Duluth police are investigating damage to a Little League field caused by joyriding.
Officials with Duluth Little League were informed Wednesday that someone drove a vehicle on the outfield of the John Baggs Memorial Field in the Woodland neighborhood.
The incident is believed to have occurred Tuesday night and was likely caused by a truck.
“It was pretty fresh when I went and looked at it,” Duluth Little League President Dan Fraser told the News Tribune. “We’re hoping somebody saw something, but of course, it’s not likely. A lot of people have heard about it. It’s nice that social media and the news are interested. It helps.”
The vehicle left large ruts on a grass field softened by rain earlier in the week. Fraser initially hoped the cost to replace the sod in the outfield would be $1,000 to $2,000, but now it is expected to cost upward of $5,000 after the initial estimate Friday.
No games have been played at the field this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has been used for practices and a YMCA summer camp.
The Central and Eastern Little Leagues recently merged. It is a volunteer-driven organization. People have spent money and time upgrading other fields that are fenced in, preventing incidents like vandalism from happening.
“We’ve done a lot of work on our other fields, and we’re just lucky those haven’t been damaged,” Fraser said. “The city told us from the get-go there is no money or aid they have to offer us (due to COVID-19). We’re lucky we have the group of community members that we do. It’s all supported through them.
“It’s tough when we’re the ones who put in all the work, to have someone come in and wreck it like that, but it could have been worse,” Fraser added. “Some people heard about this and are asking where they can donate to help us cover the costs, and that’s awesome, that people who aren’t even involved in our league are willing to step up.”
Anyone with information should contact the Duluth Police Department by calling 911 or the Duluth Little League via Facebook.