Creswell, Public Safety & Health

Vandals strike Babe Ruth baseball batting cage

The support poles at the back of a new batting cage used by Creswell Babe Ruth Baseball teams were bent during an act of vandalism over Easter weekend. Photo Provided/Chris Pelham

About 95 local youth ranging in age from five to 15, their coaches and supporters were dealt a blow over Easter weekend when a new batting cage purchased with funds donated to the Creswell Babe Ruth baseball program was vandalized.
The batting cage, located on the practice field between Creslane Elementary and the high school, cost an estimated $2,000. It was installed the first week of April and was found vandalized on April 22, impacting seven local Babe Ruth teams.
”These are the kind of kids who want to play baseball five to seven days a week, and our volunteer coaches put 40-plus hours into their jobs and another 20-plus hours into coaching and field maintenance,” said Chris Pelham, who coaches Creswell’s AA team of 9- and 10-year-olds and is treasurer of the Creswell Babe Ruth Board of Ambassadors. ”So, it was very disheartening to show up to practice to find our new batting cage, which was bought with donations and installed by our coaches on their time off, bent out of shape and obviously vandalized.”
Pelham said it appeared from the bent rear support poles that one or more people had climbed on or hung from the supports, bending them. This effectively shortened the length of the cage and weakened the entire structure.
But, thanks to the ingenuity of some Babe Ruth dads, improvised repairs that involved evening up the bends in the poles and flipping the cage around so the bent portion is now at the top, stretching the netting out rather than collapsing in, will allow the cage to remain usable this season, which runs from April 1 to June 16.
Permanent repairs will be made in the off-season, possibly using sturdier pipe for the support poles, Pelham said.
Naturally, however, that will involve additional expense and labor.
”It’s a bummer that businesses donate money and coaches and parents donate their time trying to do something positive for kids and something like this happens,” Pelham said.
The vandalism is particularly ironic given Babe Ruth’s stated goal of ”building solid citizens through competitive participation in the game of baseball” and ideals, which – according to Creswell Babe Ruth’s website – include ”sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for the rules of the game, players, parents, coaches, and all other participants.”
Now in its sixth season, Creswell Babe Ruth is completely volunteer-based and supported entirely by donations from local businesses and player fundraising efforts. This year, local teams include two T-ball (5- to 7-year-olds), two Rookie (7-9), one AA (9-10), one AAA (9-11) and one Prep (12-15), involving nearly 95 kids.
Creswell Babe Ruth is a member of Willamette Valley Babe Ruth; the league’s teams hail from Eugene, Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove, Pleasant Hill, Elmira and Junction City.
Babe Ruth teams play staggered seasons, with the older kids already in action. ”Generally, the younger the kids, the later their season starts,” said Pelham, whose AA team is currently 2-2 in league. ”But it should be a pretty good season.”
For more information about Creswell Babe Ruth, visit
Anyone with information about the batting cage vandalism, or who wishes to donate to Creswell Babe Ruth may contact [email protected].



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