Despite a theft, an out of town Little League team is doing quite well in Tulsa

Thursday, July 17th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Hundreds of youth baseball players, coaches and family members are in the Tulsa area this week to play in a big tournament.

One team is overcoming the odds to still be in the game. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells visited with the team Thursday.

They drove all night from west Texas to get here. They checked in to the motel, and then someone stole their trailer full of clothes and baseball equipment. And they are lucky to still be in the game. The Shockers from Odessa Texas are here to play in the USSSA World Series. A dozen 12 and 13 year olds, plus coaches, parents, and other family members. Among 95 teams here from all over the country.

Assistant Shocker coach Danny Gray:” We were ranked 12th in the country when we got here." Particularly good considering many of them are playing with borrowed gear, someone stole their equipment trailer right after they got here Sunday morning. "Yeah, 5:30 Sunday morning. 8 o'clock, somebody came and took the whole trailer." It probably amounts to thousands of dollars worth of clothes and baseball equipment.

In spite of that unpleasant welcome to Tulsa, some local folks are trying to help. There have been some donations and just to prove good sportsmanship is not dead, another west Texas team staying in the same motel, has loaned them some gear. "We've got a team here from El Paso called the El Paso Diamonds that we play all the time, they've loaned us some gloves in between time when we need them."

So far everything's working. "We're 5-0, we've come through, the good Lord is looking after us." There are 1,400 United States Specialty Sports Association baseball teams in the US. 95 of them were invited here. That's more than a thousand players.

Plus another youth baseball group is holding a big tournament in the Tulsa area too, that's the economic development part of the story. Several area groups and individuals have pledge some financial help to these kids to restore some of their gear, that is the humanitarian aspect.