“Each Team is a Family” – 40 Years of Babe Ruth Championships

A game on the field at Diethrick Stadium, 2019.

Contributing Writer
Joni Blackman

Jamestown is once again home to the Babe Ruth World Series from August 14-21. Jamestown Community College’s Diethrick Stadium has been the site of seventeen World Series tournaments. This year two divisions of 10 teams, a total of 150 players, will play 23 games to determine the World Series champion.

Parade of Champions

The community is invited to participate in and watch the Babe Ruth World Series Parade of Champions on Friday, August 13 at 6 PM. The Babe Ruth World Series Parade is the public kick off of the series in Jamestown. “It is a great experience for the kids to be honored and introduced to the area and begin their World Series experience,” said Kimberly Ecklund, Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee member. The parade begins on West Third St. and ends at City Hall.

Ms. Eklund who is a board member and the Public Relations Division Director said, “we are having a hard time finding bands for the parade given the groups are not practicing much at this time. However, we have the Jamestown Fire Department, Police Department, The Resource Center, a DJ playing music, the Shriners and the Buddy Walk group participating, along with the ten teams.” Ms. Eklund is looking for other groups to join the parade. For more information and to apply to be in the parade, go to www.jamestownworldseries.com and click on event schedule.

The beginning of the 2019 Parade of Champions.

Re-starting After 2020

“This year is going well. All eight days of play are sponsored. The community did not let us down! With their support, fans can come for free,” said Eklund. When asked what is different this year she said, “since these are 12-13 year old players, we are being careful about following all the CDC guidelines for social distancing, handwashing, etc. There will be no local children volunteering as bat boys and hostesses. There will be no extra contact. We are following the Babe Ruth organization’s rule of only two teams on the field at a time. Normally we would have a number of events through the week, but again, being careful, we are only having the parade and opening ceremony where we can practice social distancing.” It goes without saying that if you are going to attend a game and you are not vaccinated, please wear a mask.

The Games

The games begin on the 14th, with four games a day through the 18th, then semi championship games will be played on the 19th and 20th, two games per day. The championship game is Saturday, August 21 at 1 PM. The teams are coming from all over the country, one as far away as Hawaii. “Each team is a family, they have spent a lot of time traveling and playing together,” said Ms. Eklund. The teams have been playing all season and are ready to see who is the best.

Jamestown team on a flatbed trailer in the parade.

Economic Return

The Babe Ruth World Series Board of Directors is led by Jamestown’s own Russ Diethrick, “Mr. Baseball”. Ms. Eklund is Vice President of the Board and serves with 23 other board members. Overall, there are over 70 volunteers that make the Series a success. The cost of the week is over $200,000 but returns between $1 to $1.5 million dollars to our local economy. The teams stay in hotels with their families and coaches, eat in local restaurants, shop in local stores and visit local attractions. There is also team merchandise for sale.

Support Your Community!

Please take some time to go to a ball game this week or next. Enjoy some popcorn, the summer sunshine and cheer on the hardworking ball players. The admission is free, the experience is priceless.