WARSAW – The annual descent upon Kosciusko County is rapidly approaching for a host of ballplayers from around the Midwest.
The City-County Athletic Complex, known to the locals as the CCAC, is preparing for the annual Baseball Players Association World Series. The BPA has been held in Warsaw for most of the past decade, hosting six of the past seven BPA World Series tournaments dating back to 2009. Warsaw’s only year in that run not to host was 2012.
The BPA tournament will begin Wednesday, July 15, and run through Sunday, July 19. Two age divisions will be playing for the titles, 10-U and 13-U, will begin with two pod games and then jump into the single elimination tournaments. Teams from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri are expected to take part in the tournaments.
The festivities for the teams, and the community as a whole, begins Tuesday. Teams will file in Tuesday morning for check-in, and later will take part in a skills competition. A home run derby, speed and agility skills as well as an around the horn test will allow players to show off their skills in a fun competition.
A new wrinkle to the pre-tournament fun will be a parade around the Warsaw courthouse. Rather than the banquet at the Orthopaedic Captial Center as in year’s past, tournament officials will take the teams downtown where Warsaw mayor Joseph Thallemer as well as Purdue University head baseball coach Doug Schreiber will greet the teams.
The tournament in recent years has had several baseball greats speak as part of the event, including former Cubs players Bill Buckner, Bruce Sutter and Scott Sanderson as well as Reds great Ken Griffey Sr.
The event has been a boost not only for the players and teams taking place, but for the city of Warsaw and its surrounding areas. With upwards of two dozen teams, parents and supporters staying in town for the week, the city generates thousands of dollars in revenue from the tournament.
“This is always a good thing for us to host,” said CCAC director Karl Swihart. “We’ve enjoyed having the tournament here and I think the teams have really liked playing here. We have heard nothing but positives about the BPA being played in Warsaw.”