When Tom Dieira first heard of a little league baseball tournament in Amherst it didnt take him long to persuade the president of his Blackstone, Mass. association to come to Canada.
AMHERST When Tom Dieira first heard of a little league baseball tournament in Amherst it didnt take him long to persuade the president of his Blackstone, Mass. association to come to Canada.
The coach of the Amherst team was telling me about the tournament and I asked can we come? Dieira said. We dont know a lot about it, but we have heard its a great tournament for the friendship and hospitality.
Blackstones entry raises the number of Massachusetts teams attending the David Maltby Memorial to four, half of the eight teams attending, including the host Amherst Little League All-Stars.
Blackstone is a community of about 8,000 just north of the border with Rhode Island and near the city of Worcester, Mass.
For a lot of the boys its their first trip to Canada and theyre so excited about it, Dieira said. It will be a great experience for the kids.
Its that international experience that keeps teams coming back to Amherst every September, said tournament co-chair Ray Coulson.
The teams that come to this tournament want to win, but they also come because of the friendships theyve made over the years, Coulson said. Its an experience for the visiting ball players as it is for our own all-stars and while baseball is important the friendships made here last for years.