After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Mike Johnson Memorial Tournament is back this coming weekend, June 4-6, at Eagles Park in Morris. It will be the sixth year that Morris has hosted the tournament.
Mike Johnson, the tournament’s namesake and son of Rod and Laurie Johnson, passed away in 2002 from a car accident. College baseball teammate and friend, Jarrod Asmus, started the tournament to honor his memory.
“Mike would’ve loved an event like this. A place where friends can get together to watch and/or play some baseball, eat some great food, enjoy each other’s fellowship, and maybe have a beer while doing so. To remember Mike in this way, and to be able to give back to the programs, something I’m sure Mike is smiling about,” Asmus said.
The annual eight-team tournament will kick off Friday, June 4 with one of the battles for Stevens County, the Morris Eagles will host the Chokio Coyotes at 6 p.m. at Chizek Field in Morris. The Starbuck Stars and the Fergus Falls Canes will play in the nightcap Friday evening.
Other teams participating in the tournament include the Richmond Royals, Adrian A’s, the Eagle Lake Expos and the Moorhead Mudcats, whose roster includes Morris native Toby Sayles.
The tournament continues Saturday with championship and consolation and third place games being played Sunday.
Along with the eight-team amateur baseball tournament, there will also be a 12U tournament at Eagles Park and a 10U tournament at Wells Park on Saturday.
“Eagles Park will be a happening place on Saturday,” Asmus said of the three baseball tournaments happening in Morris.
With the MJ Memorial Tournament, there will also be a bat raffle and ribfest, a fan favorite, is also back on Saturday. The Morris Eagles Club will be serving full concessions and beer stand all weekend.
“Pulled pork sandwich and a ribfest on Saturday, and possibly an ice cream truck through the Dairy Princess Taryn Picht,” Asmus said.
Proceeds from the tournament always go back to baseball and softball in the Morris community. The money raised from the tournament over the past six years, from 2015 to present, has built the shelter between the two fields at Wells Park, the dugouts at Wells Park, purchased new jerseys for the Morris Eagles amateur team, built batting cages and purchased various equipment for the high school team.