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Cal Ripken Tournament Comes to Emmitsburg

Scott Zuke

(6/21) Emmitsburg's youth baseball players will have the chance to defend their home field this month as the town plays host to the 2013 Cal Ripken State Tournament. The tournament for kids age 12 and under will begin on Saturday, July 6, and conclude the next day. The winner of the State round will advance to the Regional Tournament later in July, which will also be held nearby in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

Six teams of twelve to fifteen players will participate in the tournament, which could draw a couple hundred family members and other spectators. The teams will be divided into two groups, and the first day of the tournament will be a round robin with each team playing a game against the others in its division. The top two seeds in each division will return to face each other on Sunday, followed by the championship game.

The Ripken Tournament is a lower division of the Babe Ruth League, an international youth baseball and softball organization based in New Jersey. Emmitsburg joined the Cal Ripken League four or five years ago, and volunteered to host this year's State Tournament, says Jeff Topper, Vice President of Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball, Inc.

The town has risen to the occassion in its preparations to host the event, according to Jeff's mother, Mary, herself a former president of and continuing volunteer with the Emmitsburg league. In addition to assistance from Mayor Donald Briggs, the commissioners also approved the installation of a higher fence to meet the league's regulations. Local businesses pitched in to totally redo the two fields to be used in the tournament, including donating time to put down new sod.

"We are so honored to host the tournament this year," said Mayor Briggs. "Emmitsburg is a wonderful place to share with our guests from across the state, especially when its rich baseball tradition is also involved. Thank you to the tournament organizers and to the dedicated efforts of so many in the community who give of their time, year-in and out, to provide the healthy activity of baseball for our most valuable asset - our children."

A skills competition will kick off the weekend's events on Friday, July 5 starting at 6 p.m. Opening ceremonies will commence the next morning at 9 a.m., with the first round of games beginning at 10, the second round at 12:30 p.m., and the final games starting between 2 and 3 p.m. More information is available at the Emmitsburg Baseball and Softball league's website at

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