By Melissa Garcia
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Hundreds of youth baseball players and their parents are frustrated after missing money led to the cancellation of their league’s tournament.
The Thornton Baseball Association called off the two-week tournament until hours beforehand, when the league notified parents about the lack of funds.
“They sent an email out saying they were going to cancel the rest of the season. And I’m sorry, but it’s over,” said Jefferson Nalley, a parent and coach.
Nalley is the father of all-star player Aidan Burns, 12.
“Since the money was gone, I didn’t even get that chance (to play in the tournament), Burns told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia. “I felt pretty sad. I felt like I wanted to cry because I worked really hard.”
Nalley was also very disappointed.
“Anguish, in a way, for my son not being able to play, all the kids I spent a lot of time on coaching, they weren’t going to have a culmination to their season,” Nalley said.
The league’s former president, Juan Carlos Garcia, resigned after big money troubles came to light.
The association owes $12,000 to umpires and thousands more on an insurance policy cancelled for non-payment.
The more than 500 players and their parents were left wondering where the money went.
Mark Gonzales, the league’s interim president, said that all players were required to pay the association between $155 and $200 per season. It adds up to nearly $80,000.
“I really feel for all the players and the parents,” said Johnny Molina, the association board’s secretary.
Molina did not know where the funds had gone either, because the former president, who resigned after the money troubles came to light, was the only person with access to the league’s bank account, he said. Over the phone, Garcia said he was working to provide budget numbers and said the problems were not due to theft or any other wrongdoing. He said expenses exceeded the funds.