Berryville hosts Cal Ripken 10-year-old tournament
The Cal Ripken 10-year-old Southwest Regional Tournament is coming to Berryville!
State champion teams from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi will begin arriving next week on Thursday, July 17, to be hosted by the Berryville Baseball and Softball Association.
Association president Tom Hall said, "Teams will begin checking in on July 17 at the Berryville Community Center starting about 9 a.m., with our Carroll County All Stars signing in first."
That team is made up of players from teams across Carroll County. The host team automatically gets an invitation to the tournament, but Hall says they are a good bunch who have a chance to do well.
"Then we'll host a big feed for all the teams and their fans at A.L.Carter field, starting about 5 p.m.," Hall continued, "with our county officials serving the meal. We'll host a Home Run Derby after the meal on Thursday, with the games to start on Friday.
"The first pitch will be thrown out by former Razorback baseball player Scott Crossett, who is also the guest speaker at the opening ceremonies," he said. "The winner of the tournament gets to go to the Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series."
The association hosted the nine-year-old tournament two years ago, and expects to host the 2005 10-year-old tournament.
"We're the smallest town to ever host a regional," Hall said, which means the eight-member board and a host of volunteers have to put in a lot of time to make the tournament happen.
Hall has been president for five years, and says, "Our time is seasonal on the board. From January to March, we put in about 10 hours a week getting ready and finding sponsors.
"We conduct sign-ups, get coaches for the teams, hold a draft to put the teams together, and come up with game and practice schedules.
"We've got 30 teams in the league, including T-ball, Rookie League, Cal Ripken, and Babe Ruth" he said, which covers ages from three to 15.
When questioned, Hall laughed and said he has been at the ball park from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., six nights a week, for the past two months.
The Carroll County community is kicking in to help with the tournament, with Tyson Foods donating chicken for the big feed, the Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs donating beans, and Wal-Mart and Price Cutter getting condiments from their vendors.
Pepsi of Harrison will be providing the drinks, with game officials getting to use the new 21' X 21' building the Association built this summer as an office/dressing room.