Musial series to start Wednesday
By JEREMY RAKES
For any baseball fans yearning to watch good, quality baseball for free, there will be some in town next week.
The Stan Musial World Series, which has called Sam Houston State University in Huntsville its home for the past three years, will be played at Baseball USA, 2626 West Sam Houston Parkway North, starting Wednesday and running through Sunday, Aug. 15.
A lot of the move to Houston and Baseball USA had to do with the economy," said Stan Musial World Series Tournament Director Frank Klam. Huntsville was a great venue, and we had support up there, but the attendance was dwindling.
We figured that if we were going to move it, why not move it here? Baseball USA is a great facility. It made a great bid. We are expecting a great time. With these guys, the field may be a little smaller than they are used to, but they are nice size fields."
Stan Musial baseball is the adult division of the American Amateur Baseball Congress, and the majority of Stan Musial players are college age and up. The Stan Musial division is the equivalent of Class AA baseball with many past professional players on the teams.
The World Series is comprised of eight teams hailing from seven regions in the US and Puerto Rico. The tournament is double elimination with four games to be played on Wednesday and Thursday each, three games on Friday, two on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.
It is a great mix of college-aged teams and teams that are comprised of a mix of high school, college and minor league players," Klam said. People might be surprised at the quality of play that will be on display here. There are great athletes and pitchers throwing in the 90's. The way the field is set up, you are right in the action."
The Northwest Wildcats are the host team for the tournament and enter it undefeated at 31-0. The Wildcats won the World Series in 2008 in Huntsville and in 2002. They want to win this one in their hometown.
This is the highest level amateur baseball tournament, and it's a difficult tournament to win," said the Northwest Wildcats manager and President of the Houston Amateur Baseball Association Jack Schultea. The Puerto Rico team is their national team, and they won it last year. Seven of my players have either played in Class AAA or higher. It's a very competitive tournament and should be a very strong field."
Teams will be coming down from Michigan, New York, Dallas, Canton, Ohio, and several from the West Coast, as well as the team from Puerto Rico.
For more information on the tournament, visit www.smws.us. All games will be simulcast on the site.
The Houston contingency will host the World Series next year, too, and Klam said they want to keep the World Series in Houston for a lot longer, but they would like to have a good crowd and great atmosphere for the teams involved.
There will be a lot of quality baseball on display," Klam said. If people want to come out and watch baseball for free, here's the place. It is family friendly, and you are right there among the players. The ballpark is amazing, and the fans will love it. This will be totally different atmosphere than Major League Baseball games."
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