Leaping for the cause - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Leaping for the cause

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ESSEX JCT., Vt. -

During the first 11 years, the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball tournament in Essex raised close to 2 million dollars to help those affected by spinal cord injuries and spinal cord injury research. In year 12, the tournament leaped to new heights.

All he wanted to do was make a play. Instead, Konnor Fleming ended up making "THE" play.

"All I saw was Konnor flying through the air, making an insane one-handed catch," teammate J.J. Strausser said.

"Of course, I've got eyes on the ball the whole way," Fleming said.

Saturday's game ending catch at the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball tournament was dramatic.

"It was just mayhem," Strausser said. 

"We looked at it multiple times and it was pretty clear that Konnor had caught the ball," Little Fenway owner Pat O'Connor said. 

It was also a little painful.

"I jumped there and that's when I hit probably my hip flexor area on this top board," Fleming said.

It's also gone viral, over 650,000 hits on Youtube and counting.

"And I'm thinking, how on Earth?", Fleming said. "Where could this have possible come from? This is so great."

The Charlotte native's catch made the National rounds from CBS to CNN and Konnor himself did interviews on ESPN and Fox News. Before this week, the only trip Konnor thought he'd be making is back to college.

"Honestly I appreciate it all and as long as the cause is out there and people are talking about the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament and everything, I really can't complain," Fleming said.

Konnor's catch gave him 15 minutes of fame, but it also provided the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle Ball Tournament, a lifetime of publicity. Without the catch, they raised over a half million dollars this year. Just think what's going to happen in the 'post catch' era.

"I was told today that they've had upwards of 5,000 new hits on their site and there are people that are donating," Fleming said.

"I think that there will be a lot more teams interested in coming here, because they found it fascinating when they saw the catch," O'Connor said.

Pat O'Connor plans to build a third field in time for next year's tournament. It'll be an homage to the movie Field of Dreams, but Konnor Fleming has already shown us that if you "catch it", they will come. In Essex, Scott Fleishman channel 3 spotlight on sports.

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