BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — On Saturday, April 30th, 16 local baseball teams will play in eight games at Niagara Falls for the first ever WNY Athletics Baseball Day.
Aside from a day filled with some of the best high school teams in the area, the event is all for a good cause, as all proceeds will go towards Depew baseball coach Dennis Crawley and his family as he continues his fight against ALS.
“It means a lot, it really does. I’ve been involved in baseball for my whole life, I’ve played since I was seven, I’ve coached since my son was seven and he’s 27 now. I’ve been around the game for a long time, I’ve given a lot, but that’s not the reason to give back,” Depew baseball head coach Dennis Crawley said. “It’s overwhelming what everyone’s doing for my family and myself for the last year since I announced the diagnosis.
“It just shows you how tight knit the community is when it comes to baseball. Everybody knows everybody in baseball, good bad or indifferent, they all know each other. It’s overwhelming for me and my family. I don’t think we could do what we do without the help from others.”
“This is someone that’s really something special within Western New York. You talk Dennis Crawley, and there isn’t a person inside the baseball community that doesn’t know who he is, that doesn’t know what a special man with the things that he’s done to help not only himself and his teams, but the youth here in Western New York to learn the game of baseball,” WNY Athletics commentator Tom Prince said.
“I’ve seen it on multiple occasions, it doesn’t matter what team it is, it doesn’t matter if he’s the president of the Cheektowaga Little League, it didn’t matter if he was a coach, it didn’t matter if he was a fan up in the stands, he was still going to make sure there was someone he was going to help. So now, it’s time for the Western New York baseball community to step up and give help to Dennis.”
The event will start on April 30th with an opening ceremony at 10am, then Coach Crawley and the Depew Wildcats will open up the day with the first game against Gowanda starting at 10:30am. Nichols and Niagara Falls will also play at 10:30 am.
In the 1:00 time slot, West Seneca West will take on City Honors, as well as Hamburg vs St. Mary’s.
At 3:30 pm, Orchard Park will play St. Francis, while Canisius will play Portville.
WNY Baseball Day concludes with two great night games at 6pm, with St. Joe’s facing Will East, and Will North taking on Iroquois.