With the center of attention being focused on baseball or softball, what often times goes unnoticed is the community involvement that takes place beyond the field at the Babe Ruth League World Series. It’s about the community and fans from around the world who come to interact with one another.
In between games at the 2016 Babe Ruth World Series, there were many sights to see and places to visit, as well as some planned activities to show what the Host Communities had to offer their Babe Ruth “Tourists.”
At the Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland, there were many family friendly events alongside the thrilling tournament action. Such events included:
- Giant Get Out and Play Baseball Clinic (July 30 and August 6) – Giant Food is committed to being a better neighbor and makes the health and well-being of their shoppers a priority. The “Get Out and Play” Baseball Clinic encouraged participants to have fun while being active and to learn critical life lessons. The clinic featured four instructional baseball stations, as well as educational programming focused on healthy eating habits and maintaining a balanced diet.
- International Dance Extravaganza – Following the conclusion of the game between Milford, Connecticut and Maryland State Champion game on August 3, all fans were invited onto the field at Cal, Sr.’s Yard for a big group photo. Then, fans stayed on the field for a fun-filled evening of dancing to the Cha-Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and many more dances. It was a great way to let loose and have a little fun after the pool play round officially concluded.
- League of Dreams Game officially kicked off the World Championship festivities on August 6. The League of Dreams provided all individuals, regardless of physical or mental capacity, the opportunity to experience the joy, challenges and personal growth from playing the great games of baseball and softball.
- Ripken Futures Game Powered by Under Armour was the culmination of a three-day premier baseball experience. 24 of the best 12U players from across the country participated in a one game showcase on Saturday, August 6, immediately before the World Championship Game. Teams participated in a formal workout, home-run derby and were coached during the game by former MLB stars.
- Wrap Party – Before the final goodbye, teams, parents and fans were able to party with the community one more time to celebrate summer and the end of another great youth baseball season.
Over at the 13-15 World Series in Williston, North Dakota, players were able to enjoy the Williston Area Recreation Center in between games. Located a few miles from the ballpark, the Williston Area Recreation Center is considered to be one of the largest Park District owned recreation centers in the county. Featured is a hitting simulator, the same one used by the L.A. Dodgers. In addition, the center offers indoor basketball and tennis courts, a 200-meter indoor running track, a golf simulator, 13,000 square feet of indoor turf and fitness areas, and a massive pool and splash park area that includes a water slide, lazy river, and simulated-surfing apparatus called a Flow Rider.
At the 13-Year-Old World Series held in Ottumwa, Iowa, the players were treated to a special activity. They competed against each other. Only this time, they were tossing ingredients instead of a baseball during a Cook-Off.
They were tested on their cooking skills at Jimmy Jones Restaurant in Ottumwa. They were given an hour and 20 minutes and all the same ingredients. It was up to them to get creative for the judges.
Visiting teams competed first. The team from Florida took first place. “Their dessert really is what won because they had a crepe and wrapped fruit in it, and put chocolate in and over the outside,” said World Series umpire and cooking judge, Dick Peecher. “It was good, all of them were good.”
After that, it was Ottumwa’s turn. Ottumwa Team Manager Corey Slack said the boys enjoyed competing against each other for a change. “A couple of kids made comments. One said they make good ramen noodles, another said that if they have pizzazz, they can make a heck of a good frozen pizza.”
The boys demonstrated similar teamwork off the field as they did on the field. They sliced, mixed and grilled. Each prepared an original concoction.
One group made bacon-wrapped pork chops, flavoring the ingredients with a marinade.
“Some of them were pretty creative with the way they prepared the food,” Peecher said. “And the pork loin was hard to mess up, they all tasted good.”