Batters up for cancer research

ENGLEWOOD — Keith Farlow, owner of Farlow’s on the Water in Englewood, jumped at the chance to participate at the Englewood Area Wiffle Ball Tournament when a friend mentioned it to him.   

“I’m glad to be a part of this,” Farlow said. “I lost my father to pancreatic cancer two years ago. My mom got over colon cancer, and she’s in eight months’ remission.”   

Farlow’s will have seven participants led by captain John Mazza at the wiffle ball tournament at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 S. River Road.   

“We’re having a little fun,” Farlow said. “We’re looking forward to it.”   

Farlow’s is one of 20 registered teams with a few last-minute entries, according to organizer James Leclerc.   

“We’re planning to do this tournament as an annual event,” Leclerc said. “We’re looking to gauge local interest. It’s getting quite a bit of attention.”   

Leclerc said if there are less than 50 teams, the tournament will run only Saturday. Leclerc reserved Sunday in case there are more than 50 teams, but will cap play at 100. Each game will be six innings, and will start with division play for the first phase to match up skill level.   

The tournament was started by Leclerc in dedication to his father-in-law, Leon “Stubby” Truman, and other cancer warriors.   

“He was modest and he never bragged about his career,” Leclerc said. “He was a leading example of a community activist. I’m taking what he gave me and giving back to the community and (to) keep his memory alive.”   

Truman died from lung cancer more than six years ago, Vicki Bartlett, Truman’s daughter, said in January. Truman was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame the same year.   

“It feels great doing stuff for the community, and it’s for a great cause,” said Chris Atamanchuk, manager at Lock ’N Key Restaurant in Englewood.   

Lock ’N Key will have two teams playing in the tournament.   

Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Englewood Area Cancer Foundation. Entry is $100 for a three- to five-person team. Three players will be on the field at all times, with two substitutes.   

Teams can register online at http://www.letsplaywiffleball.com/register  .   

Leclerc said he will reduce the registration cost to $50 for Sun readers.   

For more information, go to http://www.letsplaywiffle  ball.com  , email info@  letsplaywiffleball.com  , or call 941-468-7235.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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