Men's amateur softball tournament this weekend
Summer is coming to an end and the city of Yuma is closing the season out with the hottest event of the year. This Labor Day weekend the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department is playing host to the 2012 “Worth” Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Men’s 12-inch Class D Softball Western National Championship.
“It isn’t often a tournament of this magnitude comes to Yuma,” says Adam Christensen, city of Yuma adult recreation supervisor.
Christensen goes on to say, “We pulled out all of the stops and are providing an experience the participants, spectators, and residents of Yuma will enjoy wholeheartedly.”
The tournament consists of teams converging upon the city of Yuma from the western quarter of the U.S. Christensen says, “There are 35 of the best men’s 12-inch softball teams in the Western Region, vying for the title of “Best in the West.” The winner of the tournament receives an all-expense paid trip to Oklahoma and an opportunity to contend for the 2012 ASA Class D National Championship, provided by ASA.
Opening ceremonies took place Friday night, with every team represented. ASA umpires were imported from around the United States, along with some of our very own home town blue’s, all of whom will make the calls over the holiday weekend. The Color Guard from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma presented our Nation’s Colors, and the national anthem was sung by vocalist Adriane Vasquez. Mayor Alan L. Krieger threw out the first pitch and games got started at 7 p.m. at both Kennedy and Keegan athletic complexes.
Christensen says, “Our community has come together and supported this event; it’s evident by the great turnout of spectators we’ve had so far each day. We are thankful to all of our sponsors, who without their generous contributions, it would not have been possible to display the great hospitality Yuma is known for to over 300 players from 21 out-of-town teams, that are staying in Yuma through the Labor Day weekend as participants of the Western National Championship.”
The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department would like to thank the following sponsors: Best Western Inn Suites, Burgers and Beer, Sun Valley Beverage, Bill Alexander Flight-Line Mazda, Aqua 2000/Canyon State Water, Yuma Sun, RV World, Mayas, Reddy Rents, Las Palapas, Mayberry’s, Hilton Garden Inn/Yuma Pivot Point Conference Center, Sprint, Chili Pepper/Mr. G’s, Mary Kay/Kervina Landry.
There are many high quality softball teams playing in the tournament and after reviewing the tournament bracket, it’s difficult to predict a favorite to win. A few reputable teams who entered the tournament are: Elite Empire Sports (Chino Hills, Calif.), Fuego/Grahamsports.net (El Mirage, Ariz.), Smackdown (Tucson), Three Legged Monkeys (Los Angeles) and the Yuma favorites Sun Valley Beverage Bud Light and Budweiser Kong’s. Christensen says, “It’s difficult to say who’s going to come out on top; any of these teams can get hot and put together a string of winning games that takes them to the title of “Western National Champions.”
The tournament continues at Kennedy Athletic Complex and Keegan Softball Field, located at 23rd Street and Kennedy Lane. The final elimination round is scheduled for all day on Sunday, with gates opening at 7 a.m. The semi-final games are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., with the final championship game slated for 8:50 p.m.
The event is for the entire family to enjoy. Bring your lawn chairs, find a spot and enjoy some incredible softball action. The entrance fee is $1 for adults, children 12 and younger free. Traditional Mexican cuisine and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for sale, provided by Las Palapas Restaurant. A Budweiser beer garden will also be on-site. No outside beverages or food will be allowed inside Kennedy Athletic Complex.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor for the city of Yuma Parks and Rec. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.