Tony Mora Sr. tournament reaches 30th year
Summer begins in Quincy this year with the 30th annual Tony Mora Sr. Softball Tournament.
The 14-team tournament is June 22-23 in Quincy city parks – one field at East Park and two at Lauzier Park.
Many of the players and teams come from other cities in the area. One team from Moses Lake, for instance, the Desert Dawgs, plays in the tournament almost every year and places in the top two or three in the upper division, said Tony Mora Jr.
Mora is an organizer of the tournament and a son of Tony Mora Sr., a veteran who got his family involved in softball at early ages. He died in 1989. Keeping the tournament going year after year helped the extended family stay close.
“After 30 years it’s kind of a tradition,” Tony Mora Jr. said. “Family teams get together and have fun.”
The atmosphere is fun, but when it comes to winning or losing, players want to try their hardest, Mora said.
First-place teams in the upper and lower division get to take home jackets. Second-place teams win T-shirts. Two MVPs are also chosen, and the top eight players get all-star T-shirts.
Alongside the friendly competition are fajitas so popular they are almost as much a part of the Tony Mora Sr. weekend as home runs and high-fives.
Speaking about the fajitas, Mora said, “Everybody loves to grab two or three of those and sit in the shade and enjoy the parks.” In the past, the idea of not doing the fajitas has come up, but the consensus was no, the tournament wouldn’t be the same without them.
Money raised in the tournament funds a scholarship of $1,000 for a Quincy High School student. The Tony Mora Sr. Scholarship this year was given to Hunter Harrington.
Players ages 16 and older are welcome to play. The cost per team is $325. To sign up a team, call Tony Mora Jr. at 509-750-1970 by Monday, June 17.
“We have a good time,” Mora said.
But it is a lot of work. Getting the permits, tents, concessions and fencing takes time and volunteers. At Lauzier Park fields, Mora said the family brings in about 300 feet of portable fences. They also bring in equipment to grade the diamonds.
“We want to represent, so we get the fields groomed,” Mora said.
With the work involved in putting a tournament together, he said, the older folks are kind of hoping younger relatives will take it on.
“30 years – that’s a lot of tournaments, but we enjoy it,” he said.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com