Snack shack vandalized; youth baseball team out hundreds of dollars

Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 3:44 p.m. MDT

On Monday, April 29, 2013, someone took a sledgehammer and broke into a snack shack run by Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League. It is the league's main source of income. The thief got away with $85 and about $400 worth of merchandise. It could cost the league up to $1,000 to fix the damage to the refrigerator and replace what was stolen.

Matt Powers, Deseret News

KEARNS — A youth baseball team lost its main source of income after someone broke into its snack shack and stole all of the candy and money inside.

On April 29, police believe someone used a sledgehammer to break through a concrete wall of the snack shack on the Beehive Field of the Oquirrh Park Triplex near 5200 West and 5600 South. They got away with $400 in candy and $85 in cash.

The mess left behind was discovered Tuesday afternoon during a routine checkup, according to police.

The snack shack was boarded up Tuesday, and the 4- to 12-year-old baseball players were crushed.

"I was just sad, and mad, too," said Jordon Dolato, a member of the team.

Jordon's mother, Ashley Dolato, said the game is everything to the boy.

"When he gets home from school, he puts his baseball uniform on," she said.

The snack shack is how the teams make money to pay umpires for the games, according to Andy Curtis, president of the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League. Last year, the teams paid about $10,000 in umpire fees.

The money also pays for equipment — about $7,000 worth of helmets, bats and baseballs.

While Salt Lake County will fix the wall, the nonprofit, volunteer-run league will have to pay to fix the refrigerator that was damaged and will need to replace the items that were stolen, which could add up to $1,000, Curtis said. The league does not have that kind of money saved up, he said.

The league hopes to recoup the loss with the support of the community. The league is inviting everyone to come to the snack shack, get dinner and enjoy a baseball game or two.

Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc

Email: ddolan@deseretnews.com

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