Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Sports

May 3, 2014

Youth baseball tournaments: Beebe better than ever

Corsicana — Is there anything in Corsicana growing faster than the Stuart Beebe Memorial Tournament, an annual event that brings thousands of youth baseball fans to town?

This year's tournament was another huge success, and Steve Petty, who is the president of Corsicana Youth Baseball and the director of the Beebe Tournament, says the sky is the limit.

“We had 43 teams this year, and we had to turn teams away,'' Petty said. “It brings a lot of business to the town. The park was full of people every day.''

The tournament made $19,300 on its own, and generates revenue for restaurants, hotels and business in general during the three-day tournament.

Petty believes there will be nothing but growth for the event, which began five years ago with 21 teams.

“It has snowballed since when we began,'' Petty said. “We had teams from Nacogdoches, East Texas, Malakoff, Waco, Mesquite, the Metroplex — from all over.''

They come for the baseball and the brisket and it's a toss up to which is a bigger home run.

“We really are thankful to Harold Evans for the brisket,'' Petty said. “Everybody in the Metroplex talks about the brisket. And we have to thank Bimbo Bakery and Ray Carroll and the Beaton Meat Market. We had 16 briskets and sold 14 (in chopped beef sandwiches) and one woman bought an entire brisket and took it home with her.''

The Beebe Tournament is bigger and better than ever — and could mushroom in the future.

The city's new youth league complex, which is being built near Tiger Stadium and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2015 could be a doorway to even an bigger tournament. The new complex will have six fields with long range plans for a seventh, and with six more fields to go with the five fields they now use for the Beebe Tournament, Petty says the numbers will grow immediately.

“We will be able to double what we have right now,'' he said. “We would be able to have 80, 90 teams.''

Petty estimates this year's tournament, which had competition from T-ball up to 14-year olds and had games going on all day, drew thousands to the games.

Not only was the tournament a great success off the field, but four Corsicana youth teams played for titles on the field. The Cana Tigers14-and-under and 12-and-under teams won titles and the Cana Tigers 9-10 year old teams played each other for the title.

“I'm real proud of those teams,'' Petty said.

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