Sports weekend honors ‘Pie’ Truesdell

Published 8:30 am Thursday, September 10, 2009

Scott Truesdell’s life was irrevocably changed when his son, Ryanm, died in a grain elevator accident in Glenville in 2007.

Nearly every day he visits his son’s grave and few mornings do his thoughts turn to anything but Ryan, who’s nickname was “Pie.” He rarely watches baseball anymore and he doesn’t go fishing at all. Much of his time is spent preparing for the Ryan “Pie” Truesdell Memorial Sports Weekend, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at J.M. Snyder Fields.

“It’s like nothing has the same meaning as it used to have,” Truesdell said. “I never used to miss a Twins’ game until Ryan died. The only baseball I watch anymore is the playoffs and then I’ll force myself to watch baseball.”

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The tournament has become an outlet for Scott as he works to organize everything in the spring for the tournament. After organizing last year’s tournament, the only part Truesdell wasn’t prepared for was after it was over.

Ryan was a two-time all-conference baseball player and played on multiple softball teams during the summers as a catcher and always wore No. 9. Pie played softball with the Aragon Pirates team the majority of the time after high school and the team has won the tournament two times. Scott even played an inning last year for the Pirates and batted leadoff, just like Ryan did when he played.

With all of Ryan’s friends at the tournament and softball being played, Scott said it felt like Ryan’s presence was there as well.

The second annual softball tournament is the centerpiece of the weekend, but a fishing contest has been added for Saturday and Sunday morning along with a number of raffle prizes that will be awarded throughout the weekend.

Last year’s tournament drew 25 teams and this year 21 have already registered.

Getting people to give to the tournament doesn’t take much and Truesdell expects to have raffle drawings all day at the tournament.

“When it comes to Ryan, anybody that knew Ryan would do anything for him,” Truesdell said.

Raffle prizes will be given out throughout the weekend at Snyder Field for $1 a ticket.

The City vs. County employees game will be held once again and all proceeds from the weekend will go toward The Ryan Truesdell Memorial Fund, which donates money throughout the year to various organizations within Albert Lea.

The softball tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Snyder Fields and the fishing tournament will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. on Fountain Lake at Katherine Island. The entry fee for the fishing tournament is $5 and participants will receive a raffle ticket. Bait will be furnished and there is a $75 prize for the heaviest game fish.

The City-County employees softball game will be held Sunday at 3 p.m.

The first place prize for the softball tournament is $300 and the second place team will receive $200.

The money raised from last year’s tournament was donated to youth baseball teams in Albert Lea, ARC, Albert Lea Parks and Recreation, and Waseca Special Olympics.

“It’d be nice to give away a check every month,” Truesdell said.

Last year’s tournament grossed $8,000, Truesdell said.