FREWSBURG - Anthony Richmond lives in Oswego and travels all over New York on behalf of the More Than a Game Foundation.
As the foundation's state director, it is his job to help raise dollars and awareness, and assist in the fight against cancer through local college, high school and club sporting events, including, among others, golf, soccer and basketball tournaments.
As he stood in the middle of Willis Hale Town Park late Saturday morning, he looked at the five wiffleball fields and the hundreds of people, and shook his head and smiled.
Mike Little celebrates after hitting a home run in the ‘1 Ball’ Tournament for Testicular Cancer at the Willis Hale Park in Frewsburg on Saturday. The blast followed a home run by teammate Rich Bianco. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
Sixteen teams and about 100 players had turned out on a beautiful summer day to participate in the inaugural ''1 Ball'' Tournament for Testicular Cancer, the brain child of Ben Lindquist, the tournament director and testicular cancer survivor.
''This is fun,'' Richmond said. ''This is what it's all about.''
As Richmond spoke, one of the players drilled a ball deep, which elicited oohs and aahs from those around him. Asked if in his travels - he had only recently been to Syracuse and Rochester - he had ever seen a similar fundraiser, Richmond shook his head.
''That's what sells it the best,'' he said. ''It's unique, it's different, it's something everybody can do and it's fun.''
The idea for such an event has been in the works since last September and the planning began in December when the town park was reserved.
''This is a great venue,'' Lindquist said. ''I put five fields in, but I can fit six. ... If I would go down the hill and across the creek, there's the Frewsburg Firemen's grounds and you can rent the buildbuilding. ... There's all sorts of possibilities that you could do, and I could fit another six fields down there.
''It could turn into 12 fields between the two locations, which is 48 teams and 280 players.''
Time will tell how quickly the event will grow, but judging from the fun the participants were having, Lindquist was optimistic about its future. In fact, he's even had conversations with community colleges throughout the state in hopes that they will consider hosting a similar tournament.
''They've said, 'Come on in, we'll work with a student development group, our athletes and our health center, and you can come in and talk about testicular cancer awareness for a day and run a wiffleball tournament the following day,'' Lindquist said.
Richmond would certainly be on board with that idea.
In fact, he admitted, he'd like to field a team.
''I want to play,'' he said. ''Next year I'll get a travel squad.''