They’ve doubled the number of teams this year, which means, of course, the winner can claim double the bragging rights.

Last year, DeKalb firefighters beat Dunwoody police 12-10 to claim victory in Dunwoody’s first “Guns and Hoses” charity softball game. This year, teams from the Sandy Springs Police Department and the Marietta Fire Department are planning on joining in, said Dunwoody police Sgt. Andrew Fondas, an organizer of the tournament.

“We hoped to open it for more agencies, hopefully to raise a little more money,” said Fondas, who plays infield. “It makes this more interesting now that we’ve got a few more folks playing.”

Fondas will brag on his team a bit: “I think we’re going to have a good shot at being that top spot.”

But he’s not quite ready to start trash-talking his opponents. “I’ve heard Marietta Fire are pretty good,” he said.

Last year’s “Guns and Hoses” softball game raised about $1,200, Fondas said. Money raised through the game was donated to the Special Olympics of Georgia and the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. Proceeds from this year’s game are to be directed to the same charities.

This year, the coed, slow-pitch softball teams are scheduled to meet Oct. 5 in games at Dunwoody Park, 5309 Roberts Road in Dunwoody. Games start at 9 a.m., with the firefighters playing firefighters and police playing police in the first round.

There is no admission charge, Fondas said. The event raises money by charging team fees, selling concessions and a raffle expected this year to include sports memorabilia, gift certificates donated by local stores and a flat-screen TV, he said. “It’s basically just to have a bunch of fun and raise a little money for the charities,” Fondas said.

And, of course, to determine whether it’s firefighters or police officers who will walk a little taller for the next year.

“It makes it more exciting for everybody that there’s more teams playing,” Fondas said. “It think it makes for better bragging rights.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.