One Ends, One Begins: A Tale Of Two TournamentsPosted: Updated:
Two youth baseball tournaments, both inspired out of tragedy, seem to be passing the torch as one ends and another is just beginning.
The second annual Joel Davis Youth Baseball Tournament will be held this weekend with opening ceremonies at the Indian River sports complex in Philadelphia.
The tournament is named for Trooper Joel Davis, who was shot and killed in the line of duty last year.
His brother, Joshua, says things kick off Friday with a clinic from 3 to 6 p.m. that will feature eight former major league players.
After that is a ceremony, a family softball game, and an alumni game for the kids who've aged out of the program.
The baseball action starts at 8 a.m. Saturday at area baseball diamonds. Semifinals and finals are set for Sunday at Indian River.
There is also an adult co-ed slow-pitch softball tournament that will take place August 25 and 26 at Indian River.
Joshua Davis says there's more than just baseball and softball.
"There's gong to be ice cream trucks there, there's going to be crafts and other activities for the little ones to do so the parents don't have to occupy kids that aren't in the tournament."
Joshua says the tournament is a good way to honor his brother's memory.
"When I go to these tournaments, I think he would have loved this," he said, "because this is what it's all about, getting the kids together and having fun."
As one tournament celebrates its second year, another one is ending after 36 years.
The Willie Putnam Memorial Baseball Tournament was a big part of the north country landscape for over three decades.
The tournament was named after Willie Putnam of Chaumont, who died in a bicycle accident in 1982.
The late Walt Putnam started the tournament in his son's honor. Willie's death was something Walt never totally got over.
In the video, Mel Busler shares a recorded conversation with Walt Putnam and more recent comments from tournament organizer Bill Schell and Walt's daughter, Julie Putnam-Maitag.