Planning for the 4th annual Ryan Grace Memorial Baseball Tournament is underway! Registration will open soon; in the meantime mark your calendars and get organized!
August 8-9, 2020
Fountain Bluff Sports Complex
2200 Old State Highway 210 Liberty, MO 64068
(*based on your FALL 2020 classification)
7u-8u MP - $300
9u-12u KP - $375
13u & 14u KP - $400
High School - $550 (Updated 04/17/2020)
This is an open roster event. Put a team together and come enjoy a fantastic weekend raising money for an incredible cause! Specific rules, pitching limits, etc. will be shared with coaches as the event nears.
50/50 raffle, autographed memorabilia, gift cards, and so much more will be available to enter to win!
*ALL PROCEEDS WILL ONCE AGAIN BE DONATED TO MIDWEST TRANSPLANT NETWORK IN HONOR OF THE ORGAN DONOR AND 3-YEAR-OLD GUARDIAN ANGEL, RYAN GRACE HAMPEL. Help us to beat last year's donation: $10, 349.90!
To steal a quote from the mother of an organ donor in a Sports Illustrated article: 'The best thing from the worst thing doesn't erase the worth thing; it just makes the worst thing mean something.'
For me, the opportunity to put together an event that brings people together and raise money/awareness for organ donation is my 'something.' When a defining moment comes along, you either define the moment...or the moment defines you.
I have been invited to present the funds raised from Ryan's tournament ($10,349.90) to Midwest Transplant Network on December 6th during their organizational meeting. I will be given the opportunity to talk about the little hero whom this is all for, and I'll be speaking about the tournament and the incredible folks who have helped me thru the entire process.
I share all this to say THANK YOU again to each and every one of you who contributed, donated, sacrificed, and/or allowed your child to be a part of the event. I look forward to the opportunity/challenge of doing this all again next year, and I hope your experience this year warrants your interest in participating again next year. 💜
I do this for one reason: I am the only person to have a full recovery and, for all intents and purposes, walk away from the tragic events of September 17, 2017. If I sit back and only sling soda for the rest of my days, I have wasted an opportunity at life. I feel it is my duty to do something that gives back, and most importantly, honors a certain special guardian angel, Ms. 'Ryno' Ryan Grace. For those who didn't get the opportunity to meet her, it's your loss. She was the coolest and most full of life 3 year old. Now, and most importantly, she's a hero to me and her organ recipients.
I cannot do this without the help, assistance, advice, guidance, and everything in between I have received from some of the coaches, my volunteers, and most importantly, my now WIFE Heather Hampel. Thank you for putting up with me thru this process and for going down this journey with me for another year.
Now the guts of the tournament: putting together a tournament is expensive. I try my best to keep the expenses down, but at the end of the day, it all adds up. Event insurance is nothing to ignore (a big THANK YOU to Christ Hotchkiss for his help and donation in this area,) and umpires for roughly 50 games can run a couple thousand dollars.
Last year we donated just over $9,000, which, while incredible, had a couple factors that played to our benefit. I did not have to pay for Platte Purchase last year, which was a huge savings. Also, for those that don’t know, a very nice older gentlemen last year purchased a 50/50 raffle ticket and asked Ms. Kathy Cain-Espeland to put Ryan’s name on the ticket. As luck would have it, we were able to add $825 into the pot when we drew her first!
This year, the fields cost $1,600 and Ryan did not win the 50/50, making this year’s donation start at least $2,400 less. Couple those factors with a food truck who bailed on us early Saturday (and didn’t ever show back up Sunday as was promised) and the less than favorable weather Sunday morning slowed everything down.
With all that being said, I am very pleased to say this year’s total donation is going to be well OVER TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!! I can’t believe it! It’s an incredible accomplishment, and something I never envisioned possible when I started planning these events.
To all my volunteers, THANK YOU!! Keeping the entire front end of all this together without my worry helped me tremendously. To all my runners who had to get coolers, ice, and Gatorade and water to sell when the food truck fiasco occurred, you were a lifesaver! Also, my emergency grounds crew who assisted in getting the fields dry Sunday was an absolute game changer. THANK YOU!
A sneak peak into next year: I am currently in conversation with a facility already to host our event. Yes, it will be moving again, but hopefully to a permanent home that is much larger and gives us the ability to host every age group! Ideally we would double the number of teams!
Please continue to follow this page as we continue to build on our successes, work on our faults, and adjust this annual event!!
Good evening everyone. While I am still waiting on a final approval in the hopes of using Tiffany Springs (I’ve been told I should hear in the coming days) I have received approval to use Pleasant Valley Park. At this point, I’m moving forward with planning a tournament consisting of the 4 ages I have the most teams. IF I get a green light on Tiffany, I’ll take these plans, expand them, and add in the additional age brackets (or additional brackets of the same age.) Bear with me, I'm trying!!
THAT BEING SAID, I am looking for teams that will be playing 9U, 10U, 11U, and 12U this fall. I plan to have SEVEN teams per age group simply based on the feasibility of getting everyone 2 pool games and at least one bracket game (guaranteed 3 games.) The sooner I can get slots filled, the sooner I can get schedules put together.
Cost will be $350/team, guaranteed 3 games on August 10-11. Baseballs and umpires will be provided, and we will follow NKCA rules. I have information regarding ties, extra innings, time limits, and pitching rules for those teams looking for that as well.
Please pass this information on to your coaches or whoever needs to see it. If anyone has questions please don’t hesitate to message me on here, text me at 816.305.8189, or call me.
Lastly I say THANK YOU to each and every one of you for your support and patience. I am doing all I can to make this as big (but organized) as possible. For those of you still reading, I have solidified a permanent home for this tournament starting in 2020. Exciting news to come!!
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.