SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of little league players took the diamond at Magazine Park on a beautiful Saturday morning to play baseball.
The 2nd annual Sheila Monroe Tournament invited kids ages 8-12 from Springfield, Ludlow, Ware and Chicopee to play in a 6-team tournament.
Saturday’s tournament was about more than just kids having fun on the diamond. It honors someone who was a special inspiration, to a coach here on the field.
Springfield Red Sox founder and Manager Adrian Monroe holds the tournament to honor his mother who died two years ago.
Adrian said his mother motivated him to be active in baseball, in an effort to get him off the streets. Now Adrian is looking to do the same for young children in western Massachusetts.
“When I got off the streets I was out there in a tough environment and making tough and bad decisions,” Monroe said. “My mom kept motivating me and I finally got off the streets and I teach what I do best, to get the kids off the streets.”
Members of The Springfield Red Sox said they are glad they have baseball to keep them busy in the summer.
Aquelle Wallace told 22News, “I like my teammates, it’s a different vibe. In the spring and summer, you actually have something to play instead of going outside and getting involved in gangs, you’re actually doing something.”
Aquelle’s teammate, Davian McDonald said the Springfield Red Sox keep him from making bad decisions and allows him to have fun.
“So you don’t get caught up in other bad things,” McDonald said. “You always have something to do, something fun you don’t have to do every day but it keeps you off the streets.”