BAR HARBOR — For the third year in a row, Acadian Youth Sports has had the bases from at least three of the fields on Park Street stolen. To replace them is an expense of at least $1,000 each time.
“That’s right, $3,000 dollars has been expended now for this issue that could have gone for uniforms, equipment, scholarships, etc.,” a representative of the board of directors wrote on the organization’s Facebook page recently.
“We’re at a loss,” said Kyle McKim, who represents the town of Trenton on the 10-member board. “Usually what has happened is the anchored piece in the ground does not go missing, but this time it has. We don’t have any bases.”
These aren’t just your standard bases either. Replacing them requires a trip to Wight’s Sporting Goods store in Hampden or an online order to a company in Texas.
“They’re expensive because they have to be a certain kind of Little League approved [base],” McKim explained in a phone call with the Islander. “When kids slide into them, they move so [the kids] don’t get hurt… They’re expensive but, more importantly, the kids can’t play without them.”
At each of the three fields located along Park Street near the snack shack, first, second and third bases were all taken. Home plate remains on each field.
“The interesting piece of the puzzle here is we’re not the only ones able to use the field, because they are town fields,” said McKim, when asked why the bases aren’t put away and stored at the end of the season.
In a typical year, as many as 10 teams through AYS programs are using the fields. Conners Emerson School’s softball team plays on one of the fields as well as some adult league teams, according to McKim.
Last year was not a typical year for AYS, but they still had skills clinics for players, along with some scrimmages. In order to have even the limited programming, the organization needed bases, so they replaced them and then left them for other teams to use.
Earlier this month, when those in the organization went to the fields to start getting ready for this season, they found three baseless fields once again.
“We discover it about the same time every year,” said McKim, noting there are cameras up at the fields, but there is no way to tell when the theft happened. “It would be a pretty arduous process to go through six months of footage.”
Despite the message on Facebook, there has not been any information offered as to what may have happened. And, as with the last two years, AYS officials are going to get new bases so its teams can play.
“We’re in the process of doing so right now,” said McKim. “We’ve had a lot of local support… Those fields see a lot of people every day. It’s hard to say where they would have gone and why they would have gone.”