Mother Nature prevented championships from being claimed in two of the three divisions of the the London Fastpitch “Mitts for Miracles” All-Star Tournament held this past weekend at London High School.
Heavy rain Sunday afternoon washed away the championship games in both the 10U and 12U divisions, but the biggest news wasn’t who won and who lost, but rather who’s survived the weekend, literally.
One of the umpires working the weekend-long event collapsed between games Sunday afternoon with what officials believe was a heart attack. But fast-acting fans in attendance were able to conduct CPR until EMS crews showed up and transported him to Doctors Hospital.
The umpire, a 59-year-old London resident is resting at the hospital and is expected to survive.
The weather over the weekend may have contributed to the medical incident. Temperatures was in the mid 90s and the high humidity made doing anything strenuous outside dangerous. And despite the tournament’s effort to encourage all in attendance to stay hydrated and cool, the unfortunate event happened.
“I was right there with him when it happened,” London Fastpitch president Jerry Spencer said. “I was walking with him going over the rules of the 10U tournament. He was just coming off of a break and I asked him if he was doing OK. He said he was. When I turned away I heard him fall.
“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. There were nurses and medical people who were there and hopped into action. They are the heroes, they saved his life. The ambulance got there and they got him to the hospital. I hear he’s been moved into his own room and he’s going to be OK. That’s a miracle, from what I saw (Sunday), I can’t believe he made it.”
As for on the field action London teams were dominant in all three age groups. The London 8U team won the championship by defeating the Jamestown All-Stars 16-10 in the final. The London 10U team was scheduled to play a team from Washington Court House in the final, while the 12U London team had fought its way to the final in its age group but a heavy storm rolled through Sunday evening washing away the remaining action.
“It’s a little frustrating,” Spencer said. “We really wanted to finish it. I was curious to see what would happen. Those were some good teams and there was no guarantee we were going to win those games.”
Spencer is happy with how the rest of the tournament went. Games started on Friday evening and went non-stop until the downpour Sunday.
“I thought it ran pretty smoothly,” he said. “We had some little hiccups, but nothing we couldn’t handle. It was a good weekend for us for sure. There was good softball played and it seemed like everyone for the most part had a good time.”
Spencer said the London team’s successes are a result of kids and families working hard on the field and off and in the season as well as in the off-season.
“We run clinics and offer opportunities for the kids to get better in the fall and winter times,” Spencer said. “We really work with them and it’s paying off. We are a Rec organization that’s trying to get these girls ready for school ball. We ultimately want to build a powerhouse here in London.”
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.