Local Little League officials threw out the first pitch Thursday in an attempt to bring a major tournament to Vancouver.
Speaking to about 25 people from the area’s business and Little League communities, Mike Ray detailed a plan to convince Little League’s governing body to make Propstra Stadium the new home of the Junior League World Series.
“No. 1 that we have to show them is that there will be community support and that we will have financial backing,” said Ray, the administrator for Washington Little League District 4, which encompasses portions of Clark and Skamania counties.
The Junior League World Series annually features championship baseball teams of 13- and 14-year-olds from five U.S. regions and five international regions. The tournament runs for one week each August, with the title game being televised live on ESPN. It has been held in Taylor, Mich., since 1981.
Junior League Baseball is the next age group up from the renowned Little League World Series, which takes place in Williamsport, Pa.
“Everybody I’ve talked to is enthusiastic,” said Dave Wallis, president of Fort Vancouver Little League. “The way the Portland area is with baseball, I think there would be a large turnout.”
The tournament has been designated to return to Michigan for next year, but Ray said his group is targeting 2012 or 2013 for bringing the event to the Northwest.
“This is not a one-year plan,” Ray said. “If we get it, it’s staying here. That’s what this community deserves.”
For now, Ray and other officials are trying to generate community support.
Anybody interested in providing financial assistance, or volunteering time or services can contact Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.