2020 Tournament information
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!
This is why we do it...
“ 'The best thing from the worst thing doesn’t erase the worst thing. It just makes the worst thing mean something.' Matt Hampel, father of Ryan Grace, sharing a quote that’s resonated with him in the wake of his girl’s death and her gift of life to others. The Hampel’s presented a donation to MTN following the Ryan Grace Memorial Baseball Tournament. #givehopesharelife We are blessed to know you and, by extension, your daughter."
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Such a perfect picture of the image I have of her looking up at me when I would talk to her...
Today I spoke FOR her for the last time. This afternoon the last chapter on what I call the business / legal / insurance side of September 17, 2017 was completed. For those of you murmuring to yourself ‘STILL?!’...yes, still.
I have tried to be as transparent with all of this because I know I have so many people who have invested themselves or their resources into me and my family and I feel I owe it to you all to keep you informed. For the last time today I took the stand to talk about/discuss the nightmare I lived to tell about.
After all was over, I was able to hug the mother and brother of the dad from the other vehicle for the first time. I was also able to shed more tears than I ever have with a complete stranger when I hugged the mother of the 16 year old who was taken from their family.
To all of you who gave in some form or fashion over the last 2 years, thank you. Between food/gift cards to ease the burden on Heather, to financially, which quite literally allowed us to stay afloat, words will never do justice and I’ll never be able to hug you all enough!
While this chapter closes, the book never stops emotionally. I’m confident none of you have any idea what goes on in the mind of someone who has lost a child, and I pray none of you ever do. But I will share these points I remind myself daily: Don’t just survive, THRIVE. Be the bigger person. Don’t make permanent decisions on temporary feelings. Ask yourself if the juice is really worth the squeeze. Don’t sweat the small stuff...and it’s all small stuff. 💚
Make it mean something
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. 💜
Long message alert...
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!!
2019 Tournament here we come
This year’s event will be held Sat and Sun, August 10-11. It will be at Pleasant Valley Road Athletic Complex in the KC Northland. All proceeds will go to Midwest Transplant Network again this year. Ryan Grace was an organ donor, and bringing awareness to such a cause is the most important piece of the weekend.
-50/50 and prize raffle will be on site (and you can purchase tickets now for it) All credit cards accepted thru Square!
-T-shirts and racerbacks are available to purchase
-Food truck and snow cones on site both days
-Cowtown Mini Donuts available on Sunday!
-Midwest Transplant will be on site
-Admission is $5, under 8 is free
-Games start at 8:30 both days
Thank you for being a part of a wonderful event and bringing awareness to a great organization!! 💚
calm before the storm
The calm before excitement! Keys in hand and ready to go! Please stop me and say hello as I run by this weekend! It means so much to ME (Matt) personally for everyone to commit their time, energy, and resources to all of this. Without all of you, none of this is possible. 💜💚💜💚
Get your raffle tickets for all the great prizes, including half the total pot! T-shirts and racerbacks will be on site to order!
Proceeds from ALL of these different pieces go to Midwest Transplant Network, who will be on site during the day Saturday!
Midwest Transplant shout out
"We hope you'll attend The Ryan Grace Memorial Baseball Tournament this weekend. Last year, Ryan's family graciously donated all proceeds to Midwest Transplant Network. Ryan Grace, was an organ donor after a tragic car accident on September 17th, 2017. Matt Hampel, Ryan's daddy, says the goal is simple... raise awareness about organ donation while also having a great event for kids. #GiveHopeShareLife "
Thank you all SO much for sharing our event! All proceeds are once again going to Midwest Transplant Network! We will have a food truck, snow cones, and Cowtown Mini Donuts (Sunday) on site. We’ll also have a 50/50 raffle but also with a signed Travis Kelce Jersey, Royals tix, tons of gift cards, and much more you can win! And T-shirts! We have a new design and style this year! See you this weekend!
This is the home for all information about the annual baseball tournament. My goal is to have full disclosure for all coaches and parent. As I said last year numerous times, by no means am I a tournament director. I feel organ donation is incredibly important, and I owe it to my guardian angel to build a tradition in her honor.
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.