OKOLONA, Ky. (WAVE) - At the Blue Lick baseball fields on Mud Lane, an American pastime is playing out.
Tyler Parker, 8, is on the mound, but that's just for the moment.
"I sometimes play second base and I mostly play the outfield," Parker said. "I'm a good batter."
It's hot out, but Parker is used to it. After all, he's been playing for half his life.
"I played in wee ball and I've never changed my number from 10," Parker said.
But change is something he and his team now know all about.
"We have no way to maintain the fields," Chad Hagan, President of the Blue Lick Optimist Youth League Complex, said.
That’s not because volunteers quit or because machines broke down.
"They pried the steel plate out, took the knob off," Hagan said, describing a break in he discovered at the facility Saturday.
To get into storage and concessions, thieves had to cut chains and security camera wiring.
"This is where our security system was," Hagan said. "All they left was a monitor that they broke and destroyed."
Someone stole the league’s four wheeler and other items adding up to at least $5,000 worth of equipment -- all while young ball players were away at tournaments organizers had worked hard to set up.
"Just to have baseball for these kids," Hagan said. "Just to see something like that happen and taken away right out from under you, it deflates you. It wears you down."
Field operators said police are investigating. For the moment, the kids are making due.
"It's just cause I like having fun," Parker said.
But it’s clear, when someone takes equipment from a youth baseball team, they’re stealing more than just their gear.
The operators of the fields have set up a fundraiser to make up their losses. Click or tap here to donate.