The City of West Point smashed a grand slam over the weekend after a successful Dizzy Dean softball tournament.
“Anytime we can bring people in our town and spend a little money in our restaurants and hotels and give the community a little enjoyment, it’s always a success,” Parks and Recreation director James Crowley said.
There were a few weather delays over the weekend and the tournament started with just seven teams after one dropped out before Thursday. West Point’s 12U all-stars were eliminated on Saturday while Bruce took home the championship.
With over 100 fans at the park at any given time, Crowley estimates that without counting receipts, the tournament produced double what officials had expected. West Point put a bid of up to $800 to host the eight team field.
“We didn’t quite triple it, but we definitely doubled our money and then some,” he said.
Crowley said that both he and co-director Jarrod McDaniel received compliments all weekend about the condition of the fields and facilities at the Jesse Harmon Sports Complex. He mentioned the importance of keeping the rest rooms clean throughout and said the fans just loved the overall atmosphere of the tournament.
“Bruce said they enjoyed it because they got to chance to play on a real softball field, with all dirt infields,” Crowley said. “A lot of times they’ll go play with grass in the infield or something like that. They had never played on a softball field.”
Parks and Recreation opted to work with certified umpires for the entire tournament which made a difference. Two umpires were used for the early rounds before they decided to use three as the tournament continued which Crowley said was “a well spent expense” and it’s what the parents and coaches appreciated.
“You don’t have to do it, it’s a courtesy thing,” he said. “But we did it and it paid off.”
Crowley said because this tournament went on without any glitches, and they received positive feedback from every aspect, it will give them a little boost on their resume the next time they submit a bid to host another Dizzy Dean tournament in the near future.
He said they plan to focus more on girls tournaments rather than boys because of the accommodations at the complex.
In all, they can support eight softball fields running at one time. Larger tournaments with 16-20 teams use no more than eight fields.
“The sky’s the limit for at least a couple of tournament’s now,” he said.
Several business along Highway 45 Crowley said were very happy with the extra customers especially restaurants during the rain delay on Saturday.