“IN MEMORY OF A HERO”
The year 2020 marks the Thirty-Fourth anniversary of Canyon High School hosting this Invitational Varsity Tournament, and the Twenty-first successive event in memorial of former Canyon player Michelle Carew. The daughter of Hall of Fame baseball great Rod Carew, Michelle was a spirited member of our Comanche family for four years. Shortly after her June 1995 graduation, she became suddenly and seriously ill. Her plight drew national attention, as well as an increased attention to bone marrow research and donor banks.
After a protracted hospital stay, Michelle passed away in April of 1996. The Michelle Carew Softball Tournament continues annually in her memory. As a player and team member, Michelle always carried a positive and cheerful demeanor. Though her allergies to dust and grass were difficult obstacles to overcome on the diamond, she contributed as a solid hitter in the likeness of her famous father. Michelle was the loudest “cheerleader” and also the first to defend anyone who experienced misfortune or lack of success. For the duration of her illness, she became a remarkable champion in the eyes of all who watched her struggle against the odds. Through it all, her major concern was for the well-being of those she would leave behind.
For eighteen years, Michelle made the world a better place. She is always to be remembered by the Canyon Comanche’s as a true hero.
This tournament was inaugurated in 1985, Coach Lance Eddy’s second year, with the goal being to raise funds for the construction of a field on the Canyon High School campus. The only other significant high school tournament in Southern California at that time was the Cypress tournament, so the Canyon “Tournament of Champions” immediately attracted 32 top quality teams. From that year forward, the Canyon Tournament has maintained a tradition of excellent softball, with many future college All-Americans and Olympians gracing the fields at Peralta Park.
In 1989, and for the following two years, gaining entry to the tournament was of such demand that it was expanded to 36 teams which competed in two 18 team divisions. From 1992-94, the tournament was not staged, but was resumed in 1995. Michelle died in April 96, and beginning in 1997 it was named after her and the tournament name was changed to honor her memory, making this year the 21st “Michelle Carew CLassic
Each year, Canyon gives a Michelle Carew Most Inspirational Award. This award is sponsored by the Carew Family, and is presented each year to the Canyon player who best demonstrates the spirit and inspirational support to her teammates that was exemplified by Michelle both in softball, and even more so in her lifetime. She truly did make the world around her a better place. The previous award winners are…End-of-the-Year-MC-Most-Inspirational-Award-Winner