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Slippery start to the return of Sam McQuade Sr. Charity Softball Tournament

Friday is opening night for the biggest softball convention in the United States.
Friday is opening night for the biggest softball convention in the United States.(kfyr)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 3:51 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Softball fans across the continent have been waiting two years for the return of the McQuade’s Charity Softball Tournament. Friday is opening night for the biggest softball convention in the United States.

But with the rain, teams may be finding they have to wait a little longer to get things started.

Despite the weather, fans have been flooding the facility for the past few hours to get things underway. Teams couldn’t be more excited to get back to their favorite event.

Two years.

More than 400 teams waited two years for the largest tournament in the country.

Some drove 2,000 miles... for rain.

“Hey, it’s okay. It’s part of it. We’ve dealt with it before. Two years ago, it rained on Sunday too. So we’re used to it. It’s still a good time. I can’t wait to see everyone,” said Gary Mor, five-time McQuade’s player from California. The journey back to the tournament wasn’t an easy one. Last year’s cancellation took its toll on the charities the tournament supports, but the organization was still able to raise half of what it normally would. Despite the strong recovery, the effects of COVID are still being felt.

“There seems to be a lot more conflicts with either teams or volunteers than we’ve had in the past, but I think the level of excitement is 20-fold. It’s always an exciting weekend like a family reunion or high school reunion atmosphere,” Owner Shannon Ely-McQuade said.

Canadian teams couldn’t cross the border, so organizers weren’t able to fill all the brackets. So while some benches may be empty, the field won’t be.

We’re getting ready for the first pitch to be thrown in just a few minutes.

The rebirth of a tradition is underway.

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