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Pelham Tourney Raises $45,000 for Cystic Fibrosis

PELHAM, N.Y. – Michael Recca raised $45,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at Saturday’s Second Annual StrikeOUT CF Big Bat Bopper Baseball Tournament in Pelham. Recca started the tourney in memory of his friend Aaron Rossman, who died from the lung disease in 2010. Big bat bopper baseball was Rossman's favorite game in physical education class.

“With money still coming in, we will likely break the $52,000 mark we set last year,” said the lifelong Pelham resident, who added that the tournament “absolutely was a success.”

The new school board member was joined by 219 other athletes who formed 16 teams. (Last year’s tournament had 325 athletes and 23 teams.) The cost per team was $350, or $20 to $25 a person depending on how many members there were. High school students paid $15.

Big Bat Bopper Baseball is a combination of baseball, kickball and cricket. Players use a cricket bat to hit a bouncing rubber ball and circle four bases positioned in the corners of the gym twice before touching the pitcher's mound to score a run. Each 12- to 16-member team gets three outs, and the games last 12 minutes.

Recca said he was “pretty happy” when it came to his thee-home run performance – two of which won games. However, “the best part of the tournament was the spirit of all the teams and the community,” he said.

“Pelhamites continue to support great causes in a number of ways, and the support they have given the Rossman family and the CF Foundation is amazing,” he said.

Technically, the double-elimination tournament did not have a winner. Due to time constraints, the Airmen and Master Batter’s finished with one loss each.

The tournament would not have been possible “without the hard work of our team, mainly Katherine Tedesco, our volunteers, specifically Mark Finegan, Jane Wals and Regina Ricci, and the extremely generous donors from our community,” Recca said.

“Thank you to all who participated in helping us StrikeOUT CF,” Recca said.

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