By ANDREW WILSON, Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 7.21.13
TIPP CITY – Looking to give local recreational All-Star teams the chance to play tougher competition, the Tipp City Junior Baseball and Softball League (TCJBSL) hosted the 26th annual Jim Mohr Tournament July 12-14. The tournament, which took place at Kyle Park, featured 48 teams in four age divisions.
The tournament dates back to 1987 and is conducted by the TCJBSL in honor of Mohr. Mohr, a self-employed Mason worker and Tipp City native, was a TCJBSL board member and coach before suddenly passing away in 1987 at the age of 41. Soon after his passing, TCJBSL tournament directors started the tournament in his honor.
“I think it is great to honor the tradition of people who put forth the time and energy to help youth in their sports, especially in our organization,” Tournament Director Alex Gonter-Dray said. “It was an honor to have Jim’s grandson play in the tournament this year and to have his family help pass out trophies at the end of the tournament, which all help keep his memory alive.”
Dick Mohr, Jim’s brother, was on hand at the tournament and helped pass out trophies along with Jim’s sons, Brian and Scott Mohr. Additionally, Brian brought his son Landon’s team, the 10U Cincinnati Crusaders, to the tournament.
Since its inception, the tournament has continued to expand, most recently from 26 teams and three divisions in 2012 to 48 teams in four divisions. This year, the four divisions featured the 8U coach pitch with 13 teams, 10U with 16 teams, 12U with 11 teams and 15U with eight teams.
“That to me means that we’ve done a good job of branding the recreational All Star Tournament, to keep teams coming and bringing more teams in,” Gonter-Dray said. “To me that’s satisfying to make a tournament that much more successful and to be able to give these kids a chance to play ball against other similar programs, that’s very pleasing to me to do that.”
All four age divisions are guaranteed two games known as “pool games,” which determine a team’s seeding in the tourney, and one in the single elimination tournament. Teams who advance in the tournament receive trophies for first, second and third place.
As the tournament has grown, teams have traveled greater distances to take part in the tourney. TCJBSL members stated that teams came from Bellefontaine, Cincinnati, Lima, Ohio, and Indiana to participate in this year’s tournament.
The tournament uses a combination of certified umpires and umpires that work all season for the TCJBSL. Umpires and field maintenance crews receive compensation while the rest of the staff are volunteers. Coaches looking to register a team will pay a one time fee of $225 to $300, depending on the age group.
Among the top performers at the tournament were the 10U Troy Trojans, who defeated the Lynn Redlegs 8-5 to win the 10U Tournament title. The Tipp City All Stars also made their presence felt, finishing as the runner up to the Springfield Bulldogs in the 8U Tournament by a score of 21-11. Bethel 15U also finished at the runner up to the Bellefontaine Chieftains, losing by a score of 11-1.
The funds raised from the tournament help cover field maintenance, new equipment and other operational costs for the Tipp City Junior Baseball League. For more information, go to www.tcjb.org.