A plan to give Stengel Field an extended rest this summer could drastically cut short the Glendale Angelenos' summer collegiate baseball season.
Jess Duran, the Director of Community Services and Parks for the city of Glendale, said his department is planning on doing some resurfacing maintenance at Stengel in July and resting the field the rest of the summer.
"This past year there were some questions about the condition of the field," Duran said, "and we think part of it is because it doesn't have enough down time where no one is on the field for it to regenerate. So, we're thinking about not using it as much this summer."
That's put the Angelenos, a summer-wood bat team, in jeopardy of losing a month of their season. The team's season is scheduled to begin Thursday — with its home opener set for a Sunday doubleheader — and end July 30.
"The impact is the program will most likely move to a different city," said Glendale Angelenos Coach and General Manager Tony Riviera of what would happen if the team lost Stengel Field.
In addition to the Angelenos, Stengel Field is used as the home field by the Glendale Community College and Crescenta Valley High baseball teams. The Vaqueros and Falcons played 19 and 18 games, respectively, on the field this year.
When it comes to the field's conditions, Riviera and Glendale Community baseball Coach Chris Cicuto didn't have many complaints.
"First of all, you don't need to give the field a rest," Riviera said. "It's in better shape than it's been in years. It's pristine, why you need to give it a break is unbeknownst to me."
Cicuto said the field was in as good condition this past season as it's been in about the past 10 years.
"As far as the look, the aesthetics and the playing surfaces, it's about as green as it's been," Cicuto said. "The park did a great job these past six months, it's not where we want it to be obviously, but I think it's on its way. … There's room for improvement but we were very pleased with it."
The Angelenos have played at Stengel since their inaugural campaign in 2011, when they were part of the California Collegiate League. Since then, the Angelenos became an independent team before joining the California Summer Collegiate League North Division for the upcoming season. They're scheduled to play more than half of their 50 games at Stengel this year.
"They've told us to start looking for another facility," Riviera said. "They said they'd let us play through June, even though our schedule was done a year ago."
An Angelenos schedule is still not available on the team's website (angelenosbaseball.com) and the team's opening games against the East L.A. Dodgers were originally set to be home games before a scheduling change.
Riviera and Cicuto said they'd heard it was in the works for the city of Glendale to hand over use of Stengel Field to the Glendale Unified School District. Duran confirmed there are "discussions at the staff level" but declined to comment further until he's given a report to the Glendale City Council.
There's nothing definite at this point, though, Duran said.
"As of right now, I would say that we're looking at different plans on what to do with the facility. There hasn't been a final decision yet," said Duran, who didn't know when a final decision would be made or if it would be done in a public meeting or handled inside the department, which would later notify the coaches. "We may decide rather than doing it July, we'll hold off until August 1 and then maybe start the beginning of next season a little bit later on. We can work with the users of the field."
Still, Riviera and the Angelenos have been looking at making other venues in the City of Commerce and Long Beach their future home.
"There's a lot of people that want us to play there, but it's not going to happen this year," Riviera said of Long Beach. "[Losing Stengel] would end up shutting down the season."