Officials from Mariposa County Little League discovered last week they had fallen victim to theft.
The league’s home run fence at the Woodland ballfield was vandalized and four of the league’s bases from one field were stolen. The home run fence was first cut in half, and half of it was then stolen.
“We found out Saturday morning when myself and Shane Stewart, who handles our equipment, were tying up loose ends on the field because our season ended,” said Little League President Marc Lingenfelter. “That’s when we noticed.”
Lingenfelter said some baseball equipment items were left “untouched” at the field, but he was stumped as to why someone would want half of the fence.
“It led us to believe that it was probably a single person. It takes two people to move that fence. It’s a healthy fence. The only way to move it yourself would be to cut it in half and take half of it,” Lingenfelter said. “It makes absolutely no sense to me at all, besides maybe someone was trying to pen in an area for an animal, but it would make a horrible fence for that. You could push that right over.”
This fence was brand new for the league this year, being donated by local business Ranch Fence. Little League directors had hoped the purchase of such a fence would last the program for many years, but due to the theft, the league only got to use it for one season.
The crime was reported to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. Those with information regarding the incident are urged to contact the sheriff’s office at (209) 966-3615.
“There are no leads as it stands now. Of course, the sheriff’s office has done its reporting and is doing what it can on its side,” Lingenfelter said.
Already, many in the community have stepped forward to offer to contribute toward a new fence and bases, Lingenfelter added. One company, Yosemite Vacation Homes, announced it is willing to buy new bases and pitch in for a new fence.
“I can’t believe the amount of people who have said they will donate,” he said.
Those who want to donate can email Lingenfelter at firstname.lastname@example.org or send donations directly to PO Box 254, Mariposa CA 95338.