Community Fights For Youth Sports In St. Mary’s County Photo credit: St. Mary's Little League - MD
Photo credit: St. Mary’s Little League – MD

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – “Make no mistake about it, I truly believe that leaders in St. Mary’s County do not care about the youth in this county, more specifically, the youth that play baseball and softball.” This comes from a Facebook post made by the President of St. Mary’s County Little League (SMLL) RJ Bean.

In the post, which has already garnered a lot of attention from people in the community, Bean displayed his frustration with the leaders in St. Mary’s County on many issues surrounding the lack of support given to youth sports in the area, specifically Baseball and Softball.

The main issues that Bean and plenty of other parents were talking about included the costliness of registering their children and the lack of support going towards the facilities.

“We currently pay $7 in per player fees to Rec & Park each and every season. For SMLL, that’s a little under $14,000 in 2022 alone! Now they’re looking to increase that per player fee to $9.50. That means we could be paying close to $19,000 each year,” Bean stated in his post. “There’s not one single person in Rec & Park that can tell me where SMLL’s $14,000 is going each year. Not one! The standard answer is, ‘It’s putting staff in parks…’ Really? Because I’m at Cecil at least five days a week during the season and don’t see anyone there!”

“We are at the cutting edge of technology down here, yet we house our gymnastics center in an old K-Mart,” Bean continued. “We have one of the highest averages of household incomes in this state, yet we can’t provide our children with a quality baseball or softball field. We pride ourselves in a diversified community, yet we can’t push for a facility to do rock climbing, bowling, laser tag or other kid friendly activities…We don’t need another Sheetz, 7-Eleven or Dollar General…we need creative outlets in our county for our children. We need modern facilities and places for them to express their creative minds and burn some energy.”

The post had over 500 shares within the first two days of it being shared. 

Now, it looks like it has finally caught the attention of some local leaders.

“I heard back from Commissioner Colvin via email early in the day with some insight. He informed me that at Monday’s Budget workshop session with Mr. Arthur Shepherd, the commissioners did discuss a sports complex that would have multiple baseball fields and be set up for better practice facilities and tournament play,” Bean stated in a follow up post. “The commissioners directed Mr. Shepherd to proceed with the next part of the study, which should provide real cost data for the county and an idea of how much the Maryland Stadium Authority would pay to build this facility. This is possible because of support and grant funds from Senator Jack Bailey.”

“I also spoke with Commissioner Hewitt on the phone and was able to voice to him our concerns with the field renovation project and its lackluster results, the concern of raising the per player participation fees when we don’t see a return on investment, and the sports complex mentioned above. He voiced the opinion of also looking at our current baseball facilities and how we can improve those.”

On February 16, 2023, Senator Jack Bailey sent a letter to the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County about Youth Sports Facilities in St. Mary’s County. 

“Concerns from members of our community have been brought to my attention relating to youth baseball and softball in St. Mary’s County. These concerns specifically cited County policies regarding the use of lights, field conditions, and additional player costs that nonprofit baseball teams across the county have or will be incurring due to recent changes,” Bailey wrote. “As you may be aware, I personally have two children who have played on these fields for their entire lives. I have had the opportunity to watch them and their peers develop as players and people during this time. However, I have also seen first- hand the conditions that many are reaching out about and agree with their assessment that St. Mary’s County fields are clearly substandard to other counties in our region.”

Bailey then went on to explain his desire to look into a, “full Stadium Authority study into constructing a Sports Complex in St. Mary’s County.”

“This Complex would not only benefit our young athletes but also further economic growth by hosting tournaments and offering a space for families to utilize for other events,” Bailey stated. “This initiative began in 2019 and was only brought up again earlier this week for the Commissioners’ consideration after a status inquiry to the Stadium Authority from my office…I understand that these items are under the purview of the Commissioners. However, I stand willing to offer any support possible from the State level.”

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Mike Alderson also wants to help citizens make their voices heard, by planning on holding a town hall meeting.

“I see lots of chatter on Facebook regarding youth activities in St. Mary’s County and to put all my thoughts on Facebook would be a disservice to constructive, informative dialogue,” Alderson stated. “I will take a page out of Scott Ostrow’s playbook and give a town hall meeting a shot so we can share information and ideas so we can work together for the betterment of our county. Stay tuned for details.”

“When we find ourselves in moments such as these, where passion ignites a conversation and fills the newsfeeds of thousands in our community, it’s best to take a step back and ask ourselves; Why? I know I can speak for all youth baseball and softball organizations in this county when I say our why is the children,” Bean told “Every single thing we do is about the kids, and we take pride in being able to provide every kid in our community the opportunity to play baseball or softball. There’s no politics in this. There’s no hate in this. There’s no disrespect in this.”

“We just requested time to speak in front of the Recreation & Parks Board at their upcoming Board Meeting on Thursday, March 2. There, I hope to be able to present a path forward for our baseball and softball community with valued input from Little League, Babe Ruth, Legion, Youth T-Ball and travel baseball/softball,” Bean continued. “This is an important step to allowing our league leaders to have a voice and be heard, and to see our suggestions make it into the Capital Improvement Project budget. Together, we can do this! Together, we can ensure our youth have what they need to excel, be engaged and thrive in our local community! Together, we can make things happen.”

St. Mary’s County residents are having their voices heard by their local leaders. Only time will tell what happens next.

Contact our news desk at 

Join the Conversation


  1. Family oriented activities are NON-PROFIT. That’s why we only get gas stations, restaurants, liquor stores… Commissioners don’t make deals with peasants who don’t bring profits to the county and re-election PACs. Yet y’all keep voting for the same.

    Sit down and wait on a study to study how a study could impact the study of expanding the MD4 bridge so that then they can study the impact said study will have …… Get my point? $$$

    1. Bubba Jay is on point. Enough stalling commissioners, data is there… giving kids in our community positive activities to do will help shape their bodies and minds for problem solving and working together in the future. More sports, less drugs, more activities, less guns… gives kids an outlet.

  2. Our children need these places to get out and exercise breath fresh air. They need to learn teamwork and about leadership. Let’s get outside and away from the video games. Step up and spend money on our youth.

  3. Why is it there is never enough money for schools and sports yet there’s alway someone running for office stating thats their #1 priority. Open this casino legalize weed allow sports betting we will take the tax money and put it towards these thing you need in the community! BS the rich get richer and we are under funded still looking for a savior.

  4. Maybe the users and leagues should pay fees required to maintain the facilities to levels above what is required for recreational play? Why should those of us without kids or those of use that see organized sports as fundamental unnecessary see tax increases year after year to support services we never use. Maybe the $20,000,000 being spent on the YMCA would be better spent on providing rec centers and facility improvements that all residents benefit from and not just those that can pay monthly dues to the YMCA?

  5. Users should pay a fee for the cost. If I register my kid for cheer, boxing or any other private sport I do not expect anyone to pay for it. Currently those sports are several hundred dollars per month and people want to complain about $10 a season. If it is truly as essential for youth as people claim then parents should be more than willing to cover the cost and not expect the rest of the community to cover it.

    1. Totally agree with you. The problem is that out of my $10, two are taken away for subsidizing kids whose parents refuse to work and expect everything for free.

    2. Just to give you some context; that’s $10 per child, per season, from every sport that uses parks and facilities. Most non-profits have to pay for their own insurances out of registration fees and donations, and then have to turn around and pay fees to R&P for lights and other fees. That $10 is said to go towards field maintenance and monitors; but the conditions of our fields just don’t seem to match the amount of money being provided to R&P by these leagues. Meanwhile we go to neighboring counties and see the vast difference in those facilities, much better than ours. It’s not the money that’s the problem, it’s the return.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *