VAN WADE — Battle Orange Youth Baseball & Softball Complex vandalism with heroic deeds

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

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While area high school softball and baseball teams are nearing the playoff seasons, it always reminds me of where a lot of the kids started, and that is in the Little League ranks.

Those were great times to learn about the game and build up friendships and learning about teamwork.

And yes, we can’t forget about those snow cones, especially the free ones you could get by retrieving foul balls.

Unfortunately, the “bad element” can creep in and try to ruin everything for everyone involved.

That happened at the Orange Youth Baseball & Softball Complex a little more than a week ago.

Thieves hit the ball fields at Memorial Park to steal copper. No, let’s make that “stealing from children.” Basically all of the lighting was out at the parks due to the copper being stolen from the light poles.

I can’t even begin to understand why some of these so-called recycling firms, who buy such things as stolen copper, are not hardly ever punished. They have to know they are paying burglars for stolen items.

However, there are always folks that rise up. They don’t worry about becoming a hero, they just want to do whatever they can to help their community out.

Enter Brad Childs, owner of Child’s Ace Hardware. I’ve been fortunate enough to know Brad and his amazing wife, Terri, who I graduated with from LC-M in 1985, and they are an amazing pair.

Brad, without hesitation, stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. He donated the needed equipment and helped restore the lights for the kids. Brad is not the kind of guy that’s going to do a celebration dance at home plate after hitting one out of the park, but when you see him anywhere in town, just give him a pat on the back for doing such a wonderful deed as he continues to do so many super things for our area.

While on the subject of athletes on the diamond, the Bridge City Lady Cardinals and tLittle Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears enter the Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoff round this week. The Lady Cardinals, led by the “smoking” arm of ace pitcher Carson Fall, went through District 22-4A play unscathed with a perfect 12-0 mark to claim the district crown. Meanwhile, the Lady Bears, despite being so young, rolled to a 10-2 district mark to earn the second seed, thanks to strong leadership by senior Cami Shugart.

In baseball, the Orangefield Bobcats clinched the outright District 22-4A title last week and owned a 10-1 district record heading into their season finale against Vidor Tuesday night.

Bridge City and Little Cypress-Mauriceville are deep in the playoff seeding chase with two games left as the Cardinals and Bears also look to punch in playoff tickets.

Also, congrats to former West Orange-Stark product Jack Dallas and the Lamar Cardinals baseball program. They are on the hunt in the Western Athletic Conference title chase after winning a weekend series against Stephen F. Austin over the weekend. Dallas, who became the all-time saves leader at Lamar earlier this season, notched the win on the hill Sunday as the Cardinals look to finish strong down the homestretch.

Van Wade is the Orange Newsmedia sports editor. He can be reached at