MOUNT AIRY, Md. (WJZ) — Over the weekend, hundreds of Maryland Little Leaguers celebrated the opening day of their season in Mount Airy.
But as Weijia Jiang explains, police say that night, someone destroyed much of their equipment.
Nestled in Mount Airy’s rolling hills is a field of dreams. Nearly 400 kids, ages four through 14, who are part of Maryland’s four-county Little League, play baseball there six days a week.
“We try to make the field be like they’re playing on a major league baseball field,” said Jim Gill, Four County Little League.
But all the equipment and 15 bags of turf used to keep it that way were torched when the shed that housed it caught fire. Investigators say it was an act of arson.
“It contained our tractor, tools, supplies—everything we needed to maintain that field,” Gill said.
State investigators believe the fire started in the toilet of a portable restroom that was stacked against the shed. Nothing is left of it except the frame it used to sit on.
“They weren’t just burning a toilet for fun. Our entire shed is now gone,” Gill said.
The field is located on the New Beginning Nazarene Church’s property.
“I don’t see it as a vendetta against the Little League or church. We just seem an easy target for something they wanted to do,” said Pastor Paul Buchanan.
The league president hopes through the loss, the young players will gain something, too.
“If the wins and losses stay on the field, if we can teach the kids how to learn life lessons and live life better, that’s what this is about. We’re all gonna help each other and bounce back. Nothing’s going to stop us from playing baseball,” Gill said.
Right now, there are no leads. Police urge anyone who knows what happened to report it.
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