E.A. Sports Today

DYB Series awarded to Oxford

New sports complex to host teams from 11 states in 3 Dixie Youth Baseball divisions in 2017

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The most important youth baseball tournament in the South is coming to Oxford in 2017.

Dixie Youth Baseball on Monday awarded its 2017 World Series in three age divisions to the new Oxford Sports Complex. WEAC-TV 24 first reported the news Monday night.

“I’m excited it’s coming, especially to my district,” Alabama Dixie Youth District 2 director Tim Buce said today. “I guess it’s the Super Bowl of youth baseball, the World Series.

“That’s a pretty high profile deal to host the World Series; not everybody gets that opportunity. Not everybody has the facility or the ability to put on something like that. Oxford has everything it takes.

“I told them when I found out they got it actually this will be a piece of cake. We just hosted a 52-team state tournament (with 102 games) and this is actually only 36 teams.”

Teams from 11 states and host Oxford will play in AAA (9-10), Major (11-12) and O-Zone (11-12) divisions the first full week in August.

Oxford’s four-person contingent – Fire Chief Gary Sparks, Oxford Baseball for Youth director Michelle Mayfield, Sparks’ son Robert and marketing specialist Emil Loeken — made the city’s presentation Monday at this year’s World Series in Lexington, S.C. A team of city leaders also will attend next year’s World Series in Laurel, Miss.

Oxford wasn’t required to pay a guarantee to submit its bid, but the organizing group will be required to provide a number of amenities to the participants as part of the process. Sparks anticipated the event would have a “huge, huge” economic impact on the city.

Oxford and Dothan were the only cities bidding to host all three divisions in 2017, and Dothan withdrew. The Wiregrass city is expected to bid on the 2018 Series.

Cleveland, Miss., was awarded the Dixie Youth Baseball AA Coach- and Machine-Pitch World Series, to be played the week before action shifts to Oxford.

“We knew we were the only one bidding, but if we didn’t present ourselves well they could’ve pulled it,” Sparks said.

Dothan, Auburn and Muscle Shoals have previously hosted the World Series in Alabama, Buce said.

The Oxford sports complex, formally named Choccolocco Park, is currently under construction and expected to open May 12, the television station reported.

The first event in the complex is expected to be the Ohio Valley Conference softball tournament.

“We think this is a huge accomplishment not only for the City of Oxford and the whole area, but our new park,” Sparks said. “That’s part of the reason this facility was built, to bring in things like this, so we were very excited to be awarded this bid.

“A lot of work went into it making sure we had everything ready. There’s a lot of work to do in the next two years, securing workers and sponsorships to make sure not only we bring this in but we put on a good show for the people who are coming and the kids who’ll be there.”

This story will be updated.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login