Batting cage vandalism could cost Berwick Youth Baseball group $1,000

By Christina Higginbotham, Foster's Daily Democrat
Posted July 02, 2013, at 10:21 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Vandals struck the Memorial Field on Sweetser Street over the weekend, wrecking a batting cage that could cost the Berwick Youth Baseball organization $1,000 to replace.

Ryan Mccabe, vice president of the league, said the vandalism occurred sometime between noon Saturday and noon Sunday.

Mccabe said he believes teenagers are drawn to the vacant area at night.

“The police do their best to patrol the area, but the field is pretty hidden,” Mccabe said Monday.

Poles on the batting cage had sufficient bends that the organization has to order $218 worth of equipment to repair the damage. If it needs to be fully replaced, the batting cage is estimated at $1,000.

“We have a state tournament coming up. Eight teams, averaging out to 150 kids will have to share one batting cage,” Mccabe said.

Mccabe said the youth baseball league fortunately had a successful fundraising season last year that will help offset costs.

Kim Taylor, recreation director, said this is an unfortunate incident the likes of which occurs too often.

“Graffiti, broken bottles, alcohol, and damaged tables are something we usually come across,” Taylor said.

The surveillance cameras are distributed in various places around the recreation area, but they lack clarity of identifying someone, according to Taylor. Additionally, she said the field lights are only on when there is a scheduled recreation function.

“People can ruin a good thing quickly. They even set fire to one of our porta potties a few years back,” she said.

Although Taylor and Mccabe agree police patrolling is not the issue, something needs to be done.

“It’s a disappointment. This is an area that devotes its entire existence to kids,” Mccabe said. “Hopefully the perpetrator will be caught and held accountable.”

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/02/news/portland/batting-cage-vandalism-could-cost-berwick-youth-baseball-group-1000/ printed on August 30, 2014