Special to the Press
BRISTOL - Forestville Little League tied with McCabe Waters in the final game in the 4th annual Robert Watson Memorial Tournament Tuesday. The two teams were named co-champions, a first for the tournament.
Watson, who died in 2010, did so much for Little League in town that he’s known as Forestville’s “Mr. Little League.”
“If you played Little League or lived in Bristol at all you knew the name Bob Watson,” said Corey Simard, the manager of Forestville Little League.
Watson’s love for sports began when he was an athlete at Weaver High School where he played basketball and ran track.
When he moved to Bristol he played sports at the Forestville Boys Club and in 1955, coached his first Little League season.
For decades after that he stayed involved with the league. He was a coach, a manager and held several other roles in support of Little League. He participated in all three Little League teams in Bristol, but Forestville was always his home league.
In 1976, Watson led his all-star team to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. That team ended up getting fifth place in the world.
Watson also served as the district five administrator of Connecticut Little League for 30 years. Over that time he brought the annual Easter Regional Little League Tournament to the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center in Bristol.
Then in 1995, Watson was named Connecticut’s Little League’s Volunteer of the Year.
“If it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t have as much for Little League in Bristol,” said Simard.
Both parents and the kids playing appreciate what Little League brings to their lives.
“It teaches the kids structure, responsibility and teamwork,” said Ryan Martin, who has a child on the Forestville team.
“The Little League organization definitely forms bonds with the kids and the parents,” said Christina Robinson, whose kid plays for McCabe Waters.
She said that participating in Little League is like being part of a family. It’s also great because it gets kids out and moving.
According to Simard, the tournament gives kids experience and the opportunity to improve their skills. By playing in games like the one on Tuesday, kids can advance to the next level, whether that’s majors or all-stars.
“These guys (the Forestville players) are pretty solid from top to bottom,” said Simard.
For the first half of the game Forestville was leading. By the end of the 6th inning the game was tied 9 to 9.
During the tournament both the Forestville team and the McCabe Waters team were undefeated 6 to 0.