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Fans pack stands for 16th annual Guns and Hoses baseball game

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 7:06 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The 16th annual Roanoke Valley Guns and Hoses softball tournament was Friday night, June 18, at the Haley Toyota Salem Red Sox Ballpark.

This year, all proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald house of Southwest Virginia. Gates opened at 6 p.m. and the game started at 7 p.m. A $5 cash donation was requested at the door.

Firefighters and police playing in this game said they’re excited to step away from their jobs for a bit to enjoy some friendly competition.

“I’m feeling pretty confident; I feel like we have a good group of guys. A lot of them play year-round, and we had some good batting practice here recently,” Troy Mann, a Roanoke City firefighter, said.

“Very exited to get back on the field with the guys, good competition, good chance for all of us to go out and support each other,” Robert Newman, a Roanoke City Police officer, said.

Firefighters and police officers often overlap at work, but Friday night, they were together for another reason--to share the field and have some fun while raising money for the Ronald McDonald House.

“Not all the times we’re together are great scenes, but out here it’s a great scene, all our families and friends out supporting us,” Newman said

“We see them out in the field for a lot of different calls we run, and so just to lay back and play a fun, competitive game of softball, it’s very fun just because we’re not on the job, get to relax and have fun, and we don’t get to do that too much with each other,” Mann said.

Tony Rickman coached and coordinated the game.

“We started it to raise money for local charities and we’ve grown each year, getting bigger and better,” Rickman said.

Last year, the game went on during the pandemic with capacity restrictions of only 1,000 fans, but this year, those restrictions have been lifted.

“We want to pack the park, we want everyone to come out and support the game, the event, and show support for the Ronald McDonald House,” Rickman said.

Organizers and players hope the game will raise around $5,000.

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