If, like me, you’re a Seattle Mariners fan, you’re probably looking for a bit of good news right now. After watching the hapless and (nearly) hitless Seattle nine skunk their way to a seven-game losing streak recently, I’m about to give up … so I can’t be the bearer of any good report.
Perhaps that’s why I was happy to hear about a bit of good baseball/softball diamond fortune on our side of the Puget Sound.
The Sequim Little League recently kicked off its 2014 season, but the league would have had a much tougher time on Opening Day if it were not for the generosity of the Olympic View Community Foundation.
In late March, Little League officials opened the league’s storeroom to sort through gear and found dozens of items damaged. Rodents apparently found a way into the storeroom, league president Garin Williams said, and chewed away fabric from catcher chest protectors, the foam from batting helmets and more.
“I was panicking,” Williams said. “We have some funds but certainly not enough to cover (the damage).”
Karyn McCracken, Little League boys players agent, connected with youth sports advocate Craig Stevenson, who in turn connected league officials with Sue Ellen Riesau and Olympic View Community Foundation. (Gazette readers may recall Riesau was publisher here for many years.)
Riesau said she took it the Little League’s problem via a letter from McCracken to the foundation board, who saw an opportunity to help using a pool of funds set up for just such a community need.
“It was not a grant (but) more of an initiative, to help with a need that was immediate and compelling,” she said. “If there wasn’t equipment, they can’t play and it would be the little ones who could not play. Sometimes a need emerges and people can’t anticipate it (and) kids are certainly part of our mission.”
The foundation bestowed $1,500 to the league for gear replacement.
“They stepped up like troopers,” Williams said.
Williams also noted getting support from East Jefferson and Port Townsend Little League officials, who were willing to step in and help at the last minute.
With all the painful, ugly stories we’ve heard in regional, national and international news recently, this good news story came at a great time. As Dave Niehaus would say, “My oh my.”
Editor Michael Dashiell anticipates he’ll get his baseball fix from local leagues from now on … until the Mariners’ next spring training. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.