TORRINGTON – The Torrington Tigers are set to host the second annual Dean Bullock Memorial Tournament at the Torrington Sports Complex on Thursday and Friday.
The tournament will feature many teams with ties to the Torrington, but one in particular is Rocky Mountain High School.
The Lobos, based out of Fort Collins, Colo., are led by Torrington native Scott Bullock – the younger brother of Dean.
Scott has been at the helm of Rocky Mountain for 18 seasons and has won six Colorado state championships and played in two other state title games.
“I love Torrington. It was a fantastic place to grow up in the 80s. To be able to come back and be a part of all this, I couldn’t be more excited,” Scott said. “For me, it’s kind of sad that I missed it last year. I’m super excited to be involved in it in honor of my brother.”
Dean broke his neck in a swimming accident before the Babe Ruth District Tournament at the age of 14 and spent the next 34 years in a wheelchair. But Dean didn’t let the fact he was a quadriplegic slow him down.
“Dean loved sports and as soon as he knew he wasn’t going to be able to play again, he started coaching,” Scott said.
At the age of 16, Dean took over as head coach the Torrington Little League Mets, and for the next 20 years, coached either at the Little League or Babe Ruth levels.
“He was a real positive role model for a lot of kids in dealing with adversity, doing it with humor and an unbelievable passion for sports,” Scott said. “There were a lot of kids that grew up in the 80s that played for Dean at the league level or at the All-Star level.”
Even after he stopped coaching, he still was active in the local sports scene, helping do broadcasts for KGOS and could always be seen at the ballpark.
“He was a very personable guy, loved everybody, and talked to everyone,” Scott said. “He was always at the ballpark either coaching, broadcasting or just hanging out.”
The Torrington Tigers will face Rocky Mountain at 9 a.m. Friday. Before the game, the field on which the Tigers play, will be renamed Bullock Field, as approved by the Torrington City Council at their June 12 meeting.
The scoreboard was already dedicated to his memory, but the field will also now bear his name.
“For Dean, you couldn’t honor him in a better way than putting his name on a scoreboard, putting his name on the field and naming a tournament after him in his hometown. He taught us so much, not only the kids that played for him but the whole community, about living with adversity,” Scott said. “He never had a bad day. He woke up with a smile and would say, ‘Let’s go’. The fact that Torrington is honoring him around baseball and around sports, there is no better way to honor Dean Bullock.”
Other Torrington ties
Scott Bullock is not the only Torrington native coming home for the tournament.
Aaron Lozano, the head coach of the Laramie Rangers, is a Torrington High School alum, while Douglas Cat head coach Zack Andrews is the nephew of Scott Bullock.
Thursday, June 11
10 a.m. Torrington vs Douglas – Sports Complex
10 a.m. Laramie vs. Wheatland – Jirdon
1 p.m. Torrington vs. Severance – Sports Complex
1 p.m. Rocky Mountain vs. Wheatland – Jirdon
4 p.m. Laramie vs. Rocky Mountain – Sports Complex
4 p.m. Severance vs. Douglas – Jirdon
Friday, June 12
9 a.m. Torrington vs. Rocky Mountain – Sports Complex
10 a.m. Wheatland vs. Douglas – Jirdon
Noon Torrington vs. Laramie – Sports Complex
1 p.m. Wheatland vs. Severance – Jirdon
3 p.m. Rocky Mountain vs. Doulgas – Sports Complex
4 p.m. Laramie vs. Severance – Jirdon