Series Ends, Still Some Work to Do

The Babe Ruth Softball World Series ended last Saturday in Lamar, but the World Series Committee still has work to do.  Committee members reviewed all the planning and logistics that went into making the games as successful as possible for teams and workers alike. 

Committee President, Craig Brooks praised the members at the wrap-up meeting this past Wednesday, August 17, stating they accomplished a lot of work in just a short timeframe of six months.  Two years ago, the World Series Committee had better than a year to prepare to host the first Babe Ruth Series games in Lamar on a brand new sports complex.  At that time, everything was new, despite the guidelines issued by the Babe Ruth League and visits to other game sites while the series were in progress.  Committee members were covering brand new territory. 

 Almost all the same members for this year’s games were committee members two years ago when Lamar hosted the first Babe Ruth 10U baseball games at the city’s brand new sports complex.  This helped streamline the process in light of having only a half a year to organize the entire event. 

Not enough food and supplies for the first venture and a little too much for the second series.  Age of the players was also a factor regarding attendance.  When the 10U boys played their baseball series, their families accompanied them.  This was not the case for the 16U girls softball teams.  As it turned out, not all their families came out with them.  Skip Ruedeman said, “ historically, boys baseball will drive more game attendance than girl’s softball, and in that matter, only about 20% of parents will attend out of state games.”  This was driven home by the reduced numbers at the Banquet of Champions and at the ballfield concession stand.  Young boys also eat more than young teen girls.  However, the various restaurant owners in town were happy with the numbers that frequented their businesses through the event.  It will take at least a month or more to determine the actual impact on revenue in the community based on sales tax revenues. 

Shawna Hodge reported that although there was good local media coverage for the games, it was impossible to get Front Range or metro newspapers, radio or TV stations to buy into any coverage.  Candy Ruedeman suggested the medical tent be placed closer to the ballfield, and establish a protocol for use of two-way radios.  Craig Brooks said that the next time a series or future games are scheduled for an extended stay; the committee should develop a one page contract for motels which locks in a set price for rooms.  Souvenir sales were good during the series, but there are some items left over and still for sale including banners, tee shirts, back packs and game programs.  Because of the logistics involving series banners, a sub-committee will be formed to handle all aspects from ordering to sales.  Several will also be set aside on display during future games.  The volunteers were great.  Pat Palmer and Dorothy Comer praised the bus drivers and general workers who went above the regular call of duty to cover all their bases.  Despite the donated vehicles from Tri County Ford, more vans will be needed for a future series to move teams and coaches, especially in the evenings, as PATs vehicles run only at set times. Leisure Services Director Rick Akers complimented Century Link for their donations of electronic communication gear, as well as wireless internet.  Brooks mentioned that the Lamar series became a learning experience for other teams.  The North Carolina team coach told him he’s taking some ideas he saw here, and will incorporate them into his community when they host the next series.  It will be several years, perhaps as many as five, before Lamar is under consideration as a Babe Ruth Series host site.

By Russ Baldwin


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