Dallas Fire-Rescue was all set to play a championship game against the New York Police Department in a charity baseball tournament Friday morning, but thieves spoiled the fun.
First reported by the NY Daily News, the game had to be postponed because someone broke into the NYPD team's equipment van while it was parked overnight outside the Marriott Suites in North Dallas.
The players' personal bats, gloves, baseballs, uniforms and more were stolen from the van sometime between the hours of 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Friday. None of the stolen items included NYPD issued weapons, badges or other work-related gear.
Dallas police said Friday afternoon it found some of the stolen equipment at a nearby apartment complex, but not all of the gear was at that location.
The NYPD team, which won two games to get to the championship, now faces the prospect of potentially missing out on the championship game. The players must fly back to New York on Saturday. "Everything you would need to field a team, to dress a team literally just ruined our chances of a championship game,” said NYPD baseball player Dennis O’Sullivan.
The team got up Friday morning, planning to make the ride to La Grave Field in Fort Worth and win the championship.
“When we opened the van to throw additional equipment in, it was pretty surreal to see it completely empty,” said O’Sullivan.
"I was standing next to Dennis and I looked at him like, ‘Is this real?’” said Anthony NYPD baseball player Anthony Carnacchil. “You get that moment in your stomach that’s like your stomach drops."
Dallas police helped out with an assist -- someone spotted one of the stolen equipment bags under a carport in a corner of the Bachman Glenn apartments, about four miles north of where the gear was stolen.
“I got my glove back, most of my uniform, my cleats but it’s kind of bittersweet…stinks my guys got to go through all this,” said NYPD team captain P.J. Ragone.
The NYPD is in town to support the tournament that this year benefits the son of a Dallas Fire-Rescue officer. NYPD officers pay their own way and for all of their baseball gear.
“They're our brothers, and we'll come back to Dallas again,” said NYPD baseball manager Jose Vazquez. “This won't stop us. We'll keep going."
The best hope is that whoever stole the equipment will think twice when they see all the NYPD logos on the gear.
WJBK-TV | Fox 2 16550 West Nine Mile Rd. Southfield, MI 48075
Main Station: (248) 557-2000 Newsroom: (248) 552-5103