The Big Hit tourney sends more kids to camp around the world

Every so often you really get to do something that you love doing, and the time spent goes to a good cause, and those who benefit get a shot at a life-changing experience.
Recently, I had the privilege of umpiring six slow pitch games and for me is the highlight of my umpiring career as it winds down. I have no regrets after calling more than 1,400 ballgames that spanned more than 50 years, starting back in 1958, but a 20-year hiatus from 1980 to 2000, otherwise that total game number might be much higher.
Remember the two big combine events run so efficiently by Harvest for Kids and Childrens Camps Internationally raising funds and involving back in 2010, 245 combines thrashing wheat at the same time on the same field, setting a Guinness World Record.
I’m not sure if we set any records at this tournament, but I know members from 16 teams, some of those teams who play in an official slow-pitch league, and others representing churches and gearing up only for this annual charity event hit 212 homers on the ball diamonds in the Winkler Ball Park.
Whether they raised 20,000 or 30,000 more or less doesn’t much concern me at this time because that number will come out later, but I know at one time the sponsor total for each home run stood at $125. I’ll let you do the math.
CCI calls it the annual “BIG HIT” Slow Pitch Tournament!
Not only is this a positive weekend for participants and spectators but it means the world to countless children in the developing world who will have the opportunity to attend camp because of the “BIG HIT” weekend. Last year approximately 6,000 kids attended camp because of the participation of committed ball players and sponsors. Three cheers for that!
Wow isn’t that something? I sure think so.
I had a neighbour friend, about 21 years old, who became my real friend through an unfortunate incident. Be that as it may – Saturday evening this fine young man, not very big, slight of build, steps up to the plate three times in a row, sending the ball sailing over the fence at the 250 plus foot mark all three times. I’m not sure if he goes to church or not, but I know on that particular beautiful Saturday evening, his desire, his ability, his love for ball, team play, and a retiring umpire with tears in his eyes raised about $400 dollars sending many kids, less fortunate than he or I to camp somewhere in the world, a shot at a better life.
This is the real world friends … As I said at the beginning, when you do what you love doing, and it helps others do what they love doing a little bit better, and the end result is helping those in other parts of the world much less fortunate than us, it is as good as it gets.
Afterburners – While all for a good cause, and the emphasis on sending children to camp, the teams have a tremendous desire to win.
We have so many people now coming up with warped thinking that competition is unfair to those who have to compete. We see it in minor ball, hockey, some school sports and other activities where the emphasis is on everyone coming out on top.
During that final game at the CCI Big Hit tourney, the stands full, people shouting, yelling, and screaming, and yes even at the umpires, when the scorekeeper rung up the final out, and the players, one side jubilant and the other side somewhat dejected, all having tried their absolute best, it still was about the kids going to camp.
Competition brought out the best, talent, ability, desire, professionalism and loving kindness.
Then we all become winners. •