We may not be a large, well-known community, but we know how to play some serious softball. This past Saturday, eight different teams came together from throughout the neighborhood to compete at the 2nd Annual Chicago Style Softball Tournament at Prescott Park.
Last year Near South Neighborhood resident, Todd Bumgarner, organized the first tournament in an effort to build community with fellow residents and to bridge the surrounding churches, businesses and schools together to cultivate a wider sense of community in the Near South Neighborhood as a whole. As the pastor at 2 Pillars Church (also located in the Near South), Todd's vision is to see the Near South community be just that, a community that knows one another. So he decided to make it happen...and I think it has been a huge success.
Despite the heat, the turnout for 2014 was twice as big as last year and twice as much fun. Adults battled it out on the field while the kids took refuge in the mud puddles left over in the playground from the rain storm the night before. In the end, the Near South Naturals won the tournament, earning bragging rights for next year and the honor of bringing the best beer to the BBQ later that evening.
Photo credit: Kelsey Sittler & Valerie Jensen