• Melissa Byrd

The good, the bad, the why...

10th Annual Super Slugger in the books

First of all let me boast and brag on what an amazing job we all did at coming together and raising over $73,000 for local kids with cancer! To most of you, it’s just a game, a weekend to do what you love and vie for a prize in some great head to head competition. However, it is so much more for those kids with their lives on the line.

These funds will lift the weight off of so many parents shoulders, will provide smiles, relief, and a chance for some carefree days making memories with their kids. You played a part in that and I hope that is what you think of first when you hear the name Super Slugger.

Sadly, I think many forget. I think they get caught up in the competition and the selfishness of wanting to win or be right. This tournament has grown exponentially in the last 10 years. With growth comes new problems, new drama, and the need for new rules. I won’t lie, I’ve been toiling with the idea of ending on a good note at year 10. The tension and attitudes wore me down at the end this year and what started as a fun way to memorialize my son, now felt the opposite.

I have to keep going back to my why. Kids with cancer don’t get to argue about the rules. They don’t get to buy advantages or add or remove layers of protection. They can’t bully their doctors or the cancer cells to try to change their game plan. They are always vulnerable and the odds are always stacked against them to lose. Despite that, they push on, they smile and laugh through the fight, they welcome a new challenge because it means another day at life.

This is what drives the Super Slugger tournament. The kids we support and Jensen’s legacy is why I will continue to smile at you and tell you to read the rules. There will be some changes to preserve the reputation I have built over the years of running an excellent tournament. I take pride in what we do and while I’d love to make everyone happy, that’s is an impossible task.

When the next year rolls around, I hope you will remember these words and know that what you’re playing for is more than a tee shirt. You have the opportunity to pay it forward, provide hope, and bless many lives. That is way more valuable than any materialistic prize or claim of a title.

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