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Parents want the vandalism at a local baseball park to stop

Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 22:12:37-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Between baseball games and practice, the Jason Verdow Memorial Park baseball fields are busy during this time of the year.

Around 200 kids run around the bases each year, but lately, someone has been de-facing this beloved park where so many families come to feel good.

The spike in vandalism has parents coming together to say enough is enough.

"I would tell them to just grow up because you are just ruining things. Nothing but good is coming out of here," Peter Della Porta, a baseball coach and parent, said.

The Cape Coral National Cal Ripken Baseball League parents learned Sunday that the baseball fields were destroyed.

"We came to the park. We found the speed limit sign displayed on the centerfield scoreboard and the picnic tables overturned and the PA system was overturned," R.J. Dempsey, a baseball coach and parent, said.

With no PA system, the ballpark is quiet. Kid's names are no longer announced and the national anthem can't be played.

"It is just sad. It's sad that someone would think it fun to go out and damage property, but it is worse to do it where all these kids come to play. I mean, this is their second home," Holly Ross, a baseball mom and dugout coach, said.

A second home for kids to learn America's national pastime.

"We are trying to provide a safe environment for them and when things like this happen, it destroys it," Dempsey said.

This incident isn't the first. The bathrooms have previously been destroyed.

"It is just a bad element to have happening in this location, but something needs to be done," Della Porta said.

That something is added security.

"Upgrade our security system, so maybe we have cameras on the field where we can see everything that goes on in the park. Maybe some better lighting in the middle of the fields," Dempsey said.

Ross said she is leaning on the community to speak up.

"I just think it is important that the community… if you see something sketchy, just call and report it. I would rather them call and report it, and it be nothing than not say anything and have something worse happen," she said.

The Cape Coral baseball league relies on registration and concession stand sales to run the program. They are looking to set up a GoFundMe to help increase security.