Dixie Minors All-Stars participate in sub-district tournaments

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2000

Play Ball!

The stakes are high and losing could mean the end of the season as six teams will participate in the Dixie Minor sub-district baseball tournament today and throughout the week in Greenville.

All-Star teams from here, Georgiana, Brantley, Luverne, Highland Home and Troy will descend on the Camellia City along with parents, Dixie Youth officials, umpires and baseball fans to enjoy baseball at its best.

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Jerome Harris, director of the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department, said he is expecting a large number of visitors during the tournament.

"We (Greenville) hosted the Dixie Majors' and Pre-Majors' tournament last year and it was a great success. The last time we hosted the Dixie Minor tournament was about five years ago and we had a great crowd that year and we expect the same this year. District six has always shown great support for their teams and they bring large crowds to the tournaments," Harris said.

Because of the crowds, the event is expected to provide a boost to the local economy.

"The tournament should be a big boost for our local economy," he said. "There will be hundreds of visitors and most of them will visit our restaurants, hotels and stores. There is little doubt that hosting a tournament could help our local economy."

Preparing for the tournament is the hard part of hosting. Employees with the GPRD, Public Works, Horticulture Department and Maintenance Department have all played a role in cleaning, landscaping and other chores to help present Greenville positively to the guests.

"A lot of people have been working very hard to get things ready to go," he said. "Our employees, the horticulturist, maintenance and Public Works have been working hand-in-hand to get things ready for the tournament. We have had to prepare the fields, clean up litter and do landscaping work which will help represent Greenville in a positive way and make our guests feel comfortable."

But city employees are not the only people who have given a helping hand to the preparations. Many parents and other people have joined the cause.

"We had a lot of help from people who volunteered to help us. Many parents have asked us what they could do to help us. The people here are great. When we need something all we have to do is ask and there will be somebody who gets it done. There are a lot of great supporters of Dixie Youth baseball in our city," Harris said.

Local merchants also got in on the act and showed their support for the tournament by sponsoring a hospitality tent.

"We solicited donations from various community merchants and that helped us to set up the tent at Day Park for Dixie Youth officials, coaches and umpires. The tournament has really turned into a community project and these businesses have helped us a lot," he said.

The work will continue throughout the week. The first game will be played on Saturday at 4 p.m. as Troy and Brantley take the field. Georgiana and Highland Home will play at 6 p.m. and Greenville will face Luverne at 8 p.m. After that, the grounds crew will have to clean up and come back on Sunday, when the teams do not play, to get the field back in tip-top shape for Monday and the rest of the week.

The cost of admission to the tournament is $3 for adults, $2 for students and children five and under get in free. There will be plenty of hot dogs, candy, popcorn and refreshments to enjoy during the games.

Harris said he hoped residents of Greenville will come out and enjoy the tournament.

"There are going to be some great kids out there playing some really good baseball and I hope that many people from Greenville will come out and enjoy the games," he said.