First annual ATO softball tournament shortened by bad weather but raises $9,000 in funding

Tom Kennedy, Editor

Yet another Assist the Officer fundraising tradition was established with the first annual We Are One Softball Tournament held April 13 with a bottom-line total of $9,000 in funding.

Officer Frank Medina, coordinator of the tournament and the pitcher on HPD’s official softball team, the Heat, said 13 teams participated, battling inclement weather that resulted in a coin toss to decide the tourney winner.

This year the Houston Fire Department team won the toss with the Heat finishing second and the San Antonio Police Department third.

“Inclement weather made the fields go bad,” Medina explained. “We wanted to make sure nobody got hurt. We played until about 4:30 at Centennial Park in Pearland. We had a full day of softball.”

Two other HPD stations were represented, Clear Lake and Northeast Patrol. They were among a field of entrants that also included San Antonio PD, two teams from Galveston, Harris County Constable Precinct 6, Montgomery County SO and Conroe PD, along with several civilian teams.

Medina and Mike LaRue worked hard to corral sponsors that included Karbach Brewing Company, which donated some of its product at refreshment time. Medina said the tournament will become a tradition. HFD will be engraved on the trophy, which will be retained for future years.

“Next year we hope to add the Heat to the list of winners on the trophy,” Medina the Narcotics officer said, refusing to speculate what might have happened had the Heat been able to take the field against HFD had it not been for the bad weather.

The event also featured a home run hitting contest, the winner of which received Astros game tickets. The runner-up won a bat sponsored by Biotech.

Medina also was proud to report that a full concession stand was in operation for the number of family members and supporters in attendance.