• Last modified 648 days ago (July 13, 2017)


Baseball tournament needs singers

State Babe Ruth event begins Thursday at city park

News editor

Almost everything has fallen into place for tournament director John Richstatter as he prepares for Thursday’s invasion of eight teams of 13-to-15-year-old Babe Ruth ballplayers for five days of state tournament action.

Everything, that is, except for people to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” before each game.

“We are in desperate need of national anthem singers,” Richstatter said. “There are not very many anthem spots filled up. I do have some people yet to get back to me.”

Peabody was an alternate site selected a month ago when the original host city dropped out.

“If I’d have had my whole six months to work on it, maybe we’d have had a Peabody Idol contest,” he said.

Instead, he’s been scrambling, and he’ll take soloists and groups, young and old, to fill spaces for four games a day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and three games Monday.

“I do have some tape tracks, but most generally people sing a capella,” Richstatter said. “If somebody comes to sing the national anthem, we’ll let them into the tournament for free. That’s a $20 value.”

Otherwise, Richstatter said, volunteers are prepared to stage a tournament equal to what teams have come to expect from Peabody.

“We kind of set the standard for the way we run our tournament,” he said. “We feel like when a team goes to another tournament they use ours as the standard to judge it against. We put a lot of planning into this to make it special.”

The host Cottonwood Valley League all-star team will compete in the National Division pool against Wellington, Chanute, and Liberal. Columbus, Junction City, Rose Hill, and Salina make up the American Division pool.

The first of four pool play games Friday and Saturday will begin at noon. Sunday’s games will start at 1 p.m.

The top two teams from each pool will advance to single-elimination play Monday, with the first semifinal game starting at 10 a.m.

Opening night events Thursday include a team picnic, skills competition, a coach scrimmage, and fireworks.

Any money left after expenses will go to Peabody’s baseball program and the park, Richstatter said.

“This is our fifth or sixth state tournament that we’ve done,” he said. “We’ve got a great bunch of people who step up, and it takes a small army to put it on. We’ve got the best in the state, I think.”

Another team competing

While Peabody is playing host to our tournament, Peabody players will be in another tournament.

The 13-year-old Cottonwood Valley League All-Stars, including eight Peabody boys, will play in a state tournament starting Thursday in Frontenac.

The team, which also includes two Hillsboro boys and one from Canton-Galva, swept district play last weekend, beating Hesston and Lyons.

Last modified July 13, 2017