Mickey Mantle Field in Commerce and Northeastern A&M’s Homa Thomas Field are expected to be used for the Premier Baseball Freshman 2010 tournament and Premier Baseball Juniors World Series, the News-Record has learned.
The freshman tournament will run July 7-11 and the Juniors World Series is slated for July 21-25.
The Commerce Board of Education approved the use of Mantle Field during its meeting Monday night.
“This will be great exposure for the area,” said Mickey Mantle Classic director Brian Waybright, who has handled the negotiations for Commerce. “We’re excited about it.”
Both Waybright and Northeastern A&M baseball coach Roger Ward are waiting for a contract that would finalize local plans.
“It will be a good recruiting tool as well as a fund raiser,” Ward said.
Host sites keep all money from concessions and they also will receive a portion of the total gate.
Scheduling has not been set yet, according to Patrick Tuttle of the Joplin (Mo.) Sports Authority, which is coordinating the tournaments.
Tuttle said 24 teams are expected for the freshman tournament and 40 teams will be on hand for the Juniors World Series.
"They will be from all over the country," Tuttle said. "We’ll have teams from Phoenix, Queens, N.Y., Indiana, Texas … all over."
Fields at Baxter Springs, Kan., Neosho, Mo., Seneca, Mo., Carthage, Mo., and Joplin also will be used, Tuttle said.
According to the organization’s website "Premier Baseball is not a league, and at present does not contemplate engaging in league play among its members, although its members are free to engage in league play. The members of Premier will host invitational tournaments whose pools and brackets will be populated by other Premier teams, though not exclusively."
Premier was not formed to compete with other national organizations, nor is its goal to put others out of business or to be divisive in any way. Teams from Premier organizations will play and compete in a number of existing national organizations. Premier is an attempt to meet the needs of its members in what is an ever-changing amateur baseball landscape."
Ninety-three players from Premier Baseball teams were selected during this month’s Major League Baseball Draft.
Premier’s best-known alum is St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. He played for the Kansas City Sluggers.