For 56 seasons Brooklyn Center Little League has delivered cherished memories for children and their parents. On suburban summer nights, the gentle ping of aluminum bats rings through Thurs Park, as baseball tykes make adorably errant throws while learning about the game and, hell, life.
It's too bad trash outlaws are dumping all over this childhood paradise.
A slice of this first-ring heaven has turned into a garbage heap, as jerks have taken to illegally unloading their trash at the ball fields.
"In the last month people have been considering it their own landfill and have been bringing down huge dump-truck loads of really large cement piles, their brush and bathroom tiles, and all kinds of piping," says league president Deb Stoddard.
The problem started last fall when the league began a restoration project on a field that was underwater. It turned out they needed a special permit and the project was nixed, but they had already started accepting donations there for wood chips and other landscaping materials. After the useful goods accumulated, people started leaving random trash mountains in the overflow parking lot between the park's two baseball fields.
Stoddard says the debris appears to be both residential and commercial, noting someone in an unidentified company vehicle was recently spotted adding to the mess.
Though some penalties have already been waived, the league with a shoestring budget faces fines and a hefty cleanup tab. It has until the end of the month to shore up a plan for removing the junk, which Stoddard estimates will cost $18,000.
"We try to keep about $500 to $1,000 in the checking account to pay for the water bill and the electric bill between September and the next April," she says. "So $18,000 to us wouldn't be anything that we'd have even in two or three years."
While volunteers have removed some of the household litter -- a TV, couch, and desk -- other trash such as chunks of concrete 6-8 inches thick remains. Stoddard says their neighbors are irked as fans and parents have been forced to park along residential streets. Not to mention that the Grey Monster is an eyesore.
"When we play in our main field ... if you're on the third base line your entire back view is piles of debris," Stoddard says.
People with any info on the dumpers are encouraged to seek vigilante justice. Or maybe just call the Brooklyn Center cops.
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