Archive for Thursday, May 1, 2003

DYBA lands state baseball tourneys

Event could bring 45 teams, 4,000 people to community

May 1, 2003

When De Soto Youth Baseball Association President Don Clark pitched ball field improvements to the City Council two years ago, he said the upgrades could create possibilities for future tournaments.

That possibility was now a reality, Clark announced this week. De Soto would be the host of three United States Sports Specialty Association Division A State Tournaments July 11, 12 and 13, he said. The tournaments will be for recreational league baseball teams in three age groups: 8-and-younger, 11-and-younger and 12-and-younger. Teams that finished first or second in their leagues will play the games at Miller Park and the Sunflower ball fields, he said.

Because a number of new USSSA recreational leagues were still being formed, it was still unclear how many teams would in the tournaments, Clark said. He predicted each age group would have from 12 to 15 teams.

"It could be on the higher side of that number," he said. "Depending on the number of teams, it could be a four-day tournament. It will be morning until night each day.

"What we're expecting is 75 to 100 people per team. You're talking 3,000 to 4,000 here."

That kind of attendance would represent an obvious boon to local businesses, Clark said. But, the De Soto Park and Recreation Department would also benefit.

"We get to keep the gate and parking fees," he said. "One hundred percent of the profits will go back into facilities.

"We definitely need a lot of support from the community. This could raise thousands of dollars for the community, but we need people to work the gate."

Steve's Meat Market and other sponsors volunteered to give time, Clark said.

One to three De Soto teams would compete in each age group, Clark said. The teams would be recognizable to those who watch DYBA games during the season that starts May 1, he said.

"This is a recreation division," he said. "These are not teams that are completely hand-picked. The whole idea is to give the rec teams a chance to have state tournament as well."

The participating teams won't be packed with all stars, as is the practice in other tournaments, Clark said.

"Teams will be playing with their normal rosters," he said. "The most you can add or drop is three players."

The city has started work on the north ball field at Sunflower after the City Council approved approximately $68,000 in improvements to the Sunflower ball fields. The north field will also get added improvements that will enhance those finished by De Soto USD 232 on the south field last year.

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