Lots of batters stepped up to the plate during the Sam Steele Ball Tournament, as over 60 teams descended onto the diamonds to celebrate Cranbrook’s pioneering lawman.
It’s a staple event during Sam Steele Days, however, it was also a new beginning as new organizers took over from JCI Kootenay to run the show.
Cranbrook Minor Ball Association, Cranbrook Mixed Slopitch, Cranbrook Men’s Baseball, Rocky Mountain Bandits all teamed up to run the event, which seemed to go off without a hitch, said Seana Coolbaugh, president of the minor ball association.
“It wasn’t all that difficult, because we’ve been planning it for months, so we could make sure we had everything,” said Coolbaugh.
“I think the hardest part was knowing who to go to, to get stuff, but now we know that, so it’s all good.”
All the revenue raised will be going back into capital improvements for Confederation Park, Moir Park and Kinsmen Quad Ball Park.
It was tight battle in the final of the competitive division, as the Dbags, hailing from Creston, squeaked out a close 8-7 victory against Cranbrook-based R.I.O.T. to take the tournament win.
“They were amazed at how competitive it was this year, for the competitive division, so that’s good,” said Coolbaugh.
Prize money for the competitive division worked out to $1,000 for first, $750 for second and $500 for third.
Coolbaugh said the feedback she heard from other teams has pretty much been all positive.
“The teams said it was one of the best tournaments they’ve been at in a long time,” Coolbaugh added. “They enjoyed this tournament the best, is what they’ve been telling us.
“It went off without a hitch. We all worked together, it was really good.”
Coolbaugh and her team are hoping to grow the tournament with men’s and women’s divisions next year, based on some feedback.
“More teams, maybe another division for the over-50 mixed. Actually, someone asked us to do that, so we thought, ‘Maybe,’” she said.
“That’s about all we would change.”
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