It’s not everyday that the Upper Peninsula gets an opportunity to host a State Tournament.
Just one year ago, Gladstone was the site of the Little League Softball State Tournament for 11 and 12-year-old girls.
This year, Ishpeming is gearing up to host the Little League Baseball State Tournament.
The opportunity to host the big time event only comes around once every 16 years. The Ishpeming Little League Board of Directors have been preparing for the tournament since September.
A lot of work behind the scenes and on the two ball fields at the Ishpeming Playgrounds has gone in to preparing for the arrival of sixteen of the best baseball teams in the state.
“We want to show off our fields,” said Jeff Adriano, the Ishpeming Little League Treasurer and the State Tournament Director.
“When we found out we had the opportunity to host the State Tournament, I had no hesitation. I had to convince some of the people on the board that we should do it,” Adriano added.
The week long tournament is expected to attract as many as 3,000 baseball fans to Ishpeming.
Adriano and his staff have alerted area businesses, letting them know that people from all over the state will be headed to the area next week.
“There will be 240 participants as far as coaches and players. We have a crew of 15 umpires that are coming in from all over the state of Michigan,” said Adriano.
“One of the things we had to do as a courtesy to the teams that are coming up from out of the area, we setup hotels for everybody. We’ve talked to the businesses in the community to let them know (the tournament is coming). This will be an economic boom for Marquette County as a whole,” Adriano went on to say.
The tournament festivities begin on Thursday, July 18, with the opening ceremonies and a picnic.
The State Championship game is set for Wednesday, July 24 at 10am.