LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Police officers from coast to coast are here in the metro this weekend to play some softball against one another. While the games were part of the fun, the law enforcement members also face a harsh reality and kept it mind as the bats were swinging.
Brad Lemmon is the president of the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police. He said, “It was great to have a KCK team here today and remember what they’re going through, the loss of their two brothers in the last couple months.”
Hundreds of police officers from California to New York landed right in the heart of the Midwest this weekend, wearing a different kind of uniform. Kevin Mort works for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
He said, “It’s fun to get out there and compete against everybody and have a good time.”
It’s the National Bacon Ball Championship, or the search for the best law enforcement softball team in the country. Lemmon said, “This is our 11th year of this and every year we make it bigger and bigger.”
The FOP Lodge 99 puts on the event. Before the games started Saturday morning, the officers honored their colleagues killed in the line of duty.
“We’ve had more killed this year that we’ve had in a number of years through gunfire, including two phenomenal individuals in KCK earlier this month,” Lemmon said. He also said the goal each year is to remember the people who died on September 11, 2001. It’s why organizers aim to schedule the event as close to that date as possible each fall.
Lemmon said it’s “something for us to memorialize what happened 15 years ago tomorrow.”
While the officers showed off some mad ball skills and decompressed for a bit, they also said they know in the back of their minds how short life is and how important it is so spend moments with the people who matter most to us.
Mort said, “It’s good to get away from the job part of it.”
The tournament is free and open to the public. It continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Frank White Softball Complex at Longview Lake in Lee’s Summit. The officers said they’d love to show off their skills to the public.