In honor of NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, who was killed in the line of duty in November, the West Islip and North Babylon varsity baseball teams and their respective communities joined together April 24 for a tribute baseball game at Bethpage Ballpark, home of the Long Island Ducks in Central Islip.
Both teams wore custom jerseys adorned with Sgt. Tuozzolo’s badge number, and more than 1,000 people attended, the districts announced Thursday.
Throwing out the first pitch was the late sergeant’s wife, Lisa Tuozzolo, a North Babylon alumna and the assistant principal at West Islip High School. She was joined by her two young sons, Austin and Joseph.
“I’m honored for Paul that people care and I don’t want anyone to forget what he sacrificed,” Martinolich-Tuozzolo told Newsday. “He bled blue and loved his job. He went to work every day to protect people. His guys would do anything for him because he was a true leader. I’m thrilled at how the communities came together for this.”
North Babylon won the game, 5-4.
Also in attendance was Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo, who was wounded in the incident, but whose life was saved due to Sgt. Tuozzolo’s heroic actions.
Money raised will help fund a scholarship in Sgt. Tuozzolo’s name in both communities.
Courtesy photos: West Islip High School assistant principal and North Babylon High School alumna Lisa Tuozzolo, the widow of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, was joined by her sons Austin and Joseph to throw out the first pitch April 24 at Bethpage Park.