The Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball Organization's 2022 campaign was supposed to begin on April 11. But the start date for regular-season games was delayed while board members scrambled to find another uniform vendor.
Central Valley Vinyl Plus failed to fulfill the purchase order according to Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball leaders, coaches and parents.
Trina Dodd, co-owner of the Ceres business, said multiple order changes and a delivery delay prevented the job from being completed.
“She agreed to take the job and didn’t produce anything,” said Gerardo Hernandez, vice president of CYB. “She gave us information but I never had proof of anything being done. She never confirmed the jerseys arriving. I wasn’t the only person to ask for tracking numbers. She sidestepped it and refused. It’s been a crazy situation. The perception looks shady. Legal action is going to be taken. A lawyer is going to try to get our money back.”
“We got the bid in December,” explained Dodd. “We placed what we thought was the final order on March 17. We had issues with FedEx. If they (Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball Organization) closed registration on Feb. 12, we would have had plenty of time to get the job done with delays.”
Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball President Dima Ferrel chronicled the organization’s dealings with the business in an update shared on Facebook on April 14: “For the last three weeks we at Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball have tried numerous times to reach out to our new vendor regarding uniform status for the 2022 season to no avail,” she wrote. “We have asked for updates almost daily and proof of what uniforms have been completed and none were provided. After the vendor had stated via text that they had some team’s uniforms done we had asked for proof of completion to which again none were provided. We had asked for a time to pick up the completed uniforms which again went unanswered and a time or location was not provided. We as a league went on good faith that the leagues uniforms were going to be completed on time after the vendor stated on more than one occasion they would have been done by March 31, 2022. Unfortunately, this was not the case and we regret to inform that the uniforms are still not in hand by any members of the board. Since then, we have under legal counsel, sought out another vendor who has graciously taken our order and as of today ordered uniforms. We understand the frustration of all parents and coaches and we again as a league would like to extend our sincerest apologies in this issue but we are working tirelessly to ensure players receive uniforms as quickly as possible. At this time, we are working hand in hand with this new vendor and will post further updates as soon as we have them.”
Central Valley Vinyl Plus received two checks totalling $10,686.26 from the Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball Organization.
“It will be refunded back to them in May,” promised Dodd.
Ismael Ontiveros, a grandfather and coach of a Ceres T-ball player, also had a negative experience after paying Central Valley Vinyl Plus $500 to make jerseys for his team.
Ontiveros changed vendors after multiple delays.
“She (Dodd) kept making excuse after excuse,” Ontiveros said. “A lot of times she was non-responsive. It was a compete mess. Luckily for me, I paid with my Visa card. I challenged the charge and had it reversed because of goods not received. If I had written a check like CYB, I’d be screwed. It’s a sad thing. She never apologized. She put the blame on me.”
Opening day was rescheduled by Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball due to the uniform snafu.
“There was a lot of excitement to get going,” said Ralph Valencia, a parent and coach of a 7-and-under age group player. “To have no jerseys the first week was a bummer. It’s really bad a local business would do this and have no accountability. That’s the most troubling part. The people that suffer are the kids.”
“I’ve been coaching baseball for 30 years,” Ontiveros said. “Handing out uniforms is my favorite thing to do. Kids get the biggest smiles on their faces. They love it. We were robbed of that this year.”
Josephine’s Specialties stepped in at the last minute to complete Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball Organization’s uniform order for 46 teams.
Ontiveros also purchased jerseys for his team from the Hughson business.
“She bailed us out big time,” charged Hernandez. “She had 26 teams done within a week. The rest will be done by the end of this week.”
"”Uniforms are coming along,” stated Ferrel in a recent post on the organization’s Facebook page. “We hope to receive and start distributing to coaches as soon as they start coming in. I want to personally thank you all for supporting our league. We are working to make sure all your children get their uniforms. We appreciate the patience.”
The Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball board voted last winter to award the uniform contract to Central Valley Vinyl Plus. Josephine’s Specialties was also considered.
“When we were asked if we knew of anybody that could do it (uniforms), I might have recommended (Central Valley Vinyl Plus),” Board member Daniel Martinez said. “Throughout the process, I stayed 100 percent out of it. I abstained from voting because there was a conflict of interest.”
Martinez’s father Carlos is co-owner of Central Valley Vinyl Plus.
Carlos is Trina’s boyfriend.
“I’m upset with how everything went down,” said Daniel Martinez, a member of the Ceres Planning Commission who anticipates a second run for Ceres City Council . “It’s very unfortunate. I’m just as upset as everybody else.”
Central Valley Vinyl Plus has since changed its business name to Envy Vinyl and relocated to Turlock.
“The harassment has been getting so out of hand,” Dodd said. “They’ve taken it to the extreme. I’ve had to delete my Facebook. I’ve had trouble sleeping.”
“They didn’t run us out of town,” she added. “We were originally moving. We found a bigger place in Turlock.”