Gordon County residents should brace themselves for the anticipated 40 or more teams of six to 13 year-old boy baseball players who are scheduled to descend on the county in June and July.
Sonoraville Recreation Complex with the Gordon County Parks and Recreation Department was announced as the home for two, 2012 Dizzy Dean State Baseball Tournaments.
In June, the 6-year-old boys Double-A state baseball, and in July, the 13-year-old Single-A State baseball tournament will be played in Gordon County, according to Diane Jones, District Director of Georgia Dizzy Dean.
Gordon County competed for the tournament to be held at Sonoraville on a bid system, and according to National Director of Dizzy Dean Georgia Frank Seabolt, Gordon County bid on more than one tournament.
State tournaments like these will bring much needed economic activity to Gordon County, increasing gas, restaurant and hotel sales for the county as approximately 40 baseball teams and their friends and families from Ringgold, Ga. to Valdosta, will visit Gordon County for the state playoffs in June and July, according to Seabolt. Winners from the state tournament will go on to compete at the World Series in South Haven, Miss., he said.
Gordon County hosted Dizzy Dean World Series Baseball Tournaments in 2009 and again in 2011, and the community support was immense, remembers Jones.
“The Gordon County community welcomed those families who came, and came out and watched the kids play even though they had no kids competing in the tournament,” said Jones.
Only one team from Gordon County will participate in the tournament, but the All-Star team has yet to be chosen, said Jones.
“We probably will enter one 6- year-old team, but not yet. They just started playing, but we will choose an all-star team in May, and it is the coach’s choice. There will be 10 teams and one team of all-stars will be chosen out of all 10 teams in Gordon County,” said Jones.
Though this will be the first state Dizzy Dean baseball tournament held in Gordon County; it is certainly not the last.
While Jones has worked with the Georgia Dizzy Dean Baseball program for 10 years, the National Dizzy Dean organization has been in existence since 1976 involving more than 10 states, according to Seabolt, who credits Georgia with currently holding the title for the most Dizzy Dean teams in the organization.
“It has grown in conferences to include about 10 states, most are southern states. We do go as far north as Maryland, but most are southern states. Bringing Georgia into Dizzy Dean, it has become the largest state in Dizzy Dean with over 2000 teams, boys and girls,” said Seabolt.
As director of the previous tournaments held at the Sonoraville complex, Seabolt explains Gordon County and the Sonoraville complex are impressive establishments for hosting these types of tournaments.
“It speaks highly of Gordon County and Sonoraville who has a first class operation going out there. Last year they hosted the 7-year-old’s World Series and had 50 something teams. I was director, and they do an excellent job, everything is first class. Dizzy Dean appreciates Gordon County and what they do for the youth,” said Seabolt.
One of the original founders of Dizzy Dean baseball in 1976, Seabolt is still active in the organization today and is very proud to be an “old Red Bud boy,” growing up in Gordon County and graduating from Red Bud in 1953.