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Cal Ripken Baseball begins registration

The local groundhog may have prolonged Spring, but there is little that Phil can do to postpone Demopolis youth baseball, which has opened its registration period. Players aged 4-12 can now sign up during the Demopolis Cal Ripken League’s open registration period, which started Jan. 29 and runs through Feb 19.

The sign-up fee for players aged 4-6 is $35 while the cost for athletes aged 7-12 is $55 and registration forms are available at Omni Sports and Hibbett Sports.

The league saw 280 young people participate last year, a number that was up slightly from 2008. This year, league president Art Evans anticipates a number in the same vicinity.

“I think there is probably going to be about 270-275,” Evans said.

Players aged 7-12 will participate in tryouts before teams are drafted for the upcoming season.

Those tryouts will take place on Feb. 20 with players aged 9-12 showing off their skills at 10 a.m. and those aged 7-8 working out at 2 p.m. Make-up tryouts are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.

The league will see few changes from its 2009 format.

Demopolis Youth Baseball’s annual George Spence Day was moved from a season-opening event to a May fun day last year. Evans said that while the date of George Spence Day has yet to be determined, the likelihood exists that it will again be in May.

“Unless there is some strong opposition, we will probably go in that same time frame,” Evans said.

The only measurable change for the upcoming campaign is the number of games.

“Our season is really going to be a little longer,” Evans, who also serves as Alabama Babe Ruth’s District 10 commissioner, said, noting that the league has not changed its rates in four years, a fact that will offer participants more value for their money this season.