Cecil Fielder World Series returning to Yuma
Several of the best youth traveling baseball teams are coming back to Yuma for the 2012 Cecil Fielder Elite World Series.
But probably the biggest draw is the tournament's new association with the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
The tournament for the 18U teams runs from Dec. 27-31 and the semifinal games and championship at Desert Sun Stadium will be available on ESPN3, an online streaming service on ESPN.com.
“We've had it where we've been covered by a local TV station but nothing like ESPN,” said Kundy Gutierrez, founder of the Baseball Legends, which puts on the tournament.
There will be a gate fee of $5 for the games — but this year, admission to all the games on Dec. 31 will be free. The semifinal games are at 9 a.m. and noon, and the championship is at 3 p.m.
“What we're trying to do is drive the people out there and fill up the stands,” Gutierrez said about not charging admission the last day. “The 31st a lot of times people are already off of work and a big thing people do is watch TV that day. So what we're trying to show is that here's an event supported by the community and we show that we appreciate the support.”
Gutierrez said the Yuma Diablos are the lone local team participating in the 18U — and are welcoming being able to stay in town for a tournament for a change.
“The fun thing is it's a home tournament, playing in front of parents, because 99 percent of the time we're on the road to Riverside or California,” Diablos coach Faron Owl said. “It's more relaxing for them. They can wake up in their own bed and don't have to worry about being on the road for three hours.”
The 16U and 14U Elite World Series takes place Jan. 2-6.
Before the tournament starts, the Baseball Legends will hold an expo at the Q Resort from 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 26 and an autograph and photo sessions with former Major Leaguers Cecil Fielder, Tim Raines, Kevin Mitchell, Kenneth Landreaux, Rudy Seanez, Ruben Nieblas and Mike Garcia from 5 to 7 p.m. Also during that time, there will be pitching and hitting clinics for players — all free to the public.
For more information, go to thebaseballlegends.com.
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.