MARION, Ind.—Thieves target a baseball field and steal two of the first things they see.
“I just want to have them back. I don’t want to have them damaged. It means a lot to the kids and to the program,” said Tino Mitchener, commissioner of the Marion Babe Ruth Baseball League.
Sometime over the weekend, someone stole two big signs hanging on the front fence. Crews noticed the signs were gone when they showed up to mow.
“I was more disheartened. These are just little kids out here, and it’s for them. (It) makes me wonder why someone would want to do that. I can’t understand. It was more disappointment than anger,” said Mitchener.
You can see cut zip ties on the ground and still hanging on the fence where the signs used to be. This is the first year Marion has had a Babe Ruth Baseball League. More than 260 players, ages 4-14 played this past season. Mitchener’s son played on the same fields that he used to play on back in the day.
“We want this to be a place where kids can have fun and have a positive influence,” said Mitchener.
The signs aren’t worth any money for the thieves, but the league will have to pay to put them back up.
“Every dollar does count. We don’t have an entity where we generate money from, all of our money comes from donations and registration from kids. So yes, it hurts but we will definitely replace them. It’s part of who we are,” said Mitchener.
Mitchener isn’t out to get the thieves in trouble. He just wants them to put the signs back where they belong—on the kids’ home field.
“I just hope whoever has it has the forethought to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to give them back,’” said Mitchener.
There are security alarms on buildings throughout the ballpark, but now officials are talking about adding security cameras throughout the grounds, too.
If you know anything about the stolen signs, call Marion Police at 765-662-9981.