TORONTO – The owner of a long-time local baseball team said he feels like blue hornets keep throwing him beanballs.
Jack Dominico, the 75-year-old owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs intercounty baseball club, accused parking enforcement officers of being heavy handed with fans who turned out to Christie Pits on Sunday for his team’s home opener.
Dominico said he said Monday his car and his assistant’s vehicle — parked on Barton Ave. — were among those hit with parking tickets.
“These vultures — you can’t do that,” he said. “We’re trying to promote the game of baseball. This is our 46th season and I never had this problem since last year. All these fans are coming after me saying, ‘I got a parking ticket.’ ”
About 1,500 people attended the home opener game, which lasted about three hours and began around 2 p.m. Sunday.
This isn’t the first time Dominico has gone head to head with parking enforcement officers. In 2012, he again received two $40 parking tickets after being blitzed by blue hornets.
Christie Pits used to have a parking lot, but it was torn down to make way for an ice rink. Fans then started leaving their cars on the two streets bordering the baseball field — Christie St. and Barton Ave.
A police source said parking enforcement officers work with the community and whenever vehicles don’t “impede the flow of traffic,” they refrain from ticketing. Police have been working with the Toronto baseball team to help them out as much as possible, such as recommending areas where people can park without fear of tickets, added the source.
“I know the area and the last thing we want to do is deter people from going to watch those games,” the source said. “We definitely don’t want to tag in that area and give as much consideration as possible, but if it blocks traffic, we have to enforce.”
Dominico used to run the baseball club with his wife of 40 years, Lynne, before she died of lung cancer in 2009. In 2011, Dominico made headlines after the playing field, which he rents from the City of Toronto, became rundown with potholes, overgrown grass and garbage.