Mike Barr’s affinity for recreational softball and the annual Town of Payson Home Run Derby have prompted friends to found a coed softball tournament they plan to play each fall in his memory.
Barr, a former Payson High School three-sport star, died July 14 of heart failure. At the time of his death, he was 25 years of age and working in California.
The inaugural Mike Barr Memorial Coed Softball Tournament is the work of two of his longtime friends — Trevor LaHaye and Bobbi Jo Haught.
Although LaHaye is the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism sports coordinator, the new tournament is not being officially hosted by the town but rather is an individual project of the two sponsors.
“We want to play this tournament every year as a tribute to Mike,” said LaHaye.
The inaugural event will be played Oct. 1 and 2 on multiple fields at Rumsey Park.
The home run derby is set to begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 immediately after a coaches meeting.
The tournament will be played throughout the day on Oct. 2.
The entry fee for the derby is $20 per hitter and the team registration is $275 for the tournament.
Until Sept. 17, $150 deposits will be accepted. The entry fee deadline is Sept. 24.
For the tournament, all teams are guaranteed three games, which will be played in a round robin.
Following pool play, a championship single elimination tournament will be held.
The required male to female team format is five to five.
Barr’s enjoyment of recreational sports is a fond memory for all who knew him.
Last spring, he teamed up with Chad Martin and Wayne Loy to form the Garvin’s towing team that finished second in the town-sponsored home run derby. The trio donated their $200 in prize money to the Rotary Club.
In 2005, Barr, Waylon Pettet and Layton Howell took first place in the home run derby’s under-20-years division.
Barr also enjoyed recreational basketball after his heralded high school career ended, playing pick up games wherever he could find them.
In early 2008, he hooked up with Matt McRae and Denver White to win the Tonto Apache 3-on-3 basketball tournament.
For more information on the memorial tournament, call LaHaye at (928) 474-5242, ext. 260 or Haught at (928) 978-2397.
Mail entry fees to: Mike Barr Memorial, c/o Parks and Recreation, 1000 W. Country Club, Payson, AZ 85541.