Wiffle Ball Tournament features Little Field of Dreams Annual Travis Roy Foundation tourney resumes Aug. 15-17

The Crusaders pose in front of an identical Fenway Park scoreboard at Little Fenway during the 10th annual Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament back in 2011.
The Crusaders pose in front of an identical Fenway Park scoreboard at Little Fenway during the 10th annual Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament back in 2011.

An addition to the venue and an expanded field highlight the 13th annual Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament slated for Friday-Sunday, Aug. 15-17 in Essex. The fun-filled backyard event takes place at the home of natives Pat and Beth O’Connor and the event is free and open to the public.
Joining Little Fenway and Little Wrigley, quarter-scale replicas of the century-old iconic major league parks, will be the new Little Field of Dreams in its inaugural action. Little Field of Dreams is modeled after the cornfield ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa that was the site of the 1989 classic movie, ‘Field of Dreams.’ Building Little Field of Dreams allows more teams to enter the tournament as it expands to 28 teams this year.
All funds go to the Travis Roy Foundation, which benefits and creates awareness for people with spinal cord injuries.  The foundation is named after the former Boston University (BU) men’s hockey player who sustained a spinal injury at age 20, eleven seconds in to the first shift he played for BU.  Roy now resides with his family in nearby Malletts Bay in Colchester each summer.
Last year’s tourney garnered considerable local, national, and regional attention while raising a staggering, record-breaking $502,150 to push the 12-year fundraising total of the tournament to just under $2.5 million. The Boston Beef, one of the original seven teams, captured its third team title with a victory over the upstart Crusaders in the championship game.  Although they didn’t win the championship, the Crusaders put the spotlight on the tournament when Konnor Fleming, a football defensive back at Macalester College in Minnesota, made an incredible game saving catch that was captured on film. The catch made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 list and was featured on Fox News’s Fox and Friends, OutFront (CNN), NBC Today Show, CBS This Morning, ESPNews SportCenter, plus local stations WCAX Top 3 on 3, and WPTZ.
The tournament opens next Friday with an opening ceremony and the annual Celebrities-Sponsor game, the first action on Little Field of Dreams. In addition to game action other events, a silent auction, many raffles, the Scooter’s Pretzel’s home run derby, a kid’s Wiffle ball game, and other fun children’s activities including face painting, games, and other contests, will continue throughout the weekend.
The Crusader roster includes JJ Strausser, Tyler Colvin. Anthony DeToma, Andrew Diddel, Rahn Fleming, Lawrence Halvorson, Evan Michaud, Michael Michaud, Drew Nick, and Daniel Rowan.
Donations and team pledges for the 28-team tourney will be accepted at the site and online at www.travisroyfoundation.org/trf-wiffleball-tournament.
For more information on the Travis Roy Foundation, visit www.travisroyfoundation.org. Little Fenway website www.littlefenway.com/fenway/home. Live streaming video www.packnetwork.com.