SAUGUS — Donors stepped up to the plate when World Series Park was destroyed by a mob of teenagers last year. Now, they’ll be honored on a permanent Wall of Fame.
More than two dozen teenagers kicked in doors and tore downspouts from the building last summer. They smashed glass beer bottles on the ground, overturned trash cans, and spread litter and filth across the field. Because of the low quality of surveillance cameras at the park, they never answered for the path of destruction they carelessly left behind, said Park Superintendent Bob Davis, who watched the footage the next day.
“It was disturbing to watch it happen — to see them actually try to stomp in the doors of the building,” said Davis. “Thank God they didn’t do more damage. Everything was repairable.”
As the teenagers tried to kick in doors, Davis believes an alarm was set off.
“I noticed at about quarter past 12, they scattered like ants,” he said. “I think they broke the alarm.”
For Davis, the destruction felt personal.
In 2003, his son was involved in the Babe Ruth baseball and complained to him that the town needed another big-league-sized field. At the time, all games were held at Stackpole Field, he said.
A large committee formed a nonprofit organization, and got permission from the town to use an overgrown field from the 1960s. Fundraisers were held and countless hours of work went into creating what today is the park.
“Right now, we really don’t have a lot of people to help,” he said. “I basically take care of it.”
Davis cuts the grass and his family runs the snack bar.
While many of the repairs were donated by people in the community, some still came at a cost. The biggest burden was the installation of eight high-definition security cameras that will enable Davis to clearly see faces and license plate numbers of people trespassing on the property. The upgrade came at a cost of more than $4,000.
Davis came up with the idea to raise money by offering donors a chance to have their name permanently engraved on a wall of the park he dubbed the World Series Park Wall of Fame.
When $100 or more is donated, the donor’s name is added to the wall. Davis hoped he could raise enough money to cover the cost of the security cameras, but soon realized he would far surpass his goal.
The months-long fundraiser ended with about $12,000 in the bank for park upkeep and maintenance, said Davis.
“It turned out to be a pretty successful project,” said Davis.
Donations are still being accepted, but the wall is already being prepped with more than 100 names for an unveiling and dedication ceremony later this month.
On July 28 at 2 p.m., the honorees will be invited to attend a ceremony on the field side of the World Series Park Building. Ed Stetson, a Lynn resident who spearheaded much of the fundraising, will unveil the new plaque and read the names.
“Our goal continues to be to provide a first-class facility for playing baseball in Saugus and to encourage the youth of Saugus to play baseball,” said Davis.