Cal Ripken World Series returns to Visalia in ’19

Best 12-year-old teams from around the country will compete at Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series next summer at Riverway Sports Park

@TheSunGazette

visalia — Thousands of people from all over the nation will fill the stands at Riverway Sports Park next August as the Cal Ripken World Series returns to Visalia.

Visalia Youth Baseball, Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau, the City of Visalia and Babe Ruth League Inc. are excited to announce that the 2019 Cal Ripken Major 60 World Series will return to town for the first time since 2011. The best 12-year-olds from around the country will come together to play ball at Riverway Sports Park in a 10-day tournament Aug. 2 through 9, 2019, all vying for the World Series title.

Visalia’s Riverway Sports Park features four lighted baseball fields, restroom facilities, ample parking, playgrounds and more. The sports park has also been home to Visalia Youth Baseball since 2011. Visalia Youth Baseball first chartered with Babe Ruth League Inc. in 1998, and in just 20 years they doubled their enrollment from 600 in 1998 to 1,300 in 2018.

According to Frank Durazo, Lifetime Board Member and Majors Manager with Visalia Youth Baseball and Sponsorships & Programs Coordinator for the 2019 World Series, Visalia Youth Baseball is known today as one of the top Cal Ripken programs. “We have sent 10 teams to either the 10 [year-old] or 12 [year-old] World Series,” he said, “and we have been champions five times!”

Visalia Youth Baseball has hosted a number of district, state and regional tournaments as well as the Cal Ripken Major 60 World Series, which first came to Visalia in 2011. During the championship game between Visalia, CA and South Lexington, KY, as many as 7,000 attendees were rooting for their favorite team. History was in the making as the Visalia Blue All Stars became the first host team to win a World Series title.

In 2019, Visalia Youth Baseball expects to host 12 Cal Ripken Baseball teams including eight regional winners, the Central California State champion, two Visalia host teams and Guam by special invitation for their 60th year chartering with the Babe Ruth League.

“We try to put on first class events and Visalia has always been recognized as going above and beyond in making sure that we put in the hard work and resources to make it a fun and successful event for the teams and families that travel to Visalia,” said Durazo.

Those gathering for the 2019 World Series will find themselves just a few minutes away from Visalia’s charming downtown. Downtown Visalia is home to over 60 restaurants, more than 100 boutique shops and services and self-guided tours such as the “Art on Fire Hydrant Walk.”

Visalia is overflowing with events and activities that World Series participants and fans can enjoy. Whether they revel in outdoor adventures, such as taking a walk through Mooney Grove Park; or perhaps they’d like to catch a baseball game at Rawhide Stadium; or maybe they appreciate indoor activities such as browsing through the local museums and shopping centers, Visalia has something for everyone.

For the families, Visalia is bursting with opportunities for making memories. A visit to Quantum Leap Extreme Air Sports is sure to be EXTREME FUN; or perhaps they’d like to lace up their skates and take a whirl around Roller Towne; or maybe they grab the gang and head to Bowlero Visalia for a fun night of bowling, arcade games and billiards. At Imagine U Children’s Museum, the little ones can enjoy painting the walls, playing music, picking fruit and working on cars in a fun, exciting environment. However, the older kids may find that Visalia Adventure Park is the place to be. At Adventure Park they can play at the batting cages, bumper boats, miniature golf, go karts and, opening summer of 2019, a water feature including 4 water slides.

When visiting Visalia, take a day to check out the giant trees. Just 40 minutes East of Visalia is the entrance to Sequoia National Park, home of the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman. In the park, everyone can explore giant sequoia groves, climb the rocks, ride horseback through nature and much more. Visit the Giant Forest Museum to learn all about the history of the park and giant sequoia trees.

For more information please visit the Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.visitvisalia.org.

We’re very excited to share our city once again with this fantastic organization and the wonderful participants and their families. We hope you enjoy your time in sunny Visalia, California!

The Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB) is a non-profit organization, the official tourism agency for the City of Visalia. VCVB provides sales, marketing and promotional efforts to potential leisure and convention markets. For more information about the Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau visit www.visitvisalia.org and follow VisitVisalia on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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