Saturday, May 25, 2024

Youth baseball commissioner aiming to unite community

In his first season as the baseball commissioner for the Argyle Youth Sports Association, Billy Bishop says he wants the community to live up to the name of the park where AYSA baseball teams play, Unity Park.

“My main goal is to unite the community and make it a more enjoyable place,” Bishop said.

Bishop was named the AYSA vice president of baseball last summer, and he said he had a lot of learning to do on the fly.

“I didn’t know how to get umpires or uniforms,” he said, adding that he’s been unafraid to ask for help. “We still need more help and volunteers, we’re revamping the organization from the ground up.”

Argyle’s First Annual Baseball Opening Day Festival was held on March 23, 2024 at Unity Park. (Photo by Lynn Seeden/Seeden Photography)

Bishop said just a few days after he assumed the position, he was invited to attend a meeting of DFW Interlock, an association of recreational baseball programs throughout North Texas. Bishop was surprised to find out that the other groups were considering kicking Argyle out of Interlock.

“They were going to vote Argyle out because our fields suck and there was no operational concession stand,” Bishop said. “Some teams had said they wouldn’t play here for safety reasons. I had to plead my case to keep Argyle in Interlock, and I laid out a plan to get the fields up to snuff. And we’ve done it, we’re hosting games now.”

Bishop said he prioritized improving the field conditions and the overall experience at Unity Park through sponsorships.

“I don’t care about the lease with the town or any political stuff, I just want my son to have fun playing baseball,” he said. “We found over $20,000 in local sponsorships and improved the landscaping, bought new equipment and a scoreboard, and thanks to a renovation by Advent Air, for the first time, AYSA Baseball has a working, profitable concession stand.”

Bishop said he “wanted to do something cool” with AYSA’s first ever youth baseball Opening Day event last month.

“I was nervous, I had never done anything like that before,” he said.

More than 500 people came to the Opening Day parade and games.

“I gave a little speech and talked about how the community can come together,” Bishop said. “I said the only reason why this was happening was because I love my son (8-year-old Jack Bishop), and then he threw out the first pitch. I want to put a positive out there, and make this into something great.”

Bishop said he is looking for more volunteers, particularly for more people to serve on the board. If you are interested in helping out with AYSA Baseball, contact Bishop at 817-528-1499.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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