On Oct. 16, about 100 people stopped by the Garrison School field to remember Jim Cannon, a school board member and sports fan who died May 28 of pancreatic cancer, with a game of “CannonBall.” The rules of the Sunday afternoon softball game were slightly askew: Each batter came to the batter’s box with a 3-2 count, meaning he or she received one pitch (a hit, strike or ball). Initially each team’s turn at bat ended after 10 batters, regardless of outs. Each game lasted two innings. The fielders included a catcher, pitcher, infielders and seemingly unlimited outfielders.
The fundraiser for cancer research was organized by Tim Donovan and Bobby Hard, who served as head umpire. Donovan says he wanted a way to remember Cannon with a community event and thought softball was appropriate since “everybody can play it.” Allowing only one pitch “forces speed,” he said, “and prevents anyone from getting too serious.” He and Hard hope to repeat CannonBall next year over Columbus Day weekend with a barbecue and sponsored teams.
“We live in a small community,” Donovan said. “When one or two people are not there, it makes a big difference.” The event reflected Cannon’s spirit, he said, because “everyone was laughing and we had a terrific afternoon.”