Baseball a boost for Baker City

By Jayson Jacoby / The Baker City Herald

We don't take many weeks off during the summer in Baker City.

A season that just 15 years or so ago featured but three main events - Miners Jubilee in July and the County Fair and Shrine football game in August - now scarcely pauses for a siesta between the solstice and the equinox.

The two-wheeled twins - the Baker City Cycling Classic and the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally - each bring crowds to town, the former in late June and the latter in July.

The latest addition to the hectic summer schedule happens next week when 10 Babe Ruth baseball teams converge on the Baker Sports Complex for a regional tournament.

In the world of 13- to 15-year-old baseball, this is a big deal.

The winner of the Baker City tournament advances to the Babe Ruth World Series Aug. 20-27 at Longview, Wash.

Tournament organizers expect something like 300 visitors, including players, coaches, parents and siblings.

That's a substantial boost to the economy and should help keep the momentum going after the Shriners pull out of town (presumably in regular-size vehicles).

We're pleased that the Baker Sports Complex continues to fulfill the ambitious expectations its founders had for the facility before it opened more than a dozen years ago.

We agree with Carrie Folkman, treasurer for next week's Babe Ruth tournament, that the Sports Complex is a "premier" example of its kind, not just in rural Oregon but throughout the West.

The Sports Complex has hosted many baseball and softball tournaments over the years, but next week's event probably is the biggest.

But perhaps not for long.

Folkman said tournament organizers have mentioned, not exactly seriously, about having a Babe Ruth World Series here.

Doesn't sound farfetched to us.

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The Baker City Herald
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