton – Parent, Player, Coach, organization director – Heritage Youth Sports Foundation and Fan

Eric Moran – I’ve been a long fan of diamond sports throughout my life. I grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs, and played through the city league until middle school. As an adult I’ve traveled to nationally and internationally to see both pro and amateur baseball, and watched many friends play in city softball and kickball leagues. As a parent my child likes to play catch and t-ball in our backyard, from time to time.

What type of relationship do you think the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) should have with traveling sports organizations like 612 Fastpitch softball and MYBA (baseball) that serve Minneapolis residents?

Becka Thompson –

Mike Shelton – 

Eric Moran –

Even though the number of U.S. kids playing baseball and softball combined increased by nearly 3 million between 2013 and 2018, (https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/27448703/youth-baseball-participation-rise), the SW Parks Master Plan eliminates almost half of the ballfields in Southwest Minneapolis (17 of the 36 ballfields), eliminates two of the three baseball diamonds that SWHS baseball uses for their three teams, and moves SWHS softball from Pershing, where it’s convenient and better fields than Linden Hills. Please describe your position on our request that the Southwest Parks Master Plan be amended to provide better access to diamonds, including reinstating diamonds that are currently slated for elimination.

Becka Thompson –

Mike Shelton – 

Eric Moran –

If elected, would you be willing to work with “Play Ball Minneapolis” to evaluate improvements in MPRB’s scheduling software and technology? For example, increasing visibility into field usage and ease of use for organizations that schedule games and practices at park facilities? Please explain your answer.

Becka Thompson –

Mike Shelton – 

Eric Moran –

Are you familiar with the current MOU (memorandum of understanding) and shared use agreements in relation to diamond sports and/or athletics in general between the MPRB and Minneapolis Public Schools? If so, can you comment on any improvements that could be evaluated and/or ongoing discussions that might take place to improve communication?

Becka Thompson –

Mike Shelton – 

Eric Moran –

Anecdotally, stories of players who live in Minneapolis but play in programs in surrounding suburbs like St. Louis Park, Edina, Richfield Robbinsdale and St. Anthony are commonplace in youth sports. What should MPRB do, if anything, to address the flight of youth players to other cities?

Becka Thompson –

Mike Shelton – 

Eric Moran –

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