FAIRFIELD — Melissa Cruz-Delacruz was working hard to feed hungry young baseball players Saturday at the Cordelia/Tri-Valley Little League field.
Players and their family members came to the snack shack in droves to grab some food and support the league after a suspicious fire Jan. 3 damaged the structure and most of the lawn equipment stored inside, causing an estimated $80,000 in damage, possibly more.
The back side of the shack is boarded up. There’s no electricity. The smell of smoke lingers. Even so, Cruz-Delacruz served food from the snack shack during a baseball clinic Saturday to help raise money to pay for repairs and new equipment.
Children ages 4 to 11 came out to learn about baseball from some of the best in their field. Coaches and players from Rodriguez, Armijo and Fairfield high schools donated their time to teach the children about pitching, catching and sliding.
Bud and Linny Tonnesen signed up their 10-year-old grandson, Adrian Nix, for the clinic. They were happy to see that the high school players were friendly and professional with the children.
“It’s great for these coaches to get together,” Bud Tonnesen said.
Martha Rocha brought her grandson, 4-year-old William Clark, to play as well as to support the Little League.
“He lives in Suisun. . . . It does not have T-ball,” Rocha said. “We take advantage of all of the clinics.”
Thieves may very well have caused the fire, according to fire officials. No one has been arrested.
Since the fire, local businesses, contractors and other youth baseball leagues have stepped in to help raise cash to repair the shack and replace equipment. The clinic was an extension of those efforts.
Cruz-Delacruz said she was heartened to see such a big turnout. It gave her hope that the league would recover, she said.
“You did not stop us,” Cruz-Delacruz said, referring to those responsible for the fire. “We’re going to pick up and move on.”
Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.