Tournament created special bonds
By Pete Fisher, Northumberland Today (Wednesday, August 16, 2017)
Thirteen-year-old Tommy Dyson with a signed Newfoundland provincial flag, sweatshirt, bat and ball gloves the team gave him. PETE FISHER/Northumberland Today
COBOURG – The 2017 Canadian U16 Boys Fast Pitch Championships concluded Sunday in Cobourg.
The Belmore Sting, as previously, came out victorious over the Shallow Lake Red Devils in the championship final.
Brenda Whitehead, chair of the host committee, said the teams had an exceptional time visiting around the area when they weren’t playing and special bonds were created on-and-off the field.
Whitehead said one important special relationship formed were local younger players that were placed on some of the teams as bat boys.
Tommy Dyson, 13, who is a player in the Cobourg Legion Minor Softball Organization peewee/bantam house league program, was one of them. Whitehead is his coach and when the team from Newfoundland called and asked if Cobourg could provide a bat boy, Whitehead knew he was the person for the job.
“It became a tremendous relationship. He became part of their team,” Whitehead said. “He traveled all around town with them all week long, hung out with them at the hotel. Tommy was really part of the team and was embraced by them and at the same time he learned some new skills watching the bigger kids play.”
When the team was eliminated, they all signed their provincial flag and presented it to him.
That wasn’t the end of the surprises for the Cobourg youth. After seeing Tommy all week wearing his mother’s pink baseball cleats, they decided to go shopping for him.
They not only bought him new cleats, but also baseball gloves, a sweater, t-shirt from the tournament and the coach gave him one of their bats because they thought the one he was using was to heavy for him.
During the week, they also taught him to speak “Newfinese” as they called it.
Tommy didn’t know about the gifts until he arrived for his regular house league game on Monday night at Legion Fields. Whitehead said his smile swept across his face when she gave him the gifts.
“It was amazing because the team was awesome and they were all around cool,” Tommy said after his game at Legion Fields, in which his team won. “They taught me how to hold a bat, when you take a ground ball your glove should always hit the ground first and that always make sure you keep your eye on the ball when it’s in the air.”
One of the players, Marcus Pittman, even gave Tommy his MVP award for one of the games.
Whitehead said with social media being what it is, Tommy now has many more friends to talk and share stories about his favourite sport.
Softball Newfoundland Labrador (Softball NL) Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Give A Shout Out To Tommy Dyson….
We Would Like To Thank-You For Not Only Doing An Outstanding Job In Your Role As The NL Selects Bat Boy, But For Also Becoming A Valuable Member Of The Team!
We Would Like To Wish You And Your Teammates & Coaches All The Best In Your Pee-Wee And Bantam House Leagues In The Cobourg Legion Minor Softball Organization!
Remember To Play Hard & More Importantly To Have Fun And Know That You Will Always Have A Cheering Section In Newfoundland Labrador!
Yours In Fastpitch,