After a year of absence, joy and excitement greeted the return of the Texas East State Little League Tournament on Saturday at Faulkner Park in Tyler.
In 2020, the Little League season and the state’s annual tournament have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A huge crowd of fans, players and volunteers greeted the return of the tournament at the opening ceremony.
âIt was a big opening ceremony,â said Shane Hurley, Texas East State tournament director. âEveryone seemed to be having a good time. The kids had a great time. With the exception of the Majors, the playoffs end here for the rest of the divisions. So I think they enjoyed being presented in front of the crowd.
âPlus I think this year is even more special after we missed last year. Everyone was delighted that the tournament was back.
Hurley said the tournament could not continue without the many volunteers. He praised and credited the volunteers for their hard work and noted, âWe’re going to see some great baseball in the next few days. “
Famed local broadcaster Bill Coates, sports director of KTBB, was the master of ceremonies.
Parker Bates, a Tyler Lee and All-America graduate at Louisiana Tech, was selected in the ninth round by the Kansas City Royals earlier this week in the MLB Draft. He threw the first pitch. His receiver was Noah McBride of Rose Capital West Little League. Bates threw a perfect strike from the mound.
Jackson McBride, also a Rose Capital West Little Leaguer, held the American flag during the national anthem.
The Junior League tournament is led by Tom Edge, while the Major Division is led by Danny Harrington. The tournament director for 9-10-11 is Richard Atterberry and 8-9-10 is Carlos Davila.
Some of the volunteer umpires and evaluators who have been recognized include John Paul (Texas East State Baseball Umpire), Doug Pfaffenberger (Texas State Assistant Chief Baseball Umpire), Mel Land, Charlie Sweetin , Traci Duez, Jon Gregory, Charles Williamson, Edward Zalewski, Rodger Moss, Larry Friedenberg, Kevin Mc Clory, Bryan Mulhollan, Eric Spore, Richard Coulter, Phillip Golden, Joe Kearney, Curtis Jones, Marc Ochoa, Mark Scott, Mike Baker, Joshua Gabriel and Chris Buxton.
District 10 volunteers include Sean Griffin, Assistant District Administrator, Dave Langford, President of Little League Rose Capital West, Mary Ragsdale, former Assistant District Administrator, Randy Womble, former Assistant District Administrator and Michael Farrell, former District Administrator. district.
Gary Albritton (a board member of Rose Capital East), pastor of the Church of Christ Shiloh Road in Tyler delivered the invocation and Pfaffenberger performed the national anthem.
The tournament continues until July 20. The cost to attend the tournaments is $ 10 per car.