Vandals jeopardize youth baseball team's fall season

Vandals jeopardize youth baseball team's fall season


by Rad Berky / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

Posted on August 2, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 4 at 1:14 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- On a late summer evening in south Charlotte, kids practice baseball anticipating tryouts for the fall season. It is an almost perfect picture, except for one thing.

The outfield fence is lying on the ground and the snack shack next to the playing field is nothing but charred ashes.

John Smith is President of Sardis Dixie Youth Baseball.

"At first it was utter disbelief," Smith said.
He is the one who found the snack shack burned down last April.

Fire investigators believe vandals set fire to a porta-john and as it burned it collapse onto the snack shack.

Smith's son, Jackson, is one of the players.

"Why would they do that," wondered Jackson.
But there was more to come.
Over the Fourth of July holiday, someone rammed through the outfield fence in a vehicle and then sped off.
With a broken fence, the kids will not be able to play here for the fall season that begins in September.

"I'm not one to hold a grudge," the elder Smith said. "I just want to get the fence fixed so that I can keep the field running for these kids."
Estimates are it will cost about $800 to repair the fence in time for the fall season.
Rebuilding the snack shack will be a lot more expensive.
"Early estimates from contractors I have spoke to say between three and $5,000," said Smith.
Smith is hoping some local businesses will step in and help.
If you would like to help you can send a donation to:
Sardis Dixie Youth Baseball,  P.O Box 3489, Matthews, NC.  28106