Steve Aiello Tournament Tribute!

January 21, 2010 by  

BURBANK – Despite rain, baseball event to honor the memory of Steve Aiello draws more than 165 players.

Children laughing and having a good time, the crack of the bat and young baseball players dotting the diamond were some of the images that Steve Aiello held dear.

This past weekend, more than 165 players from 14 teams came together not only to play, but to pay tribute to a man who dedicated his life to helping youth athletes.

Aiello passed away five months ago at the age of 49. He dedicated a large portion of his life to being a coach, administrator and volunteer for a variety of organizations, including Toluca Baseball, East Valley Baseball, Bellarmine-Jefferson and North Hollywood highs and the Tournament of Roses Assn.

In a celebration of what would have been his 50th birthday Monday, Steve’s wife, Joyce, and son, Anthony, wanted to do something in the spirit of their husband and father.

They founded the Steve Aiello Memorial Fund and thought it would be fitting to hold a tournament in his honor.

Although rain washed out some of the tournament games Sunday and Monday, Joyce Aiello said even the inclement weather couldn’t spoil the celebration.

“We are just so grateful for everyone who helped us put together the tournament, and all the players and parents who came out to take part,” she said. “It was just wonderful to see all the people, especially the young players.”

All the proceeds from the tournament will go to benefit the youth baseball in the San Fernando Valley area.

Because Steve was so involved in youth sports, particularly baseball, Joyce said they wanted to do something that brought together young players. Along with the games, those involved in the event also took time to tell the participants about Steve and his life.

“The tournament was fun and a fitting tribute to my husband,” Joyce said. “It was a great way to get a wonderful message out — not just to the community, but to the next generation. That’s a “pay it forward” that I sure hope we all get to see.”

There was no tournament championship game, no trophies and no awards given out. Instead, the intention of the event was to let the players have fun and enjoy themselves.

To celebrate Steve’s birthday, players were given cupcakes and a goody bag.

Joyce said she was touched by the turnout, and the dedication of a large group of individuals who came out.

“Everybody that helped us volunteer did it for free,” she said. “From the umpires, to the people running the concession stand to the group that helped pick up trash, they were all volunteers. It was really something to see.”

Hoping to continue the tradition, Joyce said she would like to make the tournament a yearly happening.

“I think Steve would have liked that,” Joyce said

By Jeff Tully

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Comments

2 Responses to “Steve Aiello Tournament Tribute!”

  1. Joyce Aiello on January 21st, 2010 2:04 pm

    Eric – Thanks for this! It was a wonderful article about an amazing person.

  2. admin on February 1st, 2010 1:20 am

    You’re welcome joyce, Steve is truly missed…

    admin

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