Cadwell Park was once again good to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association.
A popular spot for the 12-day and 32-team Class B state amateur baseball tournament, Cadwell Park generated $56,334 in paid admission, according to South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association Secretary/Treasurer Herb Sundall. The Class A tournament also played its final three days at Cadwell Park and Drake Field after starting in Brookings.
The final figure was slightly higher ($56,065) than the 2020 tourney, which was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. But the association was still pleased with the 2021 turnout.
“We are happy with that,” Sundall said. “Championship Sunday was down a little bit, but that’s probably a direct reflection on the fact that the two teams playing that weren’t in the Mitchell area. We always do better if the teams closer to Mitchell advance.”
In the final session, Renner defeated Harrisburg for the Class A championship and Dell Rapids Mudcats defeated Flandreau for the Class B title.
The final session brought in $3,365, significantly down from last year’s final session ($6,575) when Alexandria and Canova played for the Class B championship.
The two amateur baseball powerhouses played in this year’s opening round on Aug. 6. The 11 a.m. Friday morning contest raked in $4,502.
“That’s an awfully good crowd for an 11 o’clock game,” Sundall said. “It was two of the better teams in the tournament. You are talking about last year’s champion and runner-up.”
The best session was Aug. 12 when local teams Dimock-Emery, Plankinton and Alexandria, along with Flandreau, played back-to-back night contests. The session generated $6,675, which Sundall said is a record for a Thursday session.
The SDABA also benefited from five area teams -- Dimock-Emery, Plankinton, Alexandria, Kimball/White Lake and Winner/Colome -- advancing to the quarterfinals. Dimock-Emery and Winner/Colome also moved onto the semifinals.
Dimock-Emery finished the season with six straight wins, including the district title and advanced to its first semifinals since 2013.
“This year they kind of got rolling,” Sundall said. “They won their district and did very well in the state. Kimball/White Lake has never done that well I don’t think and they did this year. Two Pony Hills teams in the quarterfinals, which hasn’t happened for a while I suspect.”
The SDABA again charged a pay-per-view fee to watch this year’s tournament online. The SDABA pockets the gate receipts and it pays all the expenses of the tournament. The Mitchell Baseball Association receives part of the concession stands and the money generated from the programs.
The Exchange Club of Mitchell runs the state amateur baseball concession stands and it uses the event as a fundraiser. The tournament was again littered with volunteers and Sundall said they’re the engine behind it.
“I don’t think a lot of these towns that want to host a tournament are really cognisant of the fact that it takes a lot of volunteers to put on a 12-day tournament,” Sundall said. “Mitchell has always been very good at that.”
The 2022 and 2023 Class B state tournaments will be in Mitchell. The 2024 site will be determined at the annual SDABA meeting in February 2022.