The second annual Casey Hare Memorial Baseball Tournament will be played Feb. 18-23 at the St. Clair County baseball field in Odenville.
Participating teams along with the Saints from St. Clair County include Moody, Leeds, Vincent and Childersburg.
Hare was 16 years old, working as a lifeguard at the YMCA in Trussville. While coming home from work on the night of Dec. 13, 2010, Hare swerved to avoid a deer on Alabama 174, and ran off the road just two miles from his house. His mother, Christy Hare, said her son died instantly.
When she heard sirens going by her house, she just knew something was wrong.
“We have a really long driveway, and I was taking the trash cans down, and heard the emergency vehicles go by,” she said. “I knew he was supposed to be home. He told me he got off work at 8:30, and I just had that mother’s instinct that something was wrong.”
She said she called Casey’s cell phone and got no answer.
“My husband was in Pennsylvania,” she said. “I called him and told him I could not get in touch with Casey. He started calling him, to no avail. But that was nothing unusual because he was a teenager. I made up my mind that I was not going to wait for them to come find me. I went looking for him.”
Christy Hare said she came up on the accident. She said she did not see everything because they had it blocked off.
Hare said her son had played baseball in Odenville since age 8. Not only was Casey a lifeguard, he worked part-time at Zaxby’s in Trussville.
“He loved playing baseball and second base was his position,” she said.
Casey had the chance to play in a World Series in Alpharetta, Ga. in 2009, and then he died the next year.
Hare and her husband, Craig, have another child —15-year-old Caitlyn, a sophomore at SCCHS. She is a Diamond Doll, which gives her a chance to be part of the baseball team.
The tournament will last all week long with the championship game being played on Feb. 23.
“We have had a lot of monetary donations and a lot of items donated to give away as door prizes,” Hare said. “We are hoping to raise a lot of money to give away a scholarship in Casey’s name to a Saint baseball player.”
Hare said this is her son’s graduating class this year. She hopes this tournament will grow in the years to come, and hopefully they can give out more than one scholarship per year.
“I don’t want people to forget Casey, and this is a way I can keep his memory alive,” she said.
Last year, the inaugural scholarship was given to SCCHS senior Gene Carter, and the scholarship was for $1,000.
“Last year, the coach picked, but this year, we want participants to write an essay, and Craig, Caitlyn, and myself will pick,” Hare said. “We were so glad Gene got it last year, because he and Casey played ball together for several years. His mom and I had rode to many games together.”
For more information about the memorial tournament, call 205-629-0963.