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Special Guest Shows Up To Softball Tournament Honoring Yonkers Athlete Killed In 2015

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A softball tournament raised money Saturday in honor of a well-known athlete from Yonkers killed in a drive-by shooting.

As CBS2's Clark Fouraker reported, one man came all the way from Chicago to be there.

Michael Nolan was a standout athlete and prospect to be drafted by the Oakland Athletics. A stray bullet hit and killed him in a fast food restaurant parking lot in October 2015.

"They loved him, he loved them, and he would have been right there playing in any tournament," said his mother, Donna Nolan.

"It's a bittersweet feeling, because you feel good doing it and you know that's what he would want, but then it's also like wow this is why I'm here, because my brother is not here anyone," his brother, Jimmy Nolan, added.

Michael Nolan's legacy lives on even more in the man who received his pancreas, Jerry Russell. He visited the softball tournament from Chicago, meeting the Nolan family for the first time.

"Believe it or not, I feel like I'm part of him. Whenever I can't eat a food – maybe that came from Michael, I'm not sure. I feel like I'm close with Michael," he said.

All the money raised from the tournament will go toward helping other young people, including eight scholarship recipients – one from every public high school in Yonkers.

"You pick the right applicant that's got it in his heart, does the right thing," said Donna Nolan.

Teams played softball and tailgated Saturday, and a number of community businesses donated to the cause.

"We're hoping to help some of the inner city youth kids make something out of themselves and stay out of trouble, stay out of the gangs," Yonkers resident Tom Lori said.

The event also had a table for a gun take-back program with the Yonkers Police Department.

The family said it plans to have another tournament – this time a basketball one – in the coming months.

Russell said next year he'll bring a team of his own to play.

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