Fuzzball Tournament To Help Injured Officer

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Most may have dropped everything to watch the Cardinals playoff game Sunday. That wasn't an option for more than 100 people in South St. Louis.
They had their own games to play. They did it to help a police officer in need. The officer didn't even to have to ask.

It was like a baseball tournament, only way different.

"You get 5 balls and 2 strikes instead of 4 and 3," said organizer, St. Louis Police Sgt. Brian Rossomanno.

The batters use skinny bats.
The pitchers throw tennis balls.
It was the 9th annual Fuzzball with the Fuzz tournament put on by St. Louis police officers.

"It`s a lazy man`s baseball; no base running; 3 players on each team; a pitcher, catcher, 1 outfielder," Rossomanno said.

It was serious business. They played to win. But there was something more important than that this year. It had to do with someone who hoped to be out here taking his swings next year.

"I will definitely be out here playing next year; look forward to it," said injured St. Louis Police Sgt. Rick Lingard.

Lingard was just worried about living in March. He interrupted a burglary in his North County home.

Police said the suspects shot him repeatedly in the stomach.

Officers caught Montez Thomas and Christopher Gales nearby. They await trial for the crime.

Along with an aldermanic resolution praising Lingard and the tournament organizers, all proceeds from the were destined for Lingard to help cover medical co-pays and lost wages as he recovers.

A record 36 teams paid $160 each to play.

Lingard and his wife never asked for help.

"We accept the risk on the job every day. That`s something we know comes with the territory. But when you`re in your own home, and it comes and find you in your own home, that just takes it to another level," Rossomanno said.

"All these guys that would come out and give up their day; especially on a Cardinal playoff day, to come out here and support a cause is overwhelming and somewhat humbling," Lingard said.
Lingard said he was recovery was progressing well. He hoped to return to work within 6 months.

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