Find a League In Your Area
Submitted by Jeff Gardenhire, Tournament Director
(Photos courtesy of Jane Burkitt) There were record setting
temperatures this weekend but we made it through. When the Sacramento Men’s Baseball League started this Father/Son tournament seven years ago I think we had maybe four or five
teams. This year we had nine and almost ten, four of which already play in Arizona at the MSBL World Series every year. I wouldn’t be surprised to
see some new teams created to go to Arizona. In the 2017 edition
championship games, the Cap City Cardinals defeated TABU 7-1 for the Division ‘A’
trophy and the Capitals came out on top, 6-2, over the Sac Giants in Division ‘B’. Congratulations to you both!
This tournament is fast becoming a great tradition in Northern
California. Each year we make some changes and attempt to improve the
experience for teams. The first change that has been a big hit was to play it
on Father’s Day weekend.
Two years ago we named the tournament after Val Lewis, the
creator of our league and this idea. Val
is a legend after all! This year we had
two divisions instead of one to give more teams a chance to advance to Sunday.
We had three teams from Tri Valley MSBL join us this year. TABU and the Tri Valley Giants represented Tri
Valley MSBL and Santa Rosa from the Redwood Empire Baseball League. All three
said they are returning next year. Every year we have a couple of stories that
warm your heart and this year was no exception.
One of my team mates, Gonzo Sr., texted me on his way home
last night that his youngest son, who has not played baseball since he was 13 years
old, wants to get back into playing baseball and wants his Dad to work with
him. His younger brother has gotten all the accolades and Gonzo Jr. has been
overshadowed. When Gonzo Jr. said that to
Gonzo Sr. you could imagine the excitement his Dad felt. The game we love
was bringing them together.
Allie Crump from the Hammer Dogs singled and knocked in her Uncle,
Rick Crump, in the last inning of their playoff game to take the lead. It
looked like it was her day to be the hero but the Giants prevailed with two of
their own in the bottom half with a walk off victory to advance.
What makes this story special is that Allie played softball at Boise State and was an All-League player for Elk Grove
High School. The baseball genes didn’t pass her up. The Crump brothers,
who are well known in this area, can all bang. Her Dad, Mark Crump, who passed
away last year from Lou Gehrig disease, is a SMSBL Hall of Famer. Getting to
play with her uncle and cousins was special. What a great way to honor her Dad
on Father’s Day.
Here is a quote from her Uncle Rick Crump after yesterday’s
tournament. "Val Lewis created something
here more special than words can describe.”
Here is another quote is from Mike Pankow of TABU. "This Father's Day tournament is the
highlight of the entire year for many of us! There are many fathers and sons
that cannot participate in Arizona but are available for something more local
like this tournament. TABU has several fathers with multiple World Series rings
in the men's divisions and every one of us say that participating in this means
more to us than any of those championships. It is an incredible time for
bonding where the young men get to act like adults and the older men seem to
lead as great examples of sportsmanship and playfulness in this game.
The spirit of competition, sportsmanship and
camaraderie is far greater than the end result of winning or losing! This sense
of spirit goes beyond the boundary of one team's dugout and extends into
several other dugouts and the parking lot with multiple teams! This is truly
and incredible family event! Baseball and Father's Day is just a convenient
excuse to make it happen. Every year
creates incredible memories on and off the field and we all thank you so very
much for putting this together.”