Terry Walsh memorial tournament a success
Earlier this month, the Bay Roberts over-19 Softball League held its annual provincial qualifier tournament. This year, it was re-named in honour of a beloved member of the local softball community. Named in memory of Terry Walsh, the tournament featured 10 teams from the league and was a heartfelt gesture towards his family.
The provincial slo-pitch softball qualifying tournament in Bay Roberts is annually comprised of teams from the Bay Roberts Over-19 Softball League.
There was never a name on the tournament, but that changed this year. The league committee made the decision to honour a well-respected member of the local softball family.
After a suggestion from a player in the league, the qualifying tournament was renamed the Terry Walsh Memorial Qualifying Tournament.
Terry died last fall. He was 33-years-old.
His death left a hole in the local softball world and when the time came this year for the tournament Robert Mercer suggested re-naming the event in Walsh’s memory.
He had been a teammate of Terry for a number of years.
Mercer suggested to Bay Roberts recreation director Ian Flynn about changing the name of the tournament, held June 3-5.
Flynn brought it to the league committee during preseason meetings. The idea was a nobrainer as far as they were concerned.
“Eric Parsons and I took it to the league committee and it was welcomed with open arms,” said committee member Carlson Young. “Most of us had played with or against Terry at some point. It was greatly appreciated by some of his good buddies who still play in the league.”
A sign was made and other steps were taken prior to the start of the tournament
When news of the impending memorial tournament made it to the family of Terry, they were surprised at first.
“It meant the world to all of us to see it,” said sister Krystal Butler.
Terry’s mother Shirley, father Terry, daughter Madison and other friends and family were on the field for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in Bay Roberts.
Loved the game
For those that knew Terry best, his strong passion for the game of softball was always evident. He was widely known throughout the region for his prowess at the various aspects of the game.
Terry was a talented pitcher who had no trouble getting the ball in the strike zone and was smart at the plate.
“He lived for (softball),” said Krystal. “He was good at it and he loved it.”
League games were a can’t miss event for him, but Terry got really excited for those weekends when softball dominated all three days.
When things fell into place, there was nothing better for him.
“Terry lived for the Friday to Sunday weekend tournaments,” said Mercer. “He’d spend days on the phone making sure we had a team ready to go.”
Memorial tournaments can be tough for organizers. The qualifying tournament kind of runs itself, but it’s the extra stuff you want to nail.
The opening ceremony and anything that involves the family is paramount, especially with members of Terry’s family present. His father was around the ballpark the entire weekend.
“The only pressure I felt running the tournament was that of making it a fun and memorable event for his family. I spoke to most of the teams and they were all on the same page,” said Young. “At the end of the day it was about Terry and his family, winning was secondary.”
Reflecting back on the tournament, Mercer was struck by how everything shook out. His team — Morrow & Morrow — captured the championship plaque and squared off with Homelife Realty/Can-Am Platforms, which featured another of Terry’s longtime friends, Conrad Deering.
In one of the semifinals, Kelly’s Landing was playing for a chance to reach the final. That team featured three more of Terry’s close friends in Mitchell Butler, Danny Mercer and Dominic Pottle.
“Either way, one of us was going to be in the final with a chance to win it,” said Mercer.
The entire weekend was a resounding success and was appreciated by the family.
“It was beautiful. It was really touching,” said Krystal of the tournament. “(Terry) was definitely looking down that day.”
“It was beautiful. It was really touching. (Terry) was definitely looking down that day.”
The Bay Roberts softball qualifying tournament was named in memory of longtime player Terry Walsh this summer. Shown here are, from left, Robert Mercer, Mitchell Butler, Terry Walsh Sr., Madison Walsh, Dominic Pottle, Conrad Deering and Danny Mercer.