ANTIOCH -- Play ball.
After being thrown for a curve three months ago when finding out its nonprofit status had been revoked, the Antioch Babe Ruth League has re-established its good standing with the state Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service.
According to the IRS, the league's status was revoked May 15, 2010, as it failed to return its 990-series tax forms for three consecutive years.
League officials, however, only found out about it in October. Previously, only the board treasurer had access to the post office box and bank account. She was removed from the board Oct. 7. Ed Daviess, appointed by the league's board of directors to investigate the situation, and accountant Jim Clay have worked to rectify the situation since then.
"It's wonderful we've been able to get past this. We have a lot of great new people on board, and we're looking forward," said Daviess, who was chosen as league president Nov. 1.
The league's nonprofit status was approved retroactive to the May 2010 date to protect the tax liability of investors, Daviess said.
"That was my biggest concern," he said.
With the nonprofit status back in place, the league has resumed holding fundraisers, concessions sales and sign-ups for the spring season. The league's first sign-ups will be held for youths ages 13 to 18 on Saturday at the league complex on Auto Center Drive.
The league's tax returns had not been filed for the past six years, according to minutes from an Oct. 7 league meeting. League officials say an investigation into the matter has not started, as efforts were focused on re-establishing the tax status ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline.
The league was assessed about $2,500 in penalties and late fees by the IRS, Daviess said.
Work has also been done to patch up relationships in the community as well as with other baseball leagues, Daviess said.
Denise Polta-Grech, who heads Babe Ruth's fundraising and sponsorships, said the league has had incidents in the past that have offended people and created grudges.
She doesn't think that will be the case this time.
"When I've approached businesses, I've told tell them the truth about what happened. We've gotten quite a bit of positive input and donations so far," Polta-Grech said.
"We have a lot of go-getters on the board that are working hard. I think people will give us a chance. It's all to help the kids," she said.
Meanwhile, the Babe Ruth League, along with the Antioch Historical Society and the Antioch Youth Sports Complex, continues to work with the city on ways to receive discounted water for its fields.
Antioch has provided water for the property the league leases from Dow Chemical since it was determined in the early 1990s that a well on the grounds was contaminated. The city had the well capped.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.