Dates: Friday, June 21, 2013 thru Sunday, June 23, 2013
7 and under/8 and under/10 and under
7555 S. Strain Ridge Road
Annual Baseball with Bill (Bill Niswander Memorial Tournament) to benefit the Niswander Scholarship. Come out and enjoy our park with four fields (two with grass infields) with new fences. Each field also has a dedicated batting cage.
3 game minimum guarantee, weather permitting. Possible 4 game minimum for 7U and 8U depending on number of registered teams.
Two pool games on Saturday with a single elimination tournament on Sunday (possible Friday games for local teams, if necessary).
Trophies for 1st and 2nd place teams for each division.
Two umpires per game.
$5 gate fee per car for the entire weekend.
$225 for 7U & 8U
$325 for 10U
NO PETS are allowed in the Park.
No coolers in park. We do have a fully-stocked concession stand.
Contact Don Eads (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit our website (www.smithvillediamonds.com) for more information.
Bill Niswander. . . . through the eyes of a baseball mom
The first time I saw Bill Niswander, I was not sure who the cat drug in. It was a practice for my then six- year-old son at Smithville. In walked a huge man with long hair, a full beard, a tie-dyed shirt and old baggy overalls. Was he at the right place? I decided to keep my eye on this large creature to make sure what his motives were and, honestly, to make sure my child would be safe with his influence. As I came to know Bill, I learned how wrong I had been from the beginning. I found him to be kind, active and committed. Not just to his son, but to mine…and theirs, and theirs and theirs…
Bill volunteered for seven years with the Smithville Diamonds Board. I believe he officially held every office from president on down. I’m not sure that Bill was a scholar of the game, but he was a scholar in working hard and enjoying kids. He raked fields, picked up trash, sold concessions and kept a score book. It was the presence of Bill, more than his official position that made the most impact to our league. He was soft-spoken and positive. He built kids up and was not interested in breaking their spirit. He celebrated when they were naughty – he knew they are learning – finding their way. Bill loved the kids who play ball and every action he made was fueled by the kids’ best interest with no agenda of his own. He was the guy who always gave the player a ride whose father had been arrested, or took a child home who didn’t have a way. Bill was real and he was a pillar to our proud and loving baseball community.
As a parent, one of the greatest joys I have had is watching other adults build relationships with my children. I believe it does take a village to raise a child and it means the world to me when I see my kids have their needs met by other adults who genuinely care about them. Bill was one of these adults. My second son is a free spirit who marches to his own beat. He spent countless hours with Bill for more than eight years. He loved him as deeply as he loves his father and me. Bill cared about kids unconditionally. He cheered for them at the games, and then took them to fish, play in the mud and just sit under the stars in the country and be – kids just got to be with Bill. He was no more interested in the homerun hitter than he was the last in the line-up.
We had to leave Smithville due to this group turning thirteen. We landed ourselves with a coach who was negative, critical and not committed to the kids. Bill would sit in the dugout and continued to try to lift the kids up. One particular weekend, my son was fed up. He marched up to me, red faced with a tear in his eye and said, “That’s it. Now he was mean to Bill”. He could not fathom meanness being directed toward this gentle giant who did nothing but good for others.
Bill fought an unbelievable fight after being diagnosed with very aggressive, stage 4 cancer before leaving us. I can only hope for kids across America that there are Bills in other communities. He changed my life forever by touching my son deeply and inspiring him to be the kind of man that any mother would be proud of. We are all lucky to have known Bill Niswander and to have had him be part of our community. He has left a void that won’t be filled.
. . . Missy Richardson