Baseball tournament represents opportunity
When a Babe Ruth baseball tournament comes to Marion next month, it will be another opportunity to draw visitors to the city.
The district tournament for ages 13 to 15 will be July 10 through 14 and will be a boon for Marion, said Margo Yates, director of Marion’s parks and recreation department.
“There’ll be families from around the area,” she said. “They’ll need gas and food. We hope they’ll be at the concession stand as well as some of our places in town.”
The event will feature four to six teams including Marion, depending on how many others qualify, Yates said.
Marion previously was host for two regional tournaments, and at the time was the only recreation program in the county to have been a host.
“Somebody else may have done one since we have,” Yates said. “When we did it, we were the only one in the county, and we’ve done it twice.”
Marion High School coach Roger Schroeder, who was named Class 2A coach of the year, said having had district tournaments, along with the high school team making it to state in recent years, has raised the level of Marion baseball.
“It certainly sets expectations as kids come up,” he said. “They know what has been done.”
The level of play among younger teams filtered up to the high school, helping Schroeder reach coach of the year, he said.
“It’s about our program,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to put kids on all-state teams the past few years.”
The district tournament is an opportunity to see younger players on the field, Schroeder said.
“We always try to have an idea of kids who are coming into our program,” he said.
Schroeder umpires over the summer, which gets players used to seeing him on the field.
“You have a presence out there, so the first day of practice their freshman year isn’t the first time they see you,” he said. “It’s doing what I can to get out there.”
The recreation commission takes pride in being the host, with employees putting in work and paint to make the fields look good, Yates said.
First-year skipper Jerry Mendoza, who moved to Marion in the fall, will coach Marion.
Last modified June 19, 2019