The third annual Jamie Samuelsen Strikeout Colon Cancer Celebrity Softball game will take place at 7 p.m. June 7 at Donald J. Flynn Park.

The third annual Jamie Samuelsen Strikeout Colon Cancer Celebrity Softball game will take place at 7 p.m. June 7 at Donald J. Flynn Park.

Photo provided by League Sports LLC

Celebrity softball, travel baseball tournament returns to Troy in honor of Jamie Samuelsen

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Troy Times | Published June 5, 2024


TROY — For most local Detroit sports fans, Jamie Samuelsen was part of their everyday routine as they drove to work.

One-half of the popular 97.1 FM “The Ticket” morning show, which aired 6-10 a.m. on weekdays, alongside Michael Stone, Samuelsen’s personality and humor made an impact on listeners who had never even had the chance to meet the radio figure. Samuelsen died Aug. 1, 2020, after a long battle with colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2018.

Mike Morris, the head coach of Troy Athens High School varsity baseball, was like many listeners who only knew Samuelsen through the air waves.

“I never had the pleasure of meeting,” Morris said. “He was just someone in my daily routine before going to work every morning. I’d flip the radio on while driving to work, and it would be that relaxed moment as a sports fan of just catching up on sports, hearing him and Stoney with some of their banter back and forth.”

Morris is the founder and director of the Royal Oak Nationals 14U travel baseball organization and League Sports LLC, and has prided himself on providing cost-friendly local travel tournaments in the Michigan area.

Morris is an active member of the travel baseball community and knows what it takes to get a tournament off the ground, so Troy Baseball Boosters board chairman Richard Shelton turned to Morris in efforts to get a tournament up and running in Troy.

“I coach travel baseball, and my son is part of that, and I’d been going around to different tournaments and stuff like that and basically just running into a lot of money grabs where they’re charging a thousand-plus for tournaments and charging people $20 entrance fees and everything else,” Morris said. “I finally got sick of complaining about it and started my own tournament and kept the cost very low with no gate fees. I just wanted to grow the game of baseball. When I ran my first tournament, an individual named Rick (Richard) Shelton, he’s part of Troy baseball city league, and he asked if I’d run one in Troy. I said, ‘Oh, sure.’ He said, ‘How about this August?’”

When thinking about the tournament, honoring Samuelsen wasn’t a tough decision for Morris, who is entering his third year as host of the Jamie Samuelsen Strikeout Colon Cancer Baseball Tournament, set for June 8-9 of this year at Donald J. Flynn Park, located in the 44000 block of Dequindre Road in Troy.

“He had recently passed away, so I just came up with the idea of, ‘What if we came up with something that could give back?’” Morris said. “It just hit me that what if we could donate towards his memory and still grow the game of baseball by doing a tournament and something along those lines, but donate the money back to charity? My business partner (Patrick Koneval), who I also teach with, and I had a conversation, and he thought it was a great idea.”

With permission from Samuelsen’s wife, Christy McDonald, all systems were a go for the tournament. On top of the youth tournament, which will feature 30 teams this year from ages 9-12, Morris and company also put together a celebrity softball game for the first night of the tournament on Friday to kick off the weekend.

The celebrity team goes head-to-head with the Troy School District each year, featuring a team full of Troy School District faculty members. The Troy School District team is currently 2-0 against the celebrity team but will look for some revenge June 7 at 7 p.m. at Donald J. Flynn Park.

This year’s celebrity team features former National Football League offensive lineman and radio personality Jon Jansen, Oakland University men’s basketball coach Greg Kampe, FOX 2 News anchor Roop Raj, and many more, while Detroit Lions play-by-play announcer Dan Miller, 97.1 FM’s Michael Stone, and Detroit News columnist and 97.1 FM’s Bob Wojnowski will be calling the game.

A full list of the celebrity team can be found at

Pro Sports Zone, based in Livonia, donated various sports memorabilia for the event’s live auction, and two food trucks and concessions will be available. The event will have a 50/50 raffle.

All proceeds from the live auction, the concessions stand and the 50/50 raffle will go towards charities and Donations can also be made by texting the number 53555 and using the keyword “Jamie” or by visiting

The event has raised over $14,000 the past two years, and they’re hoping for another successful weekend in honor of Samuelsen.

“It’s been really cool seeing good people in the world,” Morris said. “The impact that Jamie had on people’s lives where we never even got a chance to meet him, but he had an impact on our life. It’s unfortunate he passed way too soon, but his legacy lives on.”

For more information on the celebrity softball game or baseball tournament, visit