PITTSFIELD, MA. – Clapp Park is not your usual crime scene; but at some point, between Monday night and Tuesday morning, $1,000 worth of gear was stolen from Pittsfield's West Little League.
“I think it's wrong,” says 12-year-old Joseph Heath as he chucks the ball at his teammate.
Heath is a budding young pitcher on the league. “It's been a wicked fun time; because you get to go up against your friends and sometimes you just have a connection with your friends out on the field,” Heath said.
Heath is one of the 72 kids who are part of the West Little League who had all their hats, socks, and belts stolen out of the press box, which would not have been an easy job.
The Vice President of the League Rich LeVardi says the gate leading up the stairs to the press box was locked, so whoever broke in had to climb up over the fence to get inside. Shards of wood are cluttered around the door after they pried it open to get too the league's loot.
Heath's father Jim Heath is a coach for one of the teams and acts as a safety officer for the league.
“Who needs 72 pairs of socks,” Jim Heath said.
When asked why someone would come after little league stuff, Heath says he doesn't know.
“We're not a high budget operation; we don't have a lot of money,” Heath said. He describes the theft as an inconvenience. He says he and the other parents won't let the robbery affect the season.
“The kids are never going to notice, we're going to make it happen. Little league is going to work no matter, what happens, will make it happen,” Heath said.
“I want to hit a home run this year, badly,” 12-year-old Joseph said. The little leaguer says he hopes the thieves return what they took so the community can put the focus back on why they come to Clapp Park, baseball.
A Pittsfield Little League alumnus, Matt Torra, who is currently training down in Florida in hopes of making the opening day roster for the Tampa Bay Rays, has offered his charity the Conor Dillon Memorial Fund, to pick up the costs of all the stolen supplies.