Chief's Cup Baseball History
2021 to Current
Our 2021 Chief's Cup Baseball Team Captains, Salute to Heroes Charlotte Foundation volunteers, and Charlotte Knights Baseball agreed to a new partnership, bringing the Chief's Cup game back to Uptown Charlotte at beautiful Truist Field (324 S. Mint St.). On Saturday, 9/11/2021 – the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – Truist Field hosted the Celebration of Heroes 2021 Chief's Cup Baseball Game.
The game celebrated and helped Charlotte-Mecklenburg organizations and celebrated all those who serve and have served as first responders in North and South Carolina while helping many families in need of first responders in the region. The Charlotte Fire Department defeated the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department by a score of 14-5 with a crowd of over 4,000 fans from the Charlotte area in attendance.
On September 9, 2023, Charlotte Chief's Cup baseball debuted in Kannapolis at Atrium Health Ballpark in a partnership with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. We paired Chief's Cup Baseball and the Cabarrus Cup Softball Tournament in our inaugural "Celebration of Heroes," featuring four local public safety organizations. After two thrilling semifinal games, including one that ended with a tiebreaking home run derby, Concord Police Department went the distance, claiming the Cabarrus Cup Trophy in a 6-1 win.
Charlotte Chief's Cup baseball had no shortage of excitement as Keffer Automotive Hometown Hero MVP Aaron Hoover took a no-hitter into the 7th inning for the reigning champs, the CFD Blaze. The CMPD Blue Hornets staged a comeback with seven runs in the final frame, but the Blaze held on to win, 11-7. We're looking forward to the second-annual Celebration of Heroes in 2024.
History Prior to 2021
The Charlotte Fire Department and Charlotte Police Department started playing a charity baseball game in the late 1930s. The annual charity baseball game was started by a group of firemen and policemen led by then Charlotte Fire Chief Hendrix Palmer (Fire Chief 1927-1948). The baseball game was played at old Crockett Park, home of the Charlotte Hornets professional baseball team and had a tremendous impact on both organizations in recruitment and brotherhood. Funds raised from the game benefited a few Charlotte charity organizations including the Optimist Club. Many young men involved with the Optimist Club went on to become firemen and policemen in Charlotte. Sometime in the 1960s, the teams took a break for many reasons; most who are old enough to know would know why.
In the 1990s, the Public Safety Charity Baseball game made its first comeback, featuring the Charlotte Fire Department against the newly formed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The teams played for eight to ten years before taking another break in the early 2000s.
In 2011, CFD Firefighter Anthony "Tony" Bateman and CMPD Officers Jeff Lang and Justin Davies, plus several others from their respective organizations, formed new teams within the departments: the CFD Blaze and CMPD Blue Hornets. Charlotte's inaugural Chief's Cup Charity Baseball game played that year at Ardrey Kell High School. Over the years, proceeds from the Chief's Cup game have benefitted several Charlotte charity organizations as well as the Levine Children's Hospital. The current Chief's Cup game has been impacted by unfortunate luck (bad weather, COVID-19, etc.), and the game itself was played six times during that ten-year stretch.
While there are many unknown records about this historical community event, the only current record known is that CFD Blaze are 7-1 against the CMPD Blue Hornets!