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Tournament could bring 1,000 visitors this weekend

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By John Shindlebower

There will be no shortage of baseball in Taylorsville this weekend as some 45 youth teams flock to our town for the Nations Baseball Tournament to be held at various locations.

The event was announced earlier in the year and should provide an economic boost to area businesses who hopefully will cater to the approximately 1,000 players, parents and fans who will arrive here beginning Friday.

Chuck Fischer, who spent 28 years helping organize sporting events and operated the Kilianski Sports Complex at Fort Knox for several years before his retirement, helped coordinate this event with Nations Baseball as a favor to a friend. Since he had left his position with Kilianski Sports Complex, he began to search out a location and a relationship he had formed with Judge-Executive David Jenkins through softball years ago, put Taylorsville into the mix.

Jenkins was able to put Fischer in contact with Parks Director Randy Wise, who then put together a proposal that was approved by Fiscal Court.

The games will be spread out over several locations, including the fields at Ray Jewell and Waterford Park, as well as the high school fields and the new baseball field at the middle school.

Although he’s an 18-year resident of Spencer County, Fischer has not been involved in tournaments here previously, but said the support he’s gotten from the community has been fantastic.

“I could not ask for a more professional person to work with than Randy Wise and I’m sure everything will go smooth.”

Fischer said the local youth baseball association, Spencer County Parks Department and the local school system will receive a per-day rental fee from the tournament, as well as retain all money from the concessions during the tournament.

Scorekeepers will be employed by the local youth baseball association and some area restaurants are offering discounts and coupons for participants, meaning there should be a real economic impact from the 1,000 visitors this weekend. With just two or three hours between games, Fischer doubts many folks will travel far for meals and refreshments.

The competition will feature baseball teams from ages 9 through 13. Fischer had predicted 40-45 teams competing and as of Monday, has 43 committed. About 75 percent of the teams are travel teams and about 25 percent are all star teams. The Spencer County Youth Baseball Association received one free entry into the tournament and will be represented by a 12 and under team.

The winner and runners-up of the tournament for each age division will qualify for the Nations Baseball World Series that Fischer will host in Columbus Indiana later in July.

With his long history of helping organize sporting events, Fischer sees continued health among youth sports. “I think that youth baseball is in fine shape throughout the country, along with girl’s fast pitch softball.” However, he said what has been in decline has been the adult slow-pitch leagues and tournaments.