The Texas Rangers are giving some big league support to Arlington Little Leaguers whose season was canceled after a series of alleged thefts from its coffers.
The Texas Rangers Foundation, along with pitchers Derek Holland and Joe Nathan and shortstop Elvis Andrus, are contributing money to make up for the more than $20,000 that was reportedly stolen by the former president of the Southeast Arlington Little League.
"I know, growing up, I couldn't imagine not having a place to, or an organization to go play for," Nathan said.
Arlington police arrested Claudia Yamell Castillo, 34, last week after the league's board members presented investigators with evidence they say proves Castillo stole the money over a period of nearly a year.
"It was a slow process, and the more we uncovered, the more concerned we were with what we found," said newly elected league president Lucas Larson.
In addition to the money, the Rangers donated 550 tickets to the Little League's 300 players and their families to attend Wednesday night's game against the Houston Astros at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. There will be a ceremony on the field recognizing the Southeast Arlington Little Leaguers prior to the 7:05 pm first pitch.
"All these guys played Little League, [so] it's something that we try to push -- youth baseball," Rangers spokesman John Blake said. "And being able to let these kids play and let them get back on the field it's, as I say, the least we could do."
At Craven's Park, the Little League's home field, parents and players lined up on Monday for their complimentary tickets to Wednesday's game.
"Oh, [I] just can't even put it to words," Larson said. "We're just fired up. I mean everyone in the league -- all the players, coaches ... we're excited. This will be the best season we've ever had."