SWISSVALE (KDKA) — Just two weeks away from the start of their season, a girls’ youth softball team’s equipment has vanished. However, it’s unclear if it was just taken mistakenly or if it was stolen.
Coach John Wilson admits he got emotional after he found the equipment shed for the Swissvale Orioles girls’ softball team pretty much empty.
“I teared up,” said Wilson. “I almost lost my composure, but then I remembered what my position was, but at the end of the day, it hurt for real.”
The Swissvale Orioles have won seven championships in recent years, but that didn’t prevent this unfortunate event.
The team’s equipment shed sits next the field by Dickson Elementary, and the coach says it was locked. But the school is being renovated, and the Woodland Hills School District allowed the public inside recently to clear things out, taking desks, chairs and other items for free.
Trouble is, Wilson says they also helped themselves to the team’s equipment, and he believes those people knew what they were doing.
“I don’t see how they didn’t know it wasn’t off limits being that our girls’ softball is a big thing in our community,” Wilson said.
He took some photos of the aftermath. Wilson said he found a few things scattered on the ground outside the shed, but helmets, bats, pads, rubber bases and a hitting net were all missing.
“I would hope they bring back every piece of equipment that they took out of here with a very nice apology,” Wilson said.
In the meantime, he says they have to come up with a Plan B. He’s started a GoFundMe page to raise money for new equipment. If you would like to help, visit this link.
KDKA reached out to several people from the school district, but have not gotten a response. Coach Wilson has reported the incident to the police.