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!!
Make sure to stop by KC Cajun!!!! Their food is SOOOOO good!!!
And Kona is here as well! Send them some love!
We are off and running with a 2 hour delay!! No sprinkles are gonna keep us from baseball! Our 10:30 games (originally scheduled for 8:30) are rolling along!!
11u will NOT have a delay!!! They had a late start initially and we will keep them on schedule!!!!
A fantastic turnout today! I tried to turn the thermostat down, but to no avail. I’m currently on hold with Mother Nature; hopefully she takes my call before tomorrow.
Can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow!
O, and the 50/50 raffle: OVER $1,700 AS OF THIS EVENING! Get your tickets tomorrow!
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!! 💚
If I have not spoke to you about your team registration OR you have not paid it as of this morning, please send me a PM/text and let me know your plan to get that completed. Once I have a final team count, I can make a schedule for Saturday and get umpires scheduled as well.
Credit card: I’ll run thru Square
We are back and better than ever!! :)
Only 10 more days until the Tournament!! The first order of Ryan shirts are in and ready to be picked up. If you would like for us to hold on to them until the tournament, we certainly can. Or, reach out to Heather or I and swing by to grab them! YES, we will do another order of them after the tournament. We will have a table set up by the admission table to get your order in.
Lastly, we will still take any sponsorships/gift cards to throw into the 50/50 raffle! Thank so much!
Good evening everyone. If anyone has any contacts for umpires, please send them my way or please reach out to them for the tournament. I still have a few spots to fill. You will not work alone, and the pay is $35/game. To those umpires I already have signed up, thank you! However, I’m also not going to stretch you all so thin you’re not at the top of your game.
Good morning everyone.
I am still looking for teams for 10u and 12u age divisions! 9u is full and I've had to turn teams away, and 11u is at 6 teams with 3 'maybes' currently. I've capped each age on a certain number of teams to avoid playing late into the evening on Sunday for the bracket. No one wants to play baseball at 10pm on a Sunday night to turn around and go to work!! :)
Other info, big day yesterday: baseballs, field insurance, medals, and restrooms (big deal, I know!) all confirmed yesterday. Plus, 2 new additions to the 50/50 raffle: a SIGNED Travis Kelce football AND jersey with certificates of authenticity (plus I know the person who asked him to sign them.)
Lastly, I'll be reaching out to teams today with different options on how to pay their registration. Venmo or PayPal is best, simply because they don't take a percentage of the funds, but other options are available depending on how you have your team account/funds set up.
Have a great day!
Hi everyone. It’s July already, wow!! A couple posts coming to keep you all updated...
I am still looking for teams for 3 divisions: 10u, 11u, and 12u. 9u is full and I have teams interested if we expand that age, which is AWESOME! However, if we go down the path of expanding an age we limit the # of teams in other divisions b/c of field/time capacity. Simply put, PLEASE reach out to fellow coaches/parents/teams and get them on board for a great weekend. Between getting the experience of live baseball before the games count at new pitching distances and base paths, it will also give teams who have brought on new kiddos a chance to mesh before the season starts.
Updates from the tournament organizer, Ryan's dad, Matt Hampel, and his amazing wife, Heather.