Little league dreams destroyed by vandals

March 13, 2009 5:56:48 PM PDT
A little league team was left with little hope to have a season because of thieves and vandals. Thieves took or destroyed everything, so now generous people are stepping up to the plate.

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They left one old, tattered baseball ball. It sits on a counter in a clubhouse ravaged by vandals.

"We're still adding up the damage," said Tony Hodges, who runs the North Vallejo Little League. Or, what's left if it after they found their computers wrecked, equipment stolen, 150 uniforms gone, and a season in doubt just before it was supposed ot begin. "It's going to be tough, but we will play baseball."

It was already tough in Vallejo, where the city has declared bankruptcy. The field was already a mess. Lights had already disappeared from the little scoreboard. Vallejo Police believe the vandals were kids, but league supporters describe their action as an attack on everyone in the community.

"This takes away from themselves," said Ray Boone, who lives across the street. "By doing this, they promote the kids to do something wrong. We need to build Vallejo up, not tear it down."

But, in a week filled with Ponzi schemes and worldwide economic woes, do not abandon hope. This angst may generate relief. As news has spread of the league's troubles, people have offered to help.

"Who do I call?" asked one man who drove in from out of town, and asked to remain anonymous. "I have two hundred dollars."

Early this afternoon, several people from Infineon Raceway came by, led by Vice President of Operations Jere Starks, who pledged $5,000 from a children's fund. "That someone would do this to little kids. I mean what is someone going to do with little league uniforms?"

What is anyone to do with a situation like this? In little league, they do what they always try to do -- they teach.

"This incident is like baseball," said Tony Hodges. "You're down one inning and up the next. And that's what life is."

For information on how to contribute please contact Tony Hodges 707-712-0602.

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