Officials: Trio of amateur baseball events can coexist in 2019
Mitchell received exciting news last week when it was announced the 2019 South Dakota Class A American Legion tournament will be held in town, and the event doesn't spell doom for the future of the Northwoods League in city limits.
The Cadwell Sports Complex will be a crowded house next summer, with the Legion tournament expected to precede 2019's S.D. Class B state amateur baseball tournament. Those two tournaments will be played at Cadwell Park, which sits a fly ball away from Drake Field.
Last year's Legion tournament was held in late July, and last year's amateur tournament was held the first two weeks of August. The Northwoods League schedule runs from May through August.
If the college wood-bat summer league exercises its option to play in Mitchell next year, Mitchell Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Powell isn't worried there will be too much baseball to handle.
"It would just be a scheduling issue that we would work through like we do with everything else," Powell said this week.
Powell believes the trio of events could coexist, although there's no reason to believe the Northwoods League's expansion to Mitchell in 2019 is a foregone conclusion.
Last year, some locals expressed concerns that the Northwoods League would steal some of the spotlight and the ticket sales from the amateur tournament, but Powell tamped down those concerns by stating the Northwoods League is willing to schedule around the tournament. The same response can be extended to the Legion tournament, he said.
Mitchell City Councilman Kevin McCardle is a volunteer at the amateur tournament, and he suspected he'd find himself doing the same at the Legion tournament next year. He wasn't sure how successful the Northwoods League would be, but he suspected the three events would be able to function without a hitch.
With the future of the Northwoods League in Mitchell still up in the air, McCardle was more focused on the positive economic impact an event like the American Legion tournament has on a city like Mitchell.
"I think it's good to have the tournaments here because it brings people to town," McCardle said. "I think the more tournaments you have, the better."