James Mendoza softball tournament a celebration of life
     2015-08-13      By Doug Harris    dougharris@geringcitizen.com
When a young man leaves this world shortly after turning 20 years old he leaves behind an empty spot that can never be filled but the family of James Mendoza gathers together every year to celebrate his life and his spirit. James was an avid baseball fan and by all accounts an excellent athlete. His mother, Mary Ann Mendoza said he had dreams of one day becoming a pro.

This weekend running from Friday, Aug. 14 to Sunday Aug. 16 the Sixth Annual James Mendoza Co-Ed Softball Tournament will be held at the Carpenter Center in Terrytown.

First prize winners will be awarded a plaque and a T-shirt with the second place team receiving a trophy. Each team will play three games guaranteed in the single elimination tournament.

Attendance is free and open to the public but free-will donations will be accepted. All teams pay a $150 entrance fee with proceeds going to the family of James Mendoza, and Carpenter Center youth programs. Edward Salazar will be the DJ on Saturday during the tournament. A Saturday reception will be held after the last game on the Aug. 15, with the location to be announced.

James was a 2008 Gering High School graduate and active with many Bulldogs teams during his time in high school. He went on to pitch for the Gering American Legion team and also played for the Valley Bank Bruins. James volunteered his time with youth programs sharing his love of baseball with other up and comers who shared his love for the sport.

His mother said they hold the tournament every August because James birthday was Aug. 14. James Mendoza would have been 26 this year.

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