Baseball is America's pastime and in Stamford, the John "Sharkey" Laureno Memorial Tournament has been a local tradition for the past 27 years.
Judd Bell, Co-Chairmen of the John "Sharkey" Laureno Memorial Tournament said "When he [John "Sharkey" Laureno] passed away, his family said donate to the Babe Ruth League rather than send flowers. We took that money and started this tournament to keep the money flowing to give out scholarships in his name."
Since 1987, the memorial tournament has awarded over 280 thousands dollars in scholarships to over 130 players.
George Murphy, who received the "Sharkey" Memorial Scholarship this year and the past two years said "It's been a Stamford institution for the past 27 years. It helps send all these kids to college and it pays for books, pays for expenses and that is something that is really really important."
Long time volunteers say the tournament is important to the community and the memory of Laureno whose main goal was helping kids on and off the field.
"It's a way of giving back" said Rick Brody, a "Sharkey" Laureno Memorial Tournament volunteer. "All of us here have been involved with baseball one way or another - coaching the High School level, Babe Ruth level, Little League level. We all are dedicated to kids and helping kids improve."
"It was only supposed to be for a couple of years I had said in the beginning and I never dreamed it would still be going on 27 years later." added Judd Bell.
The tournament conclues with Sharkey Championship Games on Wednesday, August 14th
at Cubeta Stadium. www.sharkeytournament.org