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Demopolis awarded Babe Ruth tourney

Demopolis will play a key role in determining the champion of the youth Babe Ruth Baseball league in 2019 after officials announced the Southwest Regional Tournament will be held at the city’s Sportplex.

Babe Ruth Baseball Commissioner Joe Featherston awarded Demopolis Youth Baseball as the host league for the tournament, which will take place in late July, 2019.

Since 2006, Demopolis Youth Baseball has hosted eight state tournaments and two regional tournaments for its Babe Ruth or Cal Ripken leagues, each of which have had a positive impact on the local economy, according to officials.

Officials with the local league are also working toward becoming a candidate to host a future Babe Ruth World Series, which would involve the top teams from across the nation. 

It is anticipated that the 2019 Southwest Regional will bring seven teams from leagues in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, in addition to the host team from West Alabama. Games played over five days will determine the region champion.

“Our Sportsplex is an ideal site for tournaments such as this one, but that’s just the first step,” said Art Evans, Commission for Alabama District 10, which includes Demopolis. “For Commissioner Featherston to commit and honor us with this selection is a leap of faith that our city, our county and our many volunteers will rise to this new challenge. Fortunately, our outstanding tradition as tournament hosts in years’ past weighed favorably on his decision.”

Walker Reynolds, Director of Demopolis Parks and Recreation, said, “I want to thank Commissioner Featherston for the honor of hosting the 2019 Southwest Regional.  On behalf of our board and staff, we accept the challenge and look forward to providing facilities worthy of this event.”

Demopolis Mayor John Laney said the selection says a lot about the efforts of those involved in the city’s youth baseball leagues and the Sportsplex.

“I want to commend the Demopolis Youth Baseball Board and the Demopolis Parks and Recreation Board for their efforts in recruiting the 2019 Southwest Regional, and I want to thank Commissioner Featherston for placing his trust in us to host this event,” Laney said. “Since becoming mayor, I’ve emphasized the city’s willingness to host more events at our beautiful Sportsplex, acknowledging that it takes many years to build the relationships, reputation and trust necessary to be named a host.  This award is just another validation of the work that Walker Reynolds and his staff does at our Sportsplex, and a testament to the dedication of our many volunteers that have made our prior tournaments successful.”

For more information about Demopolis Youth Baseball, a non-profit organization, visit demopolisyouthbaseball.com.

Information on the Southwest Region of Babe Ruth Baseball is available at brlswregion.com and Babe Ruth Baseball at baberuthleague.org.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, October 7 issue of the Demopolis Times.)