World Series worthy?

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

The overwhelming success of the Babe Ruth tournament this past summer in Andalusia prompted players from Valley to have positive responses about the announcement of the possibility of a World Series tournament hosted in Covington County, either at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College - Andalusia campus, or at a location to be determined at a later date.

"I'd love for the World Series to be held in Andalusia," Cody Coker, 16, said. "I believe the series could be held in Andalusia, because the Southeast tournament was held there. I enjoyed the tournament. It was run well, and we all had a really fun time. It was probably the nicest field I've ever played on."

Coker added he couldn't imagine a nicer place than LBW to have the series. T. J. Yates, also 16, agreed with Coker.

"It was a beautiful field," Yates said. "Everything was really nice. I doubt there is a better place that I can think of to have the tournament than Andalusia, because everyone was so nice."

The people in Andalusia made the difference, said Yates.

"I felt at home by everybody, especially the host families," he said. "Even the Babe Ruth officials were nice."

Rhonda Earl of Lanett, whose husband coached the players, said a World Series would be well-received in Andalusia.

"It (the tournament over the summer) was excellent," said Earl, whose son Chase also played on the Valley squad. "They did an outstanding job with the kids and the community. It was very well organized, and Andalusia would definitely be able to support a World Series."

The Valley team went to a World Series last season in North Dakota, and they received full support from some Andalusia area residents.

"Even when we went to the World Series in North Dakota some of the Andalusia community members sent the players balloons for support," Earl said.

Earl agreed the single most important aspect of the tournament is the people.

"Meeting the people in the area was the best part," she said. "It was the first time I'd let my kids go that far (to Andalusia and on to North Dakota), but they all loved it. The memory will stay with them forever."

Andalusia Department of Leisure Services Director Dwight Mikel said Wednesday a location for the tournament has yet to be determined, but he said attempts to reach a decision have not ceased.

"We're trying to get more information on the series as soon as possible," Mikel said. "As soon as we do, that information will be released."

It is estimated if the World Series comes to the community a sum of anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000, or more would be generated.