State tournament coming to Cortez

Courtesy Photo/Lisa Greene

A Cortez Little League baseball player practices hitting off the tee during a recent practice.

By Ian MacLaren Journal staff writer

Local baseball fans are in for a treat this weekend. For the first time ever, Cortez will host the 10-11 year old Colorado State Little League Tournament, to be held July 25-29 at Parque de Vida. Along with offering fans the opportunity to witness top-notch competition, the tournament will showcase Cortez’s wonderful baseball facilities and bring economic benefits to the town.

This year’s tournament will feature five teams haling from locations throughout the state of Colorado. Each qualifying team won its respective district in order to qualify and thus, the tournament’s level of play will be high and the competition will be intense.

Although Cortez will not field a team in this year’s tournament, the 2013 season was significant for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was the founding of Colorado Little League District 4, which consists of teams from Cortez, Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio.

“In the past, Cortez was the only Little League team in the area,” explained Colorado Little League District 4 Administrator Lisa Greene. “With the creation of District 4, we no longer have to travel to Grand Junction for tournaments.”

Along with reducing travel time and costs, the creation of District 4 set the stage for Cortez to host the state tournament. “[Cortez] was picked to host because we have been the only Little League in this part of the state for the last 10 years,” said Greene. “Now that we have our own district, it made sense to host a state tournament in this area.”

As host of the state tournament, Cortez will be able to showcase its wonderful baseball facilities and benefit economically from such a large event.

“Teams from all of the leagues in Colorado will be here,” said Greene. “There will be approximately 75 players and their families in town. It’s a great chance for Cortez to show off its facilities and show off its hospitality. Local businesses will benefit as well.”

Games will be held throughout the weekend at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All local baseball fans are encouraged to attend and show support for an up-and-coming generation of baseball players.

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