Dizzy Dean world series comes to Lamar Murphy Park
The “world” will be watching Jackson County — the Dizzy Dean baseball world, that is.
Workers at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department are readying Lamar Murphy Park for 16 teams from six states for the 13-year-old Dizzy Dean baseball world series. Opening ceremonies are Thursday. Play runs from Friday to Wednesday.
“I’m excited about the 13-year-old world series,” JCPR director Rick Sanders said. “It’s a good level of baseball … We’ve got a good group of teams from the southeast.”
Sanders expects the tournament will draw between 1,000 to 1,500 spectators, though not all at the same time, except maybe for the opening ceremonies Thursday. He doesn’t anticipate any traffic problems during the tournament.
“It’s not going to be bumper-to-bumper,” Sanders said. “It’s nothing that’s going to stop up downtown Commerce or Jefferson.”
This is the second-consecutive year the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department has hosted a world series. Last year’s 11-year-old world series was played at East Jackson Park.
Sanders said recreation department crews have been manicuring fields all year long in anticipation of the six-day 13-year-old world series. They’ve also removed the portable mounds and built dirt mounds.
Fields have also been fertilized pretty heavily over the past few months to accommodate the world series, then recover in time for fall sports.
Sanders notes that with three to four games being played per day, that’s eight to nine hours of baseball — or in other words, a lot of sets of cleats on the turf.
“Some of the fields will really take a pounding,” Sanders said.
To host a world series, a park or recreation department must bid for it. Jackson County’s winning bid for the 13-year-old world series was $2,000.
“We wanted to do this for our local kids more than anything … We want to help them,” Sanders said.
Younger age groups tend to cost more. In fact, Jackson County’s winning bid for last year’s 11-year-old world series was $12,500.
The department grossed $8,000 last year after all expenses, including staff costs and the $12,500 bid fee. Meanwhile, local businesses saw increased foot traffic with all the out-of-towners.
“Making money is not our main focus,” Sanders said. “It’s for the community and the businesses and to help the local economy.”
Sanders said JCPR is considering whether to bid on the 7-year-old world series next year or pursue hosting rights for a state tournament.
The bid for the seven-year-old world series tournament, which would draw around 60 teams, would likely cost around $30,000, but the winning facility would probably gross around $100,000.