Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southside Group Hits a Milestone; Youth Athletic Association Celebrates Its 50th Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Southside Group Hits a Milestone; Youth Athletic Association Celebrates Its 50th Year

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

The Southside Youth Athletic Associatio has the old ballpark looking good for its golden anniversary party. And it's got an aggressive new board committed to keeping it around for another 50 years.

The association will mark its birthday with a community festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 6801 Altama Road that includes exhibition games, an arts and crafts show, children's activities and barbecue sandwiches, hamburgers and hot dogs for sale.

"I think it's a very significant event because there aren't that many parks that have reached this mark," said Ron Lynch, association president.

Thousands of kids have played at Glynlea since the association was founded in 1956, including pitcher Brett Myers, now with the Philadelphia Phillies, and former Chicago White Sox pitcher Joel Davis, now head baseball coach at Stanton College Preparatory School.

In recent years, however, the park lost players, its facilities declined and it faced recurrent vandalism. Its high-water mark was in the 1990s when there were 12 to 15 teams with a 30-member board, Lynch said.

Last year, a new 16-member board was elected that wanted to "rejuvenate the association," he said.

"We all had kids playing there," Lynch said. "We saw what had happened. We realized more people would take their kids away from there unless we did something."

So last summer, the association sponsored the Woody Woodward invitational all-star tournament named after a long-time coach who produced its last state championship team in 2000. It was Southside's first invitational in six or seven years, Lynch said.

Inspired by its success, the board decided to proceed with the anniversary celebration, which will feature exhibition games from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Besides Southside's players, there will be five teams from the Christ the King Athletic Association and one from Arlington Little League, Lynch said. …

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