Jon Gordon and Randy Douglas throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
For Jon Gordon and Randy Douglas, the sport of softball has been a passion since they watched their fathers play in the local leagues.
On July 13, both were honored for the contributions they had made to the sport because of that passion.
The duo were both honored by having the 50th Annual Au Sable Forks Fast Pitch Softball tournament dedicated to them.
“It’s humbling to be honored in a sport where it is a passion for you,” Gordon said. “I have been coming to these tournaments since I was 8 or 9 years old, watching my father play and help run the events. I have been playing ever since I could.”
“This 50th anniversary is a milestone that we are very proud of,” Douglas, who also serves as the Jay Town Supervisor, said. “I grew up here and my father was very involved with the league and the tournaments, and I started playing in the league when I was 14.”
The two continued the tradition that was passed down to them by their fathers, as Gordon and Douglas threw out the ceremonial first pitches to their sons, Kelly Gordon and Shane Douglas.
Both honorees said that they were pleased to have the tournament dedicated to them jointly.
“I am honored to do this with Randy, who has really been the backbone to this community,” Gordon said. “All of the work that we have put into this event and into the league, it has all been well worth it.”
“It is very special to be honored along with Jon,” Douglas said. “He has done a lot for the community and a lot to help out over the past year.”
Douglas and Gordon said that the committee that selected the honorees for dedication had originally told the duo they were going to use the dedication to honor those who had worked to help repair the community after Tropical Storm Irene.
“I thought they meant a community thing,” Douglas said. “I was late for the meeting when they made the announcement and when I walked in, they presented Jon and I with the honor and we were speechless. It’s not often that I do not at least know that something is going on, and this caught me totally by surprise.”
Douglas said that the tournament was a great community event and a celebration that was needed.
“With everything that we have been through in the past year, it’s great to have this chance to come together as a community and celebrate,” he said.