July 13, 2011 —
By Bill Mullaly
The 2011 David Clark Memorial 14U Youth Baseball Tournament is set to begin yesterday (Wednesday) and run through Sunday. This will be the 11th annual tournament being played here in Hudson to honor the memory of David Clark, the son of Watson and Jo Ann. He passed away in May of 2001 from a long and courageous bout with leukemia that begun in October of 2000. David had just completed two years of Pony League baseball playing for the Hudson Diamondbacks coached by Bruce Morse. The season-ending Pony League tournament that started in 1997 was quickly renamed the David Clark Memorial to honor David’s memory. This will mark the 11th summer of those “five days in July.” This year there will again be a competitive field of teams with the defending champions the Maxton Bulldogs back to defend their title. Hudson will have a team in the tourney as head coach Wayne Perry will be sending a team onto the diamond named Hudson Post 180.
The David Clark Memorial in 2011 will feature 12 teams with three teams coming in from Ohio, which includes the Bulldogs from the Pioneer area. The Bulldogs have a new coach as longtime coach Eddie Robison is heading up a different team. Dan Casper is the new coach and it is sure to be a rivalry if and when the two teams meet. Casper and Robison are coaching buddies from years past but this summer will be bringing two different teams to Hudson for the 2011 DCM. “We don’t really want to face each other unless it is in the single elimination playoff,” said Robison, who has coached three teams in the past that have won DCM crowns.
In addition to the Bulldogs the team Robison will be bringing is the Bryan Jr. Bears and the third team from south of the border is a crew from Wauseon and the Indians were last year’s runner-ups in a game that was halted in the top of the seventh due to severe rain and lightning. The Indians were down four runs and that is how things ended in 2011. The Indians would like to get back to the title game but who knows as anything can and does happen at the DCM.
Talking about Indians it will be the Southeast Indians from the Tecumseh area who will be coming to town for the event. Other area teams include Blissfield, Adrian CNET, Hanover-Horton and Britton-Deerfield. Teams from longer distances include last year’s semifinalist in the Lansing Moose. The Flintstones are coming from the Flint area as will a team from Ypsilanti.
Over the course of five days there will be 29 games played. There will be three pools of four teams with six of the twelve teams advancing to the single elimination tourney that starts late afternoon with a 6:00 quarterfinal game at both the high school and the main site, which is Will Carleton Park. The longstanding tradition of the tourney is to have just the final four teams playing on what is known as “championship Sunday.” The two semis are slated for 11 and 1:00 with the final game at 3:15.
It will be business as usual with Watson throwing out the first pitch on Sunday late afternoon before the final game.
In looking at the David Clark Memorial it is almost assured that the rain will stay away as it has for each summer. In the history of the DCM there has never been a game missed due to rain but we just call that David keeping an eye on things and watching out for us. If it does rain Watson says it is just David shedding a tear that he is not here with us watching the games. Two people that do watch a lot of the games are Watson and Jo Ann who get to know the teams and the players each summer.