PITTSFIELD — Two years ago at the John Codey Jimmy Fund Classic, which has been at Belanger Field for the last half decade or so, Keith Lovellette and Mike Evans were in their usual spot, in the press box announcing and keeping pitch count of all the 9-10-year-old kids playing ball.
In the middle of an inning, a 5-year-old kid asked to join them in the press box. After a while, Mike asked the kid why he wasn't playing. The kid couldn't play because he was going through cancer treatment and just wanted to watch his brother play baseball.
"It was somebody we helped through the [Jimmy Fund] Council here in the Berkshires," Lovellette explained. " After a couple years of treatment, he beat it. That is why [we] do it. We had him throw the first pitch, he was able to go out there and throw the pitch. Now there is a young man out there living the way he should."
Lovellette has been helping out with the Jimmy Fund Classic for some time now. The event, which includes two Little League games, a few raffles and catering from Mazzeo's, was renamed to the "John Codey Jimmy Fund Classic" in 2012. The change was to honor John Codey, who was one of the original founders of the Jimmy Fund Classic 26 years ago.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Jason Codey, grandson of John, played in the first game between Pittsfield National Red and Pittsfield National White. It was the Paul Dowd Division championship game, and White won 11-10.
Red took a quick 3-1 lead after the first and held it for almost the entire game. After scoring nine runs in the first four innings, Red was held to just one run in the final two innings, opening the door for White.
With the score 10-8 in the top of the sixth, White took their first lead since the first inning. Chase Wendling hit his second extra-base hit of the game to score two runs and tie the game at 10. Wendling went on to score the game-winning run later in the inning as White was able to hold on to a 11-10 lead.
"It was awesome. Great kids, great game and a great cause," Pittsfield National White Coach Kevin O'Donnell said. "I just kept telling my pitchers to keep throwing strikes, and they did."
While there are usually winners and losers in a baseball game, Lovellette reminded the kids that nobody loses today.
"There are no losers, you are all winners," Lovellette said over the PA system. "Every day you get to play baseball is a win. Remember, this isn't a tournament, this is a classic."
After the game, it was announced that the Pittsfield American Red team raised $5596.30, the most of any Little League team. The team was lead by David Wildgoose, who raised $2,729 [the most ever from a single kid], making it the third year in a row that a member of the Wildgoose family raised the most money in the league.
The second game of the afternoon was between the Berkshire All-Stars and the Pittsfield National Blue team. The All-Stars won 15-6 in the Jack Brennan Division championship.
The All-Stars were led by Michael Butler, Max Shepardson and Emile Miller, who combined to go 12 for 13 with seven runs batted in. On the mound for the All-Stars was Shepardson, who only allowed one hit in the first three innings as the All-Stars took the game.
"All the kids worked really hard," All-Stars coach Mike Massey said. "We wanted to come back and play in a local tournament. We played hard and everyone contributed."
With the second game coming to an end, it also meant the end of the eight-day process that is the John Codey Jimmy Fund Tournament.
"We have a ton of fun doing this," Lovellette said. "We don't know what the final total is, but we shoot for $25,000 and we are going to be close."