It was Watchmen versus Smoke Eaters.
No, that wasn’t the plot for a Stephen King novel or an HBO series.
The Grapevine Shield Foundation hosted its fifth annual Grapevine Police (Watchmen) vs. Grapevine Fire (Smoke Eaters) Softball Challenge and fundraiser on Saturday at Oak Grove Park.
Prizes donated by local businesses were raffled or placed in a silent auction during the game.
Organizer Linda Robbins, foundation president, said the fundraising event for the Grapevine Shield Foundation is taken very seriously by the police and fire departments with a friendly rivalry between these first-responders who work together to protect the safety of the community.
“It was an exciting game that the crowd was very involved in, cheering loudly,” Robbins said. “The real winner of this event is the Grapevine Shield Foundation. We raised a total of $5,900 due to the generosity of our sponsors.”
The winning team, the the Watchmen, took home a trophy and bragging rights for one year. The Watchmen were thrilled to reclaim it — having won it the first year and lost it the last three.
“The Watchmen took an early lead in the first inning,” Robbins said. “The Smoke Eaters launched a comeback in the fifth and sixth innings. The Watchmen scored additional runs in the sixth inning which sealed the deal because neither team scored in the seventh inning. The final score was Watchmen 12, Smoke Eaters 11.”
The evening began with the presentation of colors by the Honor Guard comprised of two police officers and two firefighters. Then 9-year-old Peyton, daughter of Police Officer Willie Lain, sang the National Anthem a cappella, which she has done since at the event since age 4.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Fire Chief Steve Bass, who will be retiring in August. Police Chief Eddie Salame said a few words in recognition of the fire chief’s long career in public service. Salame and Bass provided commentary.
Sgt. Richard Savage from the Watchmen, who made the game-winning hit in the sixth inning, was awarded the MVP trophy.
The foundation provides financial support for Grapevine police officers or firefighters who are injured or killed in the line of duty. This foundation provides immediate support and help with expenses that insurance or benefits will not cover. The foundation also offers scholarships to the children of local police officers and firefighters.
For more information, go to GrapevineShield.org.