Diamonds are ballplayers’ best friend |

Diamonds are ballplayers’ best friend

Matt O'Neill

A 100-inning game is quite a way to open a season.

That’s exactly how the South Tahoe Babe Ruth baseball league is kicking off its season Sunday at Todd Fields.

Along with the fund-raising 100 innings of baseball, the league will have four games to mark the beginning of the 2001 campaign.

“Each team will play 25 innings,” Babe Ruth President Mark Shehadi said. “People can pledge per inning or a flat amount.”

Even though the first official game will be played Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. at Todd Fields, Shehadi said the official opening is Sunday.

Starting at 1 p.m. and going until 8 p.m., the event is sure to bring in a lot of money for the league.

There will also be a barbecue on Sunday for all whom wish to watch the game in its entirety. Food and drink sales revenue will be used to support the league.

The league has several other new looks.

Last year, the league was split into divisions for 13 year-, 14 year- and 15 year-olds, while this summer the league will be broken into two classes – 13- and 14-years-olds and 15- and 16-year-olds. This change puts the South Shore on same level as the rest of the country.

Also, the entire pool of players was drafted in an attempt to bring more parity to the league.

“We have an even number of age groups on each team in order to bring as much parity as possible,” Shehadi said.

“After the draft, it looks like we were pretty successful in doing that.”

All the games will be played at the Todd Fields baseball diamond and no games will be held on Sunday or the softball field, with the exception on any needed makeup contests.

The season will run through July 3, and South Tahoe will host the 14-year-old State Tournament July 13-19.

The last time the South Shore hosted a state tournament was in 1993 (14- year-olds) and 1996 (16-year-olds).

The other league nearing its opening day is the High Sierra Softball Association.

Although the league is opening with less fanfare than both the South Tahoe Little League and Babe Ruth league, the association is just as anxious to kick off the campaign.

Opening May 7, the league will feature four divisions – mini (five teams), farm (four teams), minor (four teams) and major (four teams) with about 200 girls total.

“Our goal is to have the girls learn the game of softball,” High Sierra Treasurer Bob Novasel said. “We want them to have fun and be competitive.”

All the games will be played at Tahoe Valley Elementary School on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The minis and minors will play on Tuesdays or Thursdays, while the farm and major teams Mondays or Wednesdays. All the weekday games will begin at 5:30 p.m., while Saturday’s contests will go all day.

“We’re trying to create a good environment for them where they gain a good experience in the game,” Novasel said.

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