TROY — He didn’t know Jamie Samuelsen personally, but when he was approached about hosting a fundraising baseball tournament at the end of August, Mike Morris of League Sports LLC immediately thought of the personality of the longtime radio and sports writer who died of colon cancer two years ago.
” I did not know him. He was just someone who helped me start my morning every day,” said Morris of Samuelsen, who was co-host of the morning show on WXYT (97.1 FM), after spending time at WDFN, WRIF and WCSX earlier in his career, as well as writing for the Detroit Free Press and appearing on TV on Fox 2. “But it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Jamie lived in Troy and his children go to schools in Troy.
Troy Athens High School baseball coach Morris said his League Sports LLC partner Patrick Koneval contacted Samuelsen’s family, obtaining permission from Samuelsen’s widow, Christy McDonald, to organize fundraising in his honor. Samuelsen died on August 1, 2020, at age 48, after a 19-month battle with colon cancer.
The fundraiser will be a three-day event at Troy’s Flynn Park, with a home run derby at 3 p.m. on Friday, August 26, followed by the Jamie Samuelsen Strike Out Colon Cancer charity softball game at 7 p.m., which will feature the McDonald’s first pitches, Troy Baseball Boosters Board Chairman Richard Shelton, Troy Schools Superintendent Richard Machesky, and Troy Mayor Ethan Baker.
A celebrity team led by Clawson native and former University of Michigan and NFL lineman Jon Jansen – who is on 97.1 FM’s current morning show – will face a team of employees from the Troy school district in the charity softball contest, Morris said, with Fox 2 news anchor Roop Raj acting as celebrity emcee and Detroit Lions play-by-play voice Dan Miller making the announcement guest during the match, as well as 97.1 FM personalities Mike Stone and Bob Wojnowski.
“We hope that by spreading the word we can raise a lot of money in Jamie’s memory for two great cancer organizations that his wife Christy has chosen,” Morris said.
Friday’s event will be followed by the two-day Jamie Samuelsen Strike Out Colon Cancer Baseball Tournament – Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28 – for teams ages 9-12, with each team playing a minimum of three and a maximum of five games.
People can donate to the fundraiser either by going to League Sports LLC website and clicking on the QR code, or by texting 53555 and using the keyword “JAMIE”.