The Verona P.B.A. will host the second annual “Battle of the Badges” charity softball tournament in memory of U.S. Army Sgt. Derek T. McConnell, who grew up in North Caldwell. McConnell, who sustained life-threatening injuries while serving in Afghanistan, died in March.
The tournament will feature police and fire departments from Verona, Cedar
Grove and North Caldwell competing against one another other and advancing
to the "Tournament of Champions" for a chance at the first-place
The charity softball game will benefit the Wounded Warriors Project, which benefits American service men and women who have been severely injured and/or disabled while serving in the armed forces.
The North Caldwell police and fire departments were invited to participate this year in honor of McConnell, who threw the first pitch in the 2012 "Battle of the Badges."
The tournament will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29, at Veterans Field located off of Linn Drive behind the Verona Community Center, 880 Bloomfield Ave.
"We honored Sgt. McConnell during last year’s tournament for his heroic efforts while serving in Afghanistan. He was very proud to be able to throw out the tournaments first pitch," Ed Carattini Jr. said in a release.
Opening ceremonies begin at noon. A member of each department will participate in an Honor Guard during the playing of the National Anthem.
North Caldwell plays the first game of the day at 12:30 p.m. There will be entertainment by DJ Chris Segarra from “Legendary Entertainment," as well as children's activities and Children’s Face Painting provided by Nicole & Gabi.
Commemorative t-shirts designed by 2-Guys Tee’s will also be on sale at the tournament.