When it comes to picking East Hampton High School seniors whom it deems deserving of Travis Field scholarships, the committee considers whether the candidates are athletes and to what extent they’ve worked to help others.
It was fitting then that Brian Anderson, an athlete who oversees the double-elimination softball tournament played since 2007 in memory of his late friend, Travis Field, received much-needed help from more than 20 volunteers Saturday afternoon so that the puddle-pocked Terry King ball field in Amagansett, where the four-day tournament was held, could be made playable.
“We’d still be playing otherwise,” Anderson said during a conversation late Monday morning. “I thought there’d be six or seven of us, but then everyone showed up, more than 20 people. Tom Bock donated 10 bags of Speedy Dry, the One Stop Pet Shop in Amagansett donated eight bags of cat litter, Andy Silich, Mike McGuire, and Jimmy Bennett brought leaf blowers . . . we had 10 of them in all. . . . We were behind by four or five games, six hours’ worth, at the time. As it was, the field was ready to play on by 3 p.m. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help. It reminded me of Travis. That’s how he was.”
Play continued Saturday until 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning (the night games contested largely under generator-powered lights that make up somewhat for the ones on the poles whose maintenance has been deferred by East Hampton Town for some time), and on Sunday until 12:15 a.m. Monday.
Saturday’s nightcap, between Vinnie Alversa’s Bad News Bubs and Ray Wojtusiak’s Nicko’s Pools, didn’t begin until 10:30 p.m.
“It was a last-minute thing, and it was great that Vinnie and Ray agreed to play,” said Anderson, who had reason this year to be grateful on a number of counts.
For one, he said the A and B bracket format, with the eight stronger teams vying for one trophy, and the seven less strong vying for another, had “provided more competition.” He liked it also that different teams won this year — the Raptors, a Montauk team, in the A bracket, and East Hampton High School’s Class of 2014 in the B division.
It was the first year the committee has taken in a team (whose $300 entry fee was waived) from the high school, the beginning, Anderson hopes, of a tradition that will not only keep the tournament alive, but that also may lead eventually to a revival of the town’s slow-pitch softball league at Terry King. That league disbanded last year.
“You don’t have to be a baseball player to play softball,” said Anderson, whose assessment was borne out by the fact that the Class of 2014 team had in its lineup a long-distance runner (Jack Link), football and lacrosse players (R.J. Notel and Ben Newberry), and a soccer and basketball player (David Moss), among others.
The Raptors, who were ousted in the early going last year, were somewhat of a surprise. “They had three Davises and all of the Daunts,” said Anderson, “and Lindsay Stavola, and Dustin Lightcap. . . . Pretty much the same group that plays in Montauk’s wood bat league. The Bubs came out of the losers’ bracket, so they had to beat the Raptors twice. They won the first game, but lost the second 15-6, I think.”
As aforesaid, the Class of 2014, a team got together by Brendan Hughes (though not entirely of Bonac baseball players, as he was), won the B bracket, coming out of the losers’ bracket to defeat Springs twice.
As for how much the tourney raised, Anderson said, “We’re counting up everything now. It’s ranged from $8,000 to $11,000 in the past years.” The scholarship fund’s balance was at about $40,000 at the moment, he added.
This year’s winners were Richie Browne, Marina Preiss, Cecelia Fioriello, and Christina Cangiolosi.