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Vandals strike at Wasilla’s McManus Field

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 9:55 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The McManus Field in Wasilla has once again been the target of vandalism. It’s a scene Ken Ottinger has seen a few times.

“It’s kind of getting old,” said Ottinger, the head coach of the Wasilla Post 35 baseball program.

Vandals spray painted graffiti, some of it vulgar, all over team’s dugout and other buildings at McManus Field.

“The parents, the kids, they just put a lot of time and effort into this field. It gets old to see so much work go into it,” Ottinger said. “And then just, you know, a couple of bad eggs come out and kind of just ruin your stuff.”

Ottinger said he found out about the damage on Wednesday while he and his wife drove home from Anchor Point.

“A close friend texted me and said ‘hey, you might want to get down to the field, it’s been tagged up pretty well,’” Ottinger said.

This is fourth time the ball field has been damaged since 2016. Vandals also struck in 2017, and in 2018. That incident saw doors broken and a lawn mower damaged, along with baseball equipment left out in the rain. Ottinger estimated the damage from the 2018 incident at around $5,000. The cost to repair the latest damage is expected to be significantly less — the cost of a few cans of paint.

However, because it’s close to winter, Ottinger believes it will likely be spring before the offensive graffiti is removed. Meanwhile, Ottinger said he’d like to be able to connect with those responsible.

“I would love an opportunity just to talk with the kids and be ‘hey, why would you come out here and vandalize something that isn’t yours?’” said Ottinger.

It’s a question he has not had to try and get an answer to in three years.

Anyone with information about the recent vandalism is asked to contact Ottinger on his Facebook page.

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