Ball tournament integral part of Ashmont days
Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 10:45 am
It was a perfect day for ball on Aug. 9 in Ashmont. The sun shone brightly, shaded from time to time by the few scattered, passing clouds. A bit of a breeze helped advertise the food on the grill by brushing the smells in all directions, and the loudspeakers did what the breeze could not by audibly announcing what was for sale.
The announcements from the loudspeakers mixed with the other sounds that could be heard across the ball diamonds - the crack of bat to ball, the cheers of teammates at a job well done, and even a few friendly jeers that were elicited by a fumbled play. The ribbing, however, was not coming from the stands, but instead from one’s own dugout, as teammates and family members made sure to poke fun where it was due.
According to event organizer Yvonne Weinmeier, that’s what the annual ball tournament is all about.
“It’s all for fun,” she said. “We help each other out, we cheer each other on, but there’s still some competitive bones out there. There’s a lot of family heckling.”
The tournament goes hand-in-hand with Ashmont’s Heritage Days festivities, and to hear Weinmeier tell it, it’s a tradition that goes way, way back.
“It’s always just been part of the weekend,” she said. “It used to be cornhusking and frying pan throws and ball. The ball just kind of carried on.”
Though it’s a veteran member of the celebration, the ball tournament has changed and evolved over the years. What used to be a much more competitive weekend has turned into a family event, with fathers and mothers joining forces with sons and daughters, cousins and family friends. Everyone is welcomed into the games, creating a fun, relaxed environment, with those competitive juices creeping up whenever things start to get tight.
The eight-team slo-pitch tournament was scheduled around all of the other events going on in Ashmont over the weekend, and took breaks for the parade and other happenings - including their very own home run derby. A number of players elected to participate in the long-ball contest, and everything was put on hold so that the crowd could gather around and watch the big hitters swing.
One after the other, balls began flying over the fence, with lots of encouragement coming from the spectators. After all of the dust had settled it was Scott Jeffrey who came out on top in the men’s competition, and the event organizer herself, Yvonne Weinmeier, who bested everyone in the women’s bracket.
It was proven over the weekend that the ball tournament is still an integral part of the much-anticipated event.
“Everybody looks forward to it,” Weinmeier said. “It’s just one of those weekends where everybody camps, and you look forward to just going out and having fun, playing some ball and getting together.”
The tournament wrapped up on Sunday, with the Peacocks winning first place in the A Event, and the Golden Gloves finishing second; in the B Event it was WTP in first and Strike Out in second; the C Event saw the Drunkernauts finishing first and Celebrity Status finishing second; and the D Event was rounded out by the Banana Hammocks in first and the Alcoballics in second.
At the end of the day, however, Weinmeier still believes that there is more to this particular tournament than wins and losses.
“To me, this weekend is more about getting the community out,” she said as she extended her arm, gesturing to the stands, the ball diamonds and the food truck. “My goal when I started having kids was to play ball with my kids, and my kids are all playing ball.”