Teams rally to help league with vandalized snack shack

Published: Tuesday, May 7 2013 2:40 p.m. MDT

The president of a youth baseball program in Kearns didn’t know what would happen to the baseball season after someone broke into its snack shack and stole its main source of raising money. Coaches and players at Juan Diego Catholic High School and St. John the Baptist Elementary said they had to step in because they share that same love for the sport. On Friday, May 3, 2013, the teams donated $1,500 to the Kearns teams.

Jared Hargrave, Deseret News

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KEARNS — Baseball teams at Juan Diego High and St. John the Baptist Middle School have come to the aid of a youth league whose snack shack was broken into and vandalized.

The teams raised $1,500 for the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League by passing around a donation jar at a baseball game last week.

On April 29, police say someone broke through a concrete wall of the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League's snack shack near 5200 West and 5600 South and made away with $400 in candy and $85 in cash. The mess left behind by the burglar was discovered the next day during a routine checkup.

Police say the burglar or burglars likely used a sledgehammer to break into the shack. The damage they caused will take roughly $3,000 to repair.

"My first reaction was I got really angry," said Andy Curtis, president of the league. "After that, it was more of: 'What do we need to do to fix it? How are we going to operate?'"

That answer came not in tools, bricks or mortar, but in generosity.

"The baseball community is a really tight-woven community, and it's just sad to see something like this happen," said Gabe Juarez, team captain at Juan Diego.

The check was presented to Curtis and his baseball players at a special ceremony over the weekend at the Oquirrh Park Triplex, where the Kearns teams play.

Several other teams also have stepped up to the plate to help, even some that compete with the league in Kearns.

"We don't play it forever, and it's a kid's game. But these kids, they learn a lot being baseball players and a lot about life," said Kelly Davis, Juan Diego's assistant baseball coach.

For the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League, it means their faith in humanity is somewhat renewed.

"There's not just bad people in the world," Curtis said. "It really improves my outlook on the sport, and I'm sure it improves the outlook on the sport for the kids as well."

Email: manderson@deseretnews.com

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