Dunbar Little League raises funds to replace stolen equipment

DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Dunbar Little League has about 85 players ages four to 12 who are struggling to play America's pastime after more than $2,200 worth of equipment and other supplies were stolen.

Concessions stand at Dunbar Little League fields that was broken into on June 9, 2019.

"We are missing equipment that the kids use on a regular basis to play the game," Dunbar Little League President Blanks Wiley said. "That's what really infuriated me. I just can't understand how someone would want to steal from a youth organization."

Thieves broke into the concession stand on June 9, 2019, and took food, party supplies and cash, Dunbar Police told WSAZ. A week later, someone broke into the equipment room and took the league's cleats, bats, catcher's gear and more.

"We've got the same problems that all the other cities do, and the breaking and entering and the homeless," Greg Wolfe said. "I don't know why, the equipment room, why someone would've got in there. It's sad knowing they do this knowing it's for the kids."

Wolfe has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy new equipment for the kids to play with. Click here to visit it. He said the community has improved since Wiley restarted the Little League.

"They need some help these kids, we need to keep them off the street and on the ball fields," Wolfe said. "Keep them out from in front of the computers and phones. Getting them back out on the field and playing ball again."

The organization now has sessions in the spring, summer and fall to keep kids busy all year. It includes everything from tee-ball to softball to baseball.

"I want to give them the same experiences that I got when I was growing up," Wiley said. He played in Dunbar Little League as a kid and now coaches his sons. "Playing baseball, being outside, just the stuff that a lot of kids don't do anymore."

Wiley said he is currently storing the gear that was not stolen in his garage to keep it safe until repairs and additional security measures can be added to the Little League facilities.

Wiley hopes to have enough equipment so each team can have its own set and parents do not have to buy anything for their kids to participate.

Dunbar Police do not currently have any suspects in this case.