The Dennis Donnelly Memorial 16-Inch Softball Tournament began in
1972 and has been held annually on Memorial Weekend since then. Dennis
“Denny” Donnelly was a Superintendent with Yuma Parks & Recreation. Denny
started his work in Yuma in 1975, a few years after the creation of what has
become an annual event, but was instrumental in its growth and popularity.
Denny retired from Yuma in 2000, and after he passed from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s
Disease), the tournament that he led for 25 years was renamed in his honor.
Denny’s wife Mary has said what Denny loved the most was seeing
generations of fathers and sons, from different states come together and
make annual plans to attend. It serves as a living legacy to this memory, as
approximately 30 teams and players annually come from Illinois, California,
Utah, and Arizona to take part in the tournament which concludes with hundreds
of spectators surrounding Sanguinetti Athletic Field to watch the Championship
Game and pre-game ceremonies. It is a community event that everyone enjoys.