Angels and Diamond Sports replace high school's stolen equipment

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FOUNTAIN VALLEY (CNS) – The Angels Baseball Foundation is teaming up with a sporting goods distributor to replace equipment stolen from the Los Amigos High School baseball team, officials said today.

The foundation donated a $3,000 credit with Santa Ana-based Diamond Sports, which is in turn giving the Fountain Valley high school squad a 50 percent discount.

“It’s so they could stretch that credit to get them back on their feet,” Andrea Gordon of Diamond said. Diamond does not carry bats, but he said a company employee would help pair the team up with a manufacturer.

The Angels Baseball Foundation “should get the glory,” Gordon said. “It’s huge of the Angels to step up like that.”

Mark Merhab, chairman of the foundation, was equally happy to help. “We certainly don’t need the props,” he said. “That’s what we do.”

The donation was approved as soon as the weekend burglary came to Merhab’s attention. “It’s not something that needs to go through the board or anything else. We rubber stamp that,” he said.

The foundation made a similar donation to the school a few years ago to help the team’s coach revive the program.

“It’s in our back yard, so we’ve got to be there to support that,” Merhab said. “This is exactly what (Angels owner) Arte (Moreno) and (his wife) Carole had in mind when they started the foundation.”

The baseball equipment, including a pitching machine, was discovered stolen Monday morning, Fountain Valley police Sgt. Matt Sheppard said.

A groundskeeper locked up a storage shed about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, and when the volunteer returned about 9 a.m. Monday the door was open and the lock cut, Sheppard said.

The 30 varsity and junior varsity players lost their equipment, said Alan Trudell of the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Eighty-four percent of the school’s students come from “economically disadvantaged households,” Trudell said.

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