Thief Nabs Little League’s Pitching Machine | Athletic Business

Thief Nabs Little League’s Pitching Machine

A Little League team in California is less worried about sign stealing than finding the thief who broke into the team’s facilities this week. 

Newark (Calif.) Little League President Manny Padilla found the batting cages at Newark Junior High open on Tuesday morning. 

"I found the lock open and I thought, 'Oh, one of our guys must have left the gate open,'" Padilla told the local Fox affiliate. "Took a look at the chain and it was cut. And then I said, 'Oh never mind. Someone cut the chain, I think the machine was stolen.'"

Padilla figures someone broke into the facility sometime in the middle of the night late Monday or early Tuesday and stole the organization's Atec Sports M2 pitching machine, which is worth $2,500.

Padilla said the device has been very important to the teams that use it. 

"It kind of gives that repetition, without a coach having to sit there and pitch, or a kid sitting there and pitch that many repetitious pitches," Padilla said.

The batting cages were installed just last summer, in time for this season. The league has 300 kids, ages 4 to 16.

"People were fighting to get in here," Padilla said of the batting cages. "It's something we've been looking forward to for over 10 years now."

Newark police said they are still investigating the matter. 

"Hopefully word of mouth gets around, if they hear of someone selling our equipment, we can get back to Newark PD, and they need to be prosecuted," Padilla said.


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