The Au Sable Forks Fast Pitch Softball Tournament begins July 12.
For 50 years, players from throughout the Northeast have come together in Au Sable Forks to celebrate summer and softball.
The 50th Annual Au Sable Forks Men’s Fast Pitch Softball Tournament begins Friday, July 13, at Billy Mitchell Memorial Field in Au Sable Forks, and continued through Sunday, July 15.
“It’s going to be a big event,” said Randy Douglas, Jay supervisor and tournament committee member. “We have a great night planned for Friday with the old timers game and the opening ceremonies. Between the first two games, there will be a band that will play some songs and then we will have music and fireworks after the second game until midnight.”
The opening ceremonies will include the annual dedication of the tournament, which will be made this year to Douglas along with Jon Gordon. Both Douglas and Gordon have been instrumental in many capacities in the Tournament’s operations and success of the tournament for over 30 years each. Douglas currently serves as the assistant director and Gordon is on the current Board of Directors.
Festivities begin with the old timers game.
“We have also had little league games to open the tournament, but this year we had a lot of people who wanted to come back and play for the 50th anniversary,” he said.
The game will feature several award-winning players from previous tournaments, including 1980 Most Valuable Pitcher Fred Goneau from Hotel Benny; 1971 and 1981 Most Valuable Pitcher Ray Hurley of the Fern Lake Pollywogs and Northern Homes Hudson Falls; three-time Most Valuable Player (1980, 1982,1983) Yvonne Goneau from Hotel Benny; 1988 Most Valuable Player Brian O’Neill from LaFramboise; Tim Snow and Bobby Douglas from Arts 1964 second place team; and Bill Meconi and Bobby Meconi from Sharkey’s Riverside Lanes.
Any old time league players interested in playing in an old timers game should come to the field at 5:15 p.m. on Friday.
The tournament begins at 7:15 p.m. with a game between Razzano’s Trucking from Johnstown and the Broadway Barrhaven Blues from Ottawa.
Organized Chaos with Chris Wilkins will play at the Dr. Najim Pavillion between games, with CPI Classics from Oswego and the Mountain Brook Lodge/Ottawa Blitz entry from Wilmington and Ottawa playing at 9 p.m.
At approximately 10:15 p.m., Organized Chaos will play again until midnight and a fireworks display sponsored by Fuller Excavating/Harmony Golf Course will be touched off by Alonzo Fireworks of Saratoga.
“We are extremely pleased to bring an exciting weekend of top caliber fast pitch softball to the North Country,” Tournament Director Thomas O’Neill said.
O’Neill has directed the tournament for the past 10 years and for 35 years overall.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the great working relationship I have had with the community and tournament committee over the years,” he said.
Game times begin at 9 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. The tournament features two pools of five teams, with the top two teams from each pool heading into the semifinal round Sunday, with winners playing for the championship.