Vandals strike again at baseball centre

Vandals couldn’t wait to get a crack at South Surrey Athletic Park’s baseball training centre.
Pesky punks have thrown a curveball at WRSS Baseball Association, costing the group thousands of dollars by smashing windows at the facility.
For the second time since construction began last year, windows have been cracked by thrown rocks. A pane of the shatter-proof glass was cracked in November. Earlier this month, four more reinforced panes were destroyed.
WRSSBA president John Hogg said the glass won’t be replaced until construction is finished, and the building officially opens,
“This is about $2,000 in damage and we just don’t want to keep replacing them,” Hogg said Monday.
“During construction it’s almost inviting that sort of vandalism – there’s rocks and debris lying around. The building is susceptible to that kind of thing during this stage.”
Hogg hopes once the building opens, vandals will give it a rest.
“When it opens, there will be better lighting, not as much (debris) lying around,” he said.
“It is a bit of a concern, but we hope that the community understands that it’s their facility and takes ownership of it, and has some respect for it.”
The building is near completion, and is already in use – registration for the 2007 season was held there Saturday – but the facility should be ready for full use in time for a grand opening in March. Only two major installations are left – netting and an artificial turf sport floor.
Saturday’s registration brought in record first-day numbers for WRSSBA.
More than 500 players signed up for 2007, and 500 more are expected at the next registration Jan. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m.
“We had more people register on the first day than we’ve ever had – usually we get 300 or so,” Hogg said.
“If the second day reflects other days we’ve had in the past, we’re really going to be stretched.”
More than 1,200 ballplayers suited up last season, making the Peninsula’s the largest minor baseball association in Canada.
There was a minimal waiting list for potential players last year, and Hogg expects that to be the case again this time around, especially in the younger divisions.
“We had 20 six- and seven-year-old teams last year, and 12 mini-eight teams, so if there’s going to be a waitlist, we anticipate that’s where it will be,” he said.
“But we don’t know for sure yet, we’ll have to see how things unfold.”