More softball for the masses
by Than Acuff
Just in case you haven’t had enough softball in your life, here’s some more. The 18th annual Ball Bash coed softball tournament is Saturday through Sunday, August 10-11. It’s a full weekend of slowpitch softball complete with concessions, a home run derby and the chance for local players who often face up against each other in the local leagues to join forces and defend the home fields from teams coming in from out of town.
All told, 12 teams will grace the fields throughout town, with five from Crested Butte, two from Gunnison and two from Montrose, as well as teams from Delta, Palisade and the defending Ball Bash champions from Glenwood Springs.
The action starts bright and early Saturday morning with games going on all day at all three fields at a near-frantic pace, as only an hour is allotted for each contest.
Players will then have a little time to recuperate before only the mightiest men and women then take to Tommy V Field at 5 p.m. Saturday for the Home Run Derby. Sign-up for the derby is open all day Saturday at the backstop at Tommy V Field and anyone on a tournament team roster can sign up. It’s $25 to enter and will be capped at 15 men and 15 women. Only the top three men and top three women will advance to the finals. I could hazard a guess at the favorites to take either title but it really comes down to nerves, more than power, and who can hazard a guess at that?
Play then resumes once again on Sunday at 8 a.m. with only Gothic and Tommy V fields being used. Once the teams are done with their respective open play showdowns, the semifinals then start at 1 p.m. with the championship at Tommy V Field at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
While games throughout the tournament are limited to one hour, the semis and finals will have no time limits and the Crested Butte Parks and Rec crew will drag and re-stripe the field for the finals.
During all of the softball mayhem, fans and players can stay fed thanks to Crested Butte Parks and Rec as well as Drew Stichter from Pitas in Paradise. Parks and Rec will have burgers, hot dogs and even veggie burgers available, while Stichter plans to smoke 20 pounds of pulled pork for consumption each day.
While the food and drinks are technically free, organizers are asking for a donation and all funds from concessions and the tournament will be split between the Tommy V Youth Sport and Recreation Fund and the Parks and Recreation Youth Scholarship Fund. Last year the tournament raised a grand total of $8,800.