After a lengthy sabbatical, the Battle of the Badges charity softball game is returning 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Gainesville high school softball field.
The Gainesville fire department will face off against a combined team of the Cooke County Sheriff’s office and Gainesville Police Department with proceeds benefitting the Local Fallen Heroes charity.
Cooke County Sheriff’s deputy Chris Burr said tickets are $3 each and the proceeds will go to the family of Doug Anderle, a Gainesville fireman who died last year.
“Our passion is our careers, but we also like to help out people in need in our spare time,” Burr said. “It’s good to get together other than in our line of duty, which is normally where we meet.
I just got together with the firemen and we talked about who we could help out locally. We decided to help the Anderle family.”
Burr said the city used to do a charity game but went a while without one, so he felt like it was the right time to get it going again and there has already been some friendly trash talk between the agencies.
“There has been some fun back and forth,” Burr said. “We’re all competitive. We all want to win, and it’s for a good cause. I was really surprised to see that the game hadn’t been continued. Someone had to take initiative but it didn’t take long and every one of them was ready to get on board, get a team together.”
There are already talks of a charity basketball game taking place in the fall, according to Burr, and he hopes they can keep the tradition going.
“I’ve known these guys a long time,” Burr said. “I started back in 2000 and some of the firemen were here while I was. There are old friendships that I’m looking forward to meeting with again and I’ve met a lot more friends at the Sheriff’s office. It came together really quick and coach (James) Polk at Gainesville has been very helpful for whatever we need along with our sponsors RibCrib, Jif-E-Lube, Hunter’s Oil Depot, Walmart, Gilbert Wrecker Service and everyone else that contributed. They really helped out.”
Another game with potentially different combinations of teams will begin at noon and another at 1 p.m.
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at Media or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
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