Community responds to vandalized Fremont youth baseball field
FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - The snack bar at the Cal Ripken Fremont Youth Baseball Field is almost ready for the upcoming season; thanks to dozens of volunteers who stepped up to the plate after vandals all but destroyed it.
"You don't really realize how much people care about the community until something like this happens," said Joe Rivera, president of the Fremont league.
About three weeks ago, vandals apparently broke through padlocks, smashing almost everything in sight. For good measure they threw red paint all around.
The equipment shed was also vandalized. All the equipment was stolen and no one has been arrested.
The damage put the baseball program in jeopardy. When the story hit the news, it struck a chord in the community.
"We had a lot of people show up to help us clean up. We had a dumpster. a lot of dust and debris. Sweeping up, cleaning up. Getting it ready to where we could paint," said Rivera.
On Friday, a Fremont Smart & Final Supermarket donated a $2,000 check to the league, along with a $500 gift card.
"When I seen it on the news there was a few of our private label items in the back. That's when I reached out to see what I could do," said Mercedes Leon of Smart & Final.
"I'm very overwhelmed. Such a wonderful donation to support a local little league. It's just overwhelming," said Jennifer Treat, snack bar coordinator.
West Coast Sporting Goods donated thousands of dollars in baseballs and equipment. The San Francisco Giants sent an autographed Buster Posey jersey to sell at an upcoming auction. That’s on top of the $16,000 the community contributed, all for the young ballplayers.
"They're going to be able to play baseball. That's the most important thing," said Rivera.
The league says a good chunk of the money will go toward security cameras and stronger storage units.