Friday, May 2, 2014

NYPD baseball team misses championship game after someone stole their gear: Report

Someone gave the steal sign at a baseball tournament championship game between a New York Police Department squad and a Dallas-area firefighters team and — unfortunately for the NYPD nine — it happened before the game even started.

The New York Finest Baseball Club, as the team is known, won two games Thursday to make the championship game. But when the players left their hotel in Dallas to go to the field for Friday's title game, they learned someone had broken into the team's mini-van and cleaned out most of their equipment and uniforms.

The late-night steal — from a rented van filled with bats, gloves, spikes and uniforms in the hours before the big game — sent the NYPD baseball team back to New York without a championship and most of their gear.

No suspects were arrested as the disappointed New Yorkers packed up their remaining possessions and prepared for their return trip.

“There will be no winner,” said retired city cop and team manager Jose Vasquez. “No title this year.”

The team arrived in Texas on Monday to play in the round-robin charity tournament and advanced to the 10 a.m. championship.

Vasquez said the players on the NYFBC discovered the theft about 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch when they left the Marriott Suites in Dallas.

The 18-man team is self-funded with players paying for their own uniforms, equipment and travel.

Vasquez said his players pay top dollar for their equipment, including custom-made bats. Replacing the stolen items, he said, was not as simple “as walking into a Modell’s.”

It was only last month in Los Angeles when thieves made off with guns and badges from the locker room at a charity football game between the LAPD and San Diego PD teams.

Crooks are sure getting bold.

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