to the Editor
To the editor:
The city and citizens of Marion should be very proud of their community after hosting the Midwest Plains Regional Cal Ripken Tournament July 28 through Aug. 1.
The host team, Cottonwood Valley League, along with another Kansas team, and six other teams from surrounding states converged on Marion to participate in the tournament for 12-year-old players on the 70-foot diamond.
Many people in Marion opened their homes to the incoming players and many great memories and life-long relationships were forged for both the host families and participating players.
I was privileged to serve on the task force for the tournament with David Branson, the District 4 Commissioner and Assistant State Commissioner for 12-year-old players.
Russ Cain, as tournament director, did a splendid job organizing the tournament and ensuring that everything was in place and the Marion Sports Complex was ready to play on.
Housing Coordinator Allison Shults had the awesome responsibility of locating homes for all of our out-of-district teams and did a remarkable job.
Branson held a church service at the ballpark Aug. 1 and gave a very relevant and appropriate sermon. A men’s quartet opened the service with a beautiful hymn.
I don’t know how many times I heard people say, when they visited the local businesses and restaurants, that the workers were so welcoming and friendly.
Someone asked me how a small town like Marion could find enough homes for the host program and my answer was obvious: the tournament was not just a bunch of games, it was a “community event” and everyone was involved. Marion has a long history of hosting first-class tournaments and this was no exception.
Thank you citizens of Marion for a wonderful five days of hospitality and for opening your community for these young players. A big thank you, also, to the Marion County Record for their coverage during the tournament and for the programs. We all look forward to returning to Marion for a future tournament.
Bob Willis, Commissioner
Kansas Babe Ruth Leagues, Inc.
Midwest Plains Region Task Force