Ball tournament prepares for 29th year

Baseball is considered by most to be the oldest sports institution in Nakusp dating far back, deep into the community fabric.

  • Wed Jul 29th, 2015 2:00pm
  • Sports

Ryan Willman

Arrow Lakes News

Baseball is considered by most to be the oldest sports institution in Nakusp dating far back, deep into the community fabric. Admittedly, there is an intangible schmaltz when hitting the diamond under the glow of the outfield lights on a warm summer evening that is habit forming.

Under the guidance of a strong core of dedicated volunteers who have taken over the reigns of the Nakusp Mixed Slo-pitch Society, ball has been enjoying high levels of local participation with a seven-team league for the 2015 regular season. The group has also taken on the responsibility of hosting the annual Nakusp Slo-pitch tournament, which will be enjoying its 29th consecutive year. The local tournament is a popular destination for a number of teams in the slo-pitch world, a feat which organizer Ryan Struck attributes to what he calls the total tournament package.

“I think what keeps bringing teams back is people love the level of play in the tournament, they love that the camping is right close by, they can take full advantage of the beach on those hot August days in between games, all the shops and restaurants are within walking distance. I think they just love that everything their family needs for a great holiday is in one perfect little package. Just makes for an amazing weekend.”

The tournament has 20 teams registered with some traveling from as far away as Kelowna, Abbotsford, Spokane and Alberta. The popular homerun derby, sponsored by The Hut, will take place on Sunday and playoffs are scheduled for all day Monday.

This year Nakusp will field three “local teams,” so quoted because many of the players currently live in Kelowna but return home for the long-weekend to play ball.

The Brew Jays, SSP and Grey Jays (previously named the Big Kahuna and before that, The Youngins), will be gearing up for the three-day marathon of cheers and jeers. Last year the Big Kahuna roster carried community hopes of a hometown tournament winner by swinging their way deep into the semi-finals for a match against PFM, but lost in a close contest. The Creston Kokanee defeated PFM in the finals 13-11.