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Sports Equipment Swap Planned for Oz Park

 Young ballplayers field ground balls at the Oz Park Baseball Association opening day celebration.
Young ballplayers field ground balls at the Oz Park Baseball Association opening day celebration.
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Oz Park Baseball Association

LINCOLN PARK — Those old cleats, bats, sticks, mitts, balls and pads that are cluttering your storage space can find a new home at an upcoming sports equipment swap meet in Lincoln Park.

The Play it Forward swap meet is scheduled for June 14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oz Park, 2021 N. Burling St., in Lincoln Park.

"I have shoes, I have gloves, I have bats. I probably have a little bit of everything [collected] over the years," said organizer Linda Nitzsche, of Lincoln Park, who wants to give people an opportunity to shed old equipment and pick up new items.

"At the end of the day, we could be helping other people, too," she said.

Items should be clean and in good condition so that they can be reused. Only sports equipment — no clothing or uniforms — is included in the swap meet.

The swap meet — which is free of charge and limits people to taking home three items — is sanctioned by the Oz Park Baseball Association, but is not a fundraiser, Nitzsche said. Leftover items will be donated to several community organizations.

Anyone can attend the swap meet, and donation boxes have been set up at five neighborhood locations: Alcott Elementary School, 2625 N. Orchard St.; Lakeshore Sport and Fitness, 1320 W. Fullerton Ave.; Menomonee Club, 1535 N. Dayton St.; Wrightwood Park, and the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West.

While Nitzsche was inspired in part by her growing collection of baseball equipment — thanks to two boys, 11 and 12, who have been playing ball for years — she said any sports equipment was  welcome: "You never know what other people might need."

Nitzsche said those with questions can contact her at playitforwardsportsswap@gmail.com.

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