EAST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Generosity from two local residents is helping a group of young ballplayers stay on the diamond.
Nearly 20 young baseball players from cash-strapped families say they were locked out of Lemon Grove park in East Hollywood and have had to practice in a parking lot.READ MORE: Día De Los Muertos Celebrations and Others Return To LA
Players on the LA Bulldogs baseball team, aged 8 to 12 and from low-income families, have been unable to practice at the city park because their parents have not been successful in getting permits for their kids to play there.
Instead, they’d had to play in the parking lot, gathering scrapes and scabs, until other teams were finished. The city told the team that the field would be available Mondays and Wednesdays but that the team would have to pay a fee.
They were locked out last week.
“We were getting time on the field from whatever they had left over,” Johanna Sarmiento said.
The Wilshire Girls Softball League was able to block out the premium weekday hours, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations
That league’s president, Adam Glickman, says he is sympathetic to the team’s situation.
“There’s just not enough field space,” Glickman said.
Then, a local couple read about the young team’s situation and wanted to help. Diego Chavez, 88, and his wife Annie, 70, went to a police station to figure where the baseball field was.
“I wanted to help, (to) get the permit, so the kids could play, and get them off the street,” Chavez said.
CBS2 put Chavez and his wife in touch with Sarmiento.
“My wife has a check to make out to them today,” Chavez said.MORE NEWS: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims
The couple paid for the fee for the boys to play on the field for two months. While they still required help, the Wilshire Girls Softball also kicked in and is ready to donate permitted times on Fridays to the team for the remainder of February, March and April.