There was no shortage of emotional stories out of the Gord Closson Oldtimers Fall Classic fastball tournament in Glenora last weekend.
The tournament raised thousands of dollars for the family of Campbell River ballplayer Steve Wallace and his wife, Raianne, whose son, Mason, endured months of treatment at hospitals in Victoria and Vancouver after his birth in February.
Another player, Len Watt, had his father die on Friday. He still played in the tournament for Belfor Restorations, and his aunt asked him to hit a home run for his dad. Watt responded by blasting a grand slam.
Watt was honoured at the end of the tournament with the Ron Dill Award for most inspirational player and the Wilky Weekend Warrior award, as well as being named Belfor Restorations team MVP.
Other team MVPs included Kevin Hooper for Gord’s Geriatrics, Chris Forsberg for Rock Creek Revival, Chad Smith for Dogpatch, Mike Peters for Lantzville, Dylan McKinlay for the Rangers, Shane McLachlan for Baker Supply, and Trevor Gicas for the Bangers.
Herb Walker received the Mr. O’Keefe Award for most inspirational player, and Nina Ellison got the Chris Dame Award for most positive person. Richard Jones was named Favourite Umpire once more in his final appearance at the tournament.
“The teams have shown me so much respect as an umpire,” said Jones, who is retiring after more than 40 years behind the plate. “What a wonderful group of people.”
The Open Division was won by the Rangers, who beat Lantzville in the final. Belfor Restorations won the Masters Division over Gord’s Geriatrics. Gord’s Geriatrics also received the Team Participation Award.