Thieves raided the Savin Hill Little League’s storage locker over the weekend, snatching an estimated $5,000 worth of gear, including gloves, uniforms, bats, and helmets. The theft demoralized the 200 players and left opening day in doubt.
Then, just when the league needed them most, pinch hitters calmly stepped to the plate and delivered.
Residents, businesses, and politicians responded in droves, donating cash and baseball gear, enough to replace the equipment and then some.
“It’s overwhelming, to be honest,” Tony King, president of the league, said Thursday.
Key support came from the Boston Firefighter’s Local 718 Children’s Fund, which donated $3,000 after hearing about the crime from Councilor Frank Baker of Dorchester.
“I know what the equipment means to the kids, especially with opening day just around the corner,” said Richard Paris, president of the union.
Mike Mullane, a Savin Hill native, said the league is a popular springtime diversion in the seaside community.
“Every kid in the area plays. . . . It’s part of the neighborhood’s fabric,” said Mullane, third district vice president for the International Association of Firefighters.
Although enough money has been raised to replace the equipment, King said, donations and support keep rolling in.
Reebok provided 12 sets of catcher’s gear, Quincy-based Good Sports donated 35 new bats, and area businesses pledged money.
“It just shows what kind of community we’re from,” said Baker, who helped organize the donations. “It shows what we’re made of and when something bad happens how we rise to the occasion.”
Now, King said, the league is not satisfied to simply make the best of a bad situation, which was first noted in the Dorchester Reporter.
“We’re taking the positive out of the negative,” he said. “We’re also looking to pay it forward. Once we recover from the losses, any leftover money or equipment we want to donate to other area leagues.”