Annual slo-pitch tournament holds tradition of throwback bats

The Sheila Bishop Slo-pitch Tournament is back at Peachfest for the 12th year.

The Sheila Bishop Slo-pitch Tournament is back at Peachfest for the 12th year.

Wooden bats only is the cardinal rule, which forces teams to focus more on their defensive strategy.

“All these teams that come in and try it they absolutely love it because it’s just a completely different game than what everybody plays now (with metal bats),” said Paul Borba, co-organizer of the event. “They’re all used to playing games where guys are hitting six or seven home runs out of Lions Park – but in all of our years playing there we’ve only had five balls leave the park total.”

When they began planning the tournament in its infancy, organizers wanted to focus on baseball to commemorate Sheila Bishop, who was well-known in Penticton’s slo-pitch community before passing away to cancer.

Instead of hosting a typical slo-pitch tournament, the team of organizers wanted to embrace an old-fashioned rule, and wooden bats are what hit the mark.

“We wanted to make it different – a lot of us on the team are older guys, and we decided to have a wooden bat because nobody uses them anymore. It’s kind of a retro thing just to kind of remind us when we started playing.”

While Borba is an avid fan of slo-pitch having played for years, he said the frequency of home run hits can take some fun out of the sport.

“It’s gotten to the point where there’s not much you can do because the ball gets hit so hard,” he said. “Now you get a chance to actually make plays on the infield, throw people out, and it creates a whole different game because you can’t just have the biggest guys crushing it out of there, you need everybody to hit singles – that’s the only way you win those games.”

He said the atmosphere is very fun and the competition doesn’t get heated.

But there’s still a considerable prize pool – about $1,000 gets divvied up between the top three teams. Money leftover from the tournament is donated back into the community each year, around $42,000 cumulatively.

That number wouldn’t be as large if it weren’t for the local umpire association which donates their service.

“That saves us quite a bit of money,” Borba said, estimating $800 to $1,000 in value each year. “We’re really appreciative of them.”

Batters can also try their luck at a home run derby. Competitors are divided by gender, and for $5 get to take a swing. “And whoever hits the furthest ball gets half the pot.

“People really love it,” he said, citing 50 to 60 people as the average participation for the home run derby.

The tournament will also be generation revenue through a silent auction and beverage garden. Money raised will be donated to the family of six-year-old Myla Ganzeveld who’s battling cancer. The goodwill was immediately paid forward as the Ganzeveld family asked for the donation to be split between them and the family of three-year-old Lynnea Holmstrom, who’s also fighting cancer for nearly two years.

The games will get underway on Aug. 8 and 9, 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. on the 8th and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m on the 9th.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Penticton Vees trade hockey sticks for paddles at dragon boat challenge

The squad will hit the water for a challenge against Penticton Dragon Boating

Apex Community Association ‘will work for the community’

It has applied for charitable status and the Apex Fire Brigade will join as a charitable entity

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Penticton’s Arts Rising Festival included as BC Culture Days 10th anniversary celebration

Take in the various free events and activities around the city on Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Okanagan

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

One sent to hospital following Balmoral Road/Highway 1 collision

Violation ticket issued in second crash at Balmoral intersection in two weeks

Chase RCMP request public’s help to find missing man

Travis Allen Sauls was last seen in Chase on July 14

Smash and grab at Okanagan pot shop

Cash register and products stolen from Starbuds store in Lake Country

Cause of North Okanagan house fire still under investigation

Mom rescued sleeping baby from Thursday’s blaze

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

LETTER: Repair work overdue at lakeside path

Condition of walkway is a disgrace for Summerland

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Most Read