Crime & Courts

About 200 bats were stolen from a Wichita youth baseball league. Here’s how to help

After two separate thefts of baseball and sound equipment from a Wichita youth league, a community donation drive is being organized for this weekend.

Approximately 175-200 baseball bats and equipment bags were stolen sometime last week from a storage area at McAdams Park, said Bob Lutz, executive director of Wichita’s League 42. Sound equipment was stolen in a separate theft elsewhere in the past month.

League 42 is a nonprofit youth sports organization that provides a low-cost baseball alternative for kids who mostly live in urban Wichita.

A new or quality used equipment drive will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the McAdams Park recreation center, 1329 E. 13th St. The organization is asking for child-size bats, between 26 and 33 inches, as well as gloves, helmets, baseballs and other equipment.

The league uses the following baseballs: Champion Sports NFHS OLB10, Diamond DOL-1 and Diamond DFX-LCI LL.

Monetary donations can be arranged by emailing Lutz at league42wichita@gmail.com.

The season begins in mid-April with practices starting March 11, Lutz said. The league serves about 600 boys and girls ages 5 to 14. Despite the thefts, the 2019 season will go on.

“Absolutely, we’re not going to be deterred,” Lutz said. “We will never fold up because of a little bit of inconvenience.”

Police reports have been filed in the thefts, Lutz said.

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