Metro Parks’ baseball championship games set for July 5 at Cheney Stadium

Photo courtesy Metro Parks

Photo courtesy Metro Parks

 

Youth baseball players from Metro Parks Tacoma’s competitive leagues will get a taste of the game at the professional level when they play a championship doubleheader at Cheney Stadium on July 5. Metro Parks Tacoma had 50 competitive teams and 100 recreational teams competing during the 2017 season.  This is the fourth annual championship event at Cheney to highlight youth baseball in Tacoma.

The free event is the culmination of the league’s season for boys 9 to 14 years old and highlights the 16-and-under and 18-and-under divisions with an All-Star game of the oldest players. Fastpitch and softball fields are of a different dimension than the field at Cheney Stadium, and so those events are held at Heidelberg field instead.

Andrea Smith, president of the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners, will kick off the doubleheader with the first pitch at 5 p.m. That begins the 14-and-under championship game followed by a Parade of Metro Parks League teams and players. The All-Star game caps off the evening starting about 7:30 p.m.

In the past, Smith has enjoyed the games as a spectator. “The opportunity to play in a professional ball park is the kind of special event kids and families will recall for years afterwards,” she said.

All-Star team celebrity coaches are Aaron Pointer, who is a Metro Parks commissioner and also a former pro baseball player, and Rob Ruth, a Metro Parks maintenance worker and member of the Western Washington Umpires Association.

Elizabeth Binkley, a student of vocal performance at Pacific Lutheran University, will sing the national anthem before the games begin.

TV Tacoma will record both games for airing on the municipal cable channel. And every time a player comes up to bat, his picture and number will be displayed on Cheney Stadium’s giant video screen above the outfield wall.

Between the two games, as many as 2,000 youngsters – members of Metro Parks’ competitive, recreational, specialized and adaptive sports teams – are invited to parade around the diamond in their team uniforms. The City of Tacoma’s Environmental Services Division donated its Community Day at Cheney Stadium to Metro Parks to use for the event.

The Metro Parks Competitive Baseball League consists of 50 teams, mostly in Tacoma, but also including squads from Federal Way, Gig Harbor, Puyallup, University Place, Lakewood, Lake Tapps and Spanaway.

Teams competing for the under-14 championship are the winners of a tournament among the six teams in that age division. The All-Star teams are made up of two nominees from each of the 17 teams in the divisions for players 16-and-under and 18-and-under. The Tacoma Rainiers help support the championship event.

“Both the Rainiers’ generosity and that of the City of Tacoma are appreciated. They are a wonderful example of the partnerships Metro Parks has developed in our community,” Smith said.

Championship Baseball at Cheney Stadium

·What: Cheer for your favorite team during Metro Parks Tacoma youth competitive baseball championship game

·When: 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 5

·Where: Cheney Stadium, 2502 S. Tyler St., Tacoma WA 98405

·Cost: Free

  – Metro Parks Tacoma