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Equipment stolen from Detroit kids' baseball league

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Coach Samuel Crowder said thieves stole equipment from the Barney McCoskey Baseball League. Coach Samuel Crowder said thieves stole equipment from the Barney McCoskey Baseball League.
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Thieves broke into the clubhouse of the Barney McCoskey Baseball League and stole lots of equipment.

"You just made it tougher, much tougher on a lot of young people in the city, and you should be ashamed of yourself," said Coach Samuel Crowder.

The league has been a staple in the inner city for 56 years.  Named for the former Tigers' outfielder, it is responsible for keeping thousands of Detroit kids on the right path.

"It's hard to say I need a couple of hundred dollars to put my kids into something.  We charge $25 for baseball," Crowder explained.  "We don't make any money, but we make sure the kids have a good time."

"I saw that the door had been pried open," he added.  "I looked for the equipment that we keep in the lockers.  It was gone.  Our generators for our pitching machines were gone.  All of our baseball bats were gone.  A lot of the catcher's equipment, the grader that we used to grade the field, the copper pipes, I didn't know that until later on that they had took all the copper."

The building was stripped.  The league is in the middle of registration and preparing the fields for the nearly 300 children between the ages of three and nine who plan to participate this year.  Now Crowder and his team are taking donations and pooling their own money to re-purchase team gear.

"I don't know what we're going to tell the kids.  My goal is to have a season," Crowder said.  "We're going to have to get some equipment from somewhere."

If you would like to help the league, contact Coach Crowder at coachsam61@yahoo.com or call (313) 493-9129.

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