Organizers are busy preparing for the 10th annual Casey at Bat Memorial Fastball tournament coming up in Williamsburg, May 24-26, and for the 10th annual they have lined up a ‘special’ opening ceremony.
In the 10 years that the Schell family has been hosting Casey at Bat, the popular tournament has raised over $10,000 for a number of local charities including high school bursaries, the Canadian Cancer Society and local hospice care.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary, Lyle Schell and his team have arranged an opening ceremony for Friday night, May 24 at 6 p.m. A highlight of the ceremony will be the first pitch of the tournament thrown out by local, former fastball player, Bert “Knappy” McIntosh.
The tournament, which is the lone yearly venue for longtime fastball fans in this area, is played in memory of Casey Schell, a player and advocate of the sport in this area.
“Bert, who will be throwing out this year’s first pitch, played ball with Grandpa Casey in the 30’s and 40’s,” says Lyle Schell, who in addition to being a tournament organizer, rounds up the players for the local Cigars team, which for the last two years has gone to the championship final, but lost.
This year’s Cigars team will include the Smith brothers, Jamie and Jason, Derek Whitteker, Kevin Williams and Lyle himself. They will be joined by the Alkerton brothers from Spencerville, Dan Loney from Cornwall and two players from Kingston.
In addition to “Knappy’s” first pitch, the Schell family, on behalf of everyone who made the 2012 tournament a huge success, will present a $1,200 cheque to Dundas County Hospice in memory of Lyle’s mother Joan Schell who passed away in 2010.
Following the opening ceremony, the Cigars will play in the first game of the tournament beginning at 6:30 p.m. A total of three games will be played Friday night, with 12 scheduled for Saturday and eight on Sunday.
The semi-final will be played Sunday at 3 p.m. with the final set for 5:30 p.m.
Longtime area fastball fans are invited out to the tournament to see some great action with some impressive teams coming from throughout the area.
The tournament also provides a great opportunity for anyone not familiar with fastball, and in particular local youth, to get a glimpse of this great sport that, with the exception of this tournament, has been missing locally for many years.