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Demopolis set to play ball for Babe Ruth World Series

After over a year of planning, local organizers are ready to host baseball teams from across the nation for the 2019 Babe Ruth World Series at the Demopolis Sportsplex.

Arthur Evans, who serves as the host president for the series, said everyone involved in the planning is excited to see the teams arrive and are looking forward to the first pitch on Thursday.

“A lot of people worked hard to get us to this point and it’s so exciting to finally be here, welcoming these young baseball players to Demopolis,” Evans said.

Teams began arriving at the Demopolis Civic Center Tuesday afternoon where an orientation was held. From there they traveled to assigned hotels before beginning activities on Wednesday, which includes a breakfast at First Baptist Church.

The series features 10 teams and begins Thursday, Aug. 8 and continues through Thursday, August 15.

The teams will have pool play from August 8-12. The top three teams in each pool will advance to the championship round, beginning August 13. The semifinals will be Wednesday, August 14 and the championship game will be played on Thursday, August 15.

In addition to a West Alabama host team, there will be teams from Chandler, Arizona; Broomall-Newtown, Pennsylvania; Eagle Pass, Texas; Fort Caroline, Florida; Jeffersontown, Kentucky; Nashua, New Hampshire; Phenix City, Alabama; Wahpeton, North Dakota; and West Linn, Oregon.

This is the first time the 14-year old Babe Ruth World Series had been held in the state of Alabama. In addition, it marks the fifth time any Babe Ruth World Series has been played in the state.

West Alabama will serve as the host team for the event. The players come from across West Alabama, including Demopolis, Thomasville, Butler, Grove Hill, Jackson, Livingston, Moundville and Monroeville.

The West Alabama team is coached by former University of Alabama standouts Andy Phillips, Jim Wells and Joel Colgrove, along with Mike Randall, who serves as volunteer coach at Demopolis High School.

Tickets prices for the event are $60 family pass (admit family for all 8 days); $25 individual tournament pass (all games) and $12 daily pass (four games per day). Tickets can be purchased in advance at city hall, Hair Razors and The Ravine (Sportsplex). Tickets can also be purchased at the gate each day.

The Babe Ruth World Series began in 1952. Alabama got its first taste of hosting the Babe Ruth World Series in 1981, when the city of Mobile hosted the 13-15 year old World Series. New Orleans won the championship that season. The Babe Ruth Softball World Series (12-year old) was held in Andalusia in 2011. The Babe Ruth World Series (16-18) was hosted in Covington County in 2013.

The 14-year old Babe Ruth World Series began in 1999.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, August 7 issue of the Demopolis Times.)