BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - This weekend, dozens of little league teams will gather in Nelson County to play in a tournament that will be about much more than just baseball.
The tournament will also raise money for the family of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis who was killed in the line of duty back in May.
Ellis was a coach with Nelson County Little League. Friends of Ellis say he had three loves in his life---his family, his job and most certainly his love of baseball.
"We want people to know Jason Ellis the baseball player. That was his first love until he met Amy and before he got into police work, baseball was his first love," said Ellis' friend and fellow officer Reece Riley.
Not long after Ellis' death, his fellow officers were inspired to organize an event in his honor and on Saturday they will hold the first annual Jason Memorial Classic.
42 little league teams from across Kentucky will compete in the baseball tournament at Dean Watts Park in Bardstown. Players will compete on the same fields where Ellis himself coached little league not long ago.
Riley says the outpouring of support from the community and the state shows the impact that Ellis had on the hundreds of lives. Riley has no doubt that his friend will be at the ballpark on Saturday in spirit.
"We want Jason to look down on us this weekend and just smile and know we love him and we miss him and this is for him."
Police have not made any arrests for the murder of Officer Ellis.
There's now a $135,000 reward in the case.