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Baseball teams step up to help young burglary victims

By Mike Anderson | Posted - May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:43pm

KEARNS — After being victimized by thieves earlier in the week, a Kearns youth baseball program received help Friday from some unexpected sources.

Coaches and players at Juan Diego Catholic High School and Saint John the Baptist Baseball said they had to step in because they share that same love for the sport.

The crime happened Monday night, April 29th. Someone broke through a concrete wall of the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League's snack shack and made away with $400 in candy and $85 in cash. The mess left behind by the burglar was discovered Tuesday afternoon during a routine checkup.

Investigators from the Unified Police Department believe the burglars used a sledge hammer to get into the shack. The damage they caused will take roughly $3,000 to fix.

Something like this isn't easy for a young baseball player like 10-year-old Chase Walred, or the president of his team's organization, to understand.

"I don't know why somebody would do it, but they just did," Chase said.

"My first reaction was I got really angry," said Andy Curtis, president of the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball organization. "After that, it was more of: What do we need to do to fix it? How are we going to operate?"

That answer came not in tools, or bricks and mortar, but in generosity. Baseball teams at Juan Diego High School and Saint John the Baptist schools donated $1,500.

The athletes said they collected the money by passing around a donation jar at one game.

"The baseball community is a really tight-woven community, and it's just sad to see something like this happen," said Gabe Juarez, team captain at Juan Diego.

The check was presented to Curtis and his baseball players at a special ceremony Friday at the Oquirrh Park Triplex, where the Kearns teams play.

"We don't play it forever, and it's a kid's game; but these kids, they learn a lot being baseball players and a lot about life," said Kelly Davis, Juan Diego's assistant baseball coach.

For the Kearns Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League, it means their faith in humanity is somewhat renewed.

"There's not just bad people in the world," Curtis said. "It really improves my outlook on the sport, and I'm sure it improves the outlook on the sport for the kids as well."

When you're just 10 years old, that little gesture can mean a whole lot.

"It was actually pretty surprising that they did that, and pretty cool," Chase said.

Contributing: Devon Dolan

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