As ball players prepare for another great season, training for some has come to a halt, after a field has been vandalized.
“It’s definitely one of those things that you’re like, gosh why does this happen? Why do people do things like this?” said Kathy Rogers, board member for the Oil Belt Little League and co-chairman for fundraising and advertising.
Athletes have been going to the fields to stay in shape and get ready for their upcoming season. When they showed up Thursday for practice and the lights wouldn’t turn on, they were stumped.
AEP came to the field the next day and found the lines were cut and copper wire had been stolen from the lights of the softball field.
Although there are several baseball fields, that was the only field vandalized. Except for the Oil Belt's neighbors, Northwest Corpus Christi Little Miss Kickball Fields had their lighting vandalized as well.
“Well it definitely takes a toll on the whole league," said Jake Martini, field maintenance coordinator for the Oil Belt Little League. "It’s sad. It just irritates the crud out of you because it’s all based on the community help.”
"It was right in the middle of us starting to do the right things and the right move," said Rogers. "One step forward, two steps forward and it’s like, oh here is a knockdown.”
The Oil Belt Little League is a nonprofit and relies on fundraising and community support to get by.
Fortunately for them, they are getting support from Rodney Eulenfeld with Xtreme Electric. He’s promised to come out, and fix the light poles at no cost to the league.
“Definitely grateful because that lets us continue to better the ballpark in other ways that we need to,” said Martini
One of those ways they were looking forward to fixing the park up was by building shade structures over the bleachers. Although they can still get that done and don’t have to reallocate money, security will have to come first.
“We are in talks right now of getting some cameras going out here," said Rogers. "We have some phone calls out to AEP to get some more security lights possibly out here in a couple of different areas.”
Rain has delayed work being done to fix the lights but the hope is to have everything up and running this week.
Martini said this is the first time the lighting has been vandalized, but he recalls the copper wiring being stolen from scoreboards a few times in the past.
If you'd like to help out the Oil Belt Little League, you can check out their Facebook page for fundraisers and ways to donate.
Rogers added they may hold a community day to help clean up the park if you prefer to donate your time.