It begins with a plane ride, then a bus ride, and finally the organized hysteria of the participating teams checking into the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso.
Next August, the best youth baseball teams in the country will converge on Longview-Kelso for the 2018 Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series, set for August 9-16 at Lower Columbia College’s David Story Field.
The communities of Longview and Kelso are proud to present the 2018 13-15 World Series, the seventh Babe Ruth national event to come to southwest Washington.
Longview-Kelso is located 120 miles south of Seattle and 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. The area is best known for the close proximity to Mount St. Helens, which erupted back in 1980.
Longview is known as the planned city that was built by Kansas City timber baron Robert A. Long back in 1926. The city of 35,000 people features Lake Sacajawea, a beautiful man-made lake, right in the heart of the city.
Formed in 1889, Kelso is the oldest town in the Cowlitz County. The cities Scottish theme features traditions and events centered around the Highlander Festival.
David Story Field on the Campus of Lower Columbia College in Longview is one of the finest college facilities in the Northwest and features an old-school feel with modern features. The yard mixes old-school charm with a modern Field Turf infield. Stadium seating from the original home of the Seattle Pilots, Sick's Stadium, make up the main grandstand, while a spacious party deck area allows for a great vantage point from deep left field. Story Field boasts lights, a fully enclosed press box, full 9-inning digital scoreboard, two concession areas, restrooms, and a dual-tunnel indoor hitting facility built into the center field wall. The park is located right in the middle of the campus, with ample parking on both sides, and easy access to downtown.
Major Leaguers and Babe Ruth League alumni from Longview include Rockies Manager Bud Back and Brewers Triple-A Manager Rick Sweet. Former Babe Ruth players from Kelso to make the big leagues include former Giants all-star Jason Schmidt and Jeff Bailey, who played for the Red Sox.
Bud Black enjoyed his days playing with the Longview Babe Ruth League and was proud to purchase Converse white cleats for the teams that participated in the first World Series hosted by Longview in 1987.
(From left, Gunnar Guttormsen, Kevin Westrick and Steve Rooklidge try on new shoes purchased by Bud Black, during a practice before the Babe Ruth World Series in 1987).
There will be no shortage of things to do when the Babe Ruth players, families and fans arrive in Longview-Kelso. Take a stroll along the banks of beautiful Lake Sacajawea, explore historic downtown Longview, brush up on your golf game at the Mint Valley Championship Golf Course, or take in a performance at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Day trips to Portland or Seattle, water sports, Mt. St. Helens excursions, and great baseball in a beautiful ballpark will also make this a special event.