Best Baseball Field - 2003
The aesthetic form of Jackson Playground's back-to-back baseball diamonds flows purely from function. The flat, treeless field does not evoke Pacific Bell Park. You won't find a giant Coke bottle or Blue Angel jet fighters screaming overhead or garlic fries for five bucks (although you might spot the next BB). Weekends and weekday evenings the diamonds are filled with baseballers of all colors, classes, sexes, and ages. Pickup and tournament games exist side by side. And there is plenty of room for people of other sporting proclivities. A basketball court, tennis courts, a sandy play area for kids, and a small rec center serve the needs of the family-oriented 'hood. Even the dog people fit in. Over the years, an unspoken agreement has evolved. Between 5 and 6 o'clock, packs of licensed hounds romp in the netherworld between the two outfields while the baseballers warm up in the infield. Poop is instantly scooped away by the dog people, under the watchful eyes of players who do not want to ruin their stride by sliding in you-know-what. It's a good place to be on a warm summer evening if you are serious about living with all the contradictions of a diverse community.