ARLINGTON (KRLD) – What was apparently supposed to be a prank ended up destroying vital baseball equipment for a special needs baseball team in Arlington.
Miracle Fields of DFW has about 600 special needs kids who play baseball in the spring and Fall. After they were wrapping up their fall season, someone set a trash can on fire in the women’s restroom at Randol Mill Park where they play.
Gina Davis helps run the league and has a daughter who plays on one of the teams. She says the fire spread destroying their bathroom, the storage closet that had most of their equipment, the concession stand and the sound system. Davis says that was the hardest loss because the kids love to hear their names over the loud speaker.
Davis combs through the charred refuse of a closet that once held baseball gear for special needs kids, including her own daughter.
“We probably lost 30 bats and the same number of gloves,” she says “A lot of kids don’t have a glove or money for a glove so we had one for them.”
So far no arrests have been made and police are finding it difficult to track down the alleged arsonist, because they didn’t use an accelerant, which would help them in the investigation.
The spring season begins in April, but they need to raise enough money to replace all the equipment they lost. If you would like to help Miracle Fields – click here for more information.
Fire officials determined the fire was a case of arson, and that it happened in the dark of night where there are no lights. They say someone walked into a women’s restroom and set fire to a trash container, burning the building from the inside out.
The building may be a total loss; city officials say it cost $300,000 to build the storage area and concession stand 30 years ago.
“Unfortunately we cannot build a replacement for $300,000; by today’s standards it’s a $600,000 building,” says Arlington assistant parks director Matt Young.
Even with insurance, the deductible is $100,000. But the human loss is in support for parks programs like the Miracle League Field.
“This is a place where a kid that won’t normally get embraced or have the ability to join a sports team of any sort can come out and be just a kid playing ball,” says Davis.
Some support is starting to arrive; Dick’s Sporting Goods has donated balls and other equipment. Still, it’s hard on volunteers like Davis and her son Cooper. “It makes me sad. I don’t know what kind of people would do that stuff.”
Arlington officials want to know, too. The fire is a Crime Stoppers crime, and the right tip could be worth up to $5,000.
If you would like to help the Miracle Fields of DFW replace their equipment you can contact Gina Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (817) 808-9897.