july2007

Monkton - tourny wrap-up & final thoughts

July 6, 2007

Monkton, ON


Monkton, Ont

Truly, a Dream Come True

Tourny Wrap-up… 2007

(I apologize for the lateness of this letter, as I am currently in the US
and unable to compose and send to Al’s immediately)

It never ceases to amaze me how fast our week-end fly’s by. Mind you, my
body (and mind) tell me I’ve been far too busy and need to slow down, which
I have done the last few days. Yet still, occurrences and memories of this
tourney- and fastball in general continue to monopolize my thoughts.

The ballpark returned to its normal self Monday, unfortunately. I wish it
could look like that all summer. I feel like an artist who is unsatisfied
with his masterpiece – throwing it away and starting from scratch once
again. It’s not a good feeling, but it is reality.

However, I and my Exec. Committee are very happy and proud. Once again we
raised the bar for ourselves and met it with ease, or so it seems, but it
does not happen with a snap of ones fingers nor is it magic. A vision, a
goal, a plan, and a team to execute the plan are absolutely crucial. Doing
the absolute best job possible is our only option. This past week-end is the
fruit of that compulsion.

We were blessed to have glorious sunny days, cool fresh nights, and
spectacular fastball all week-end long. The final result had the So. Cal
Bombers claiming top honours in our tourney, and is a true testament that
any one of the approx. top 10 ranked teams have a legit shot at winning the
World’s in Kitchener. Congrats to Kelly McGiffin, Rob Schick, the Trejo’s –
Ralph Sr. and Jr. and the entire Bombers organization. Equally as impressive
was the Kitchener Hallman Twins, who served notice that they too can and
will contend in every game of every tourney, and relish the opportunity to
walk off with a championship ring on home turf come August.

The week-end was not without disappointment and heartache to a few teams,
yet, as any team in any pro sport can tell you, things don’t and can’t
always go as planned. Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and
professionalism are all traits that every single player and team in Monkton
come with, and the willingness to win fizzes through every fastballers veins
each time they put on the uniform. Why else would our great game retain it’s
fascination?

Our sport is blessed to have some of the most genuine and caring people in
the world. We read stories about a number of teams and players dedicating
their time and efforts to our youth in hopes of having them carry on the
legacy of our game for generations to come. Part of our intention in
Monkton, is to bring fastball back to it’s glory days. To watch children
play on their lawns, schoolyards, and ball parks – FASTBALL! Some playing
by themselves, mimicking the pitching motion pretending to be a young Darren
Zack or Andrew Kirkpatrick. Or swinging a bat – hitting one “out of the
yard” – as does Travis Wilson, Jody Eidt, and others too numerous to
mention. We need our children to have dreams, and for them to have
“fastball” dreams should make us all feel like a proud “parent of the game”.
Our inaugural “Sun-Life Day Camp for Kids” was in fact just this. Kids
having fun, making crafts, learning more about the game, and simply just
being at the ballpark. Some of them had their dreams come true when the
entire Broken Bow Gremlin team arrived to interact, answer questions, and
partake in an autograph and picture session at the end of the camp. To see
the smiles, looks, and twinkle in the children’s eyes was priceless and
something even I will never forget. Thanks Sun Life and thank you Gremlins
for fulfilling dreams that day!

Big thanks go to Easton, who sponsored our 2nd edition of the Easton Home
Run Challenge. The 9 participants: Brad Robinson – Jarvis, Dale Levy –
Twins, Pat Shannon – Gremlins, Lois Joglar – Patsy’s, Pat McKintosh –
Saskatoon, Jeff Goolagong – Farm, Darren Box – So Cal., Steve Mullaley –
Orillia, and defending champion Travis Wilson – Patsy’s put on a fantastic
show for a huge crowd! Round 1 had Dale Levy, Darren Box, and Travis Wilson
advance to the second round, where everyone watched as Travis put on a “home
run derby hitting clinic” by smacking balls consecutively over the fence –
and all with only 1 “out”. Incredible job Travis – thanks and well done!

I have so many thank you’s to send, I don’t know where to begin. So here
goes… (I sincerely hope I don’t omit anyone – if so, please accept my
apologies)…
Set-up and tear-down crew – huge thanks! It was hot on Monday and Tuesday!!
Grounds crew – amazing job all week-end!
Umpires – world class once again.
Scoring and announcing crew – excellent!
Broadcasting – well done Steve, George and Al.
Food booth – delicious and with a smile!
Pie & Ice Cream Concessions – scrumptious!
Bar and Beer tent staff – always cold, and with a smile!
Security Staff – must have been good, it’s all still here!
Parking Crew – organized to a ‘T’
Day Camp staff – well done!
Night clean-up crew – immaculate!
Gate staff – welcoming, cheery and friendly…great job!
Arena staff – huge thanks and praise!!

The tourney Executive Committee… words cannot express how I feel, nor will
it do justice to the time and effort you all sacrifice.
It does not happen without you!!!!!

As mentioned earlier, to the teams, players, coaches, managers and
owner/sponsors. It is always a pleasure to not only have you here, but to
work with you all months prior to our event. Classy, friendly, co-operative,
professional, and very friendly are you all. I look forward to seeing you
all soon.

I could write forever, and my time is limited, so I must summarize as such:

To all the fans of this beloved game.
I will speak for not only myself, but for the teams and players too. A
tournament is nothing without fans. The game would not exist without fans.
Your compassion, emotion, and love of the sport is unlike any other. Many
are “regulars” here. Many come from distant places. Many are former players
themselves. But most importantly, each and everyone of you simply love the
game.

Heartfelt thanks, best wishes, and god-speed to all.


Brian Baillie – Chairman
World Fastball Invitational
theace012@hotmail.com





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