The world will be coming back to Battle Creek for another summer as the NABF World Series will return to Bailey Park.
The National Amateur Baseball Federation has signed a four-year deal to have the NABF Major Division World Series in Battle Creek, guaranteeing the World Series will be hosted by Battle Creek through 2018, with an option for 2019.
Locally, the Southern Michigan Amateur Baseball Association worked to bring a major division World Series back to Battle Creek three years ago when the city hosted the NABF event for the first time. It was a continuation of holding major amateur baseball events in Battle Creek after the city hosted the Stan Musial World Series for decades before the AABC moved that tournament.
“We believe that this agreement has solidified our World Series program as a viable and relevant event for Battle Creek and we look forward to presenting it to this community for at least three more years”, said SMABA Executive Director Jim Demarest.
The World Series brings 11 teams from throughout the NABF national major division for the five-day event.
“Any time you bring hundreds of people to the community for a multi-day event, the community wins’, said World Series Tournament Director Terry Newton.
To help make the new agreement happen, the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau has increased its participation in the World Series.The CCVB has agreed to pay the tournament hosting fee to NABF for the first two years of the agreement.
“The CCVB has been a strong supporter of bringing this World Series event as well as a variety of other tournaments to Bailey Park,” said Linda Freybler, CEO of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau. “We are proud to be a partner with SMABA in hosting this event. Players, coaches, officials, and fans for this tournament and the others held at Bailey Park contribute over $6.5 million in economic impact to our community.”
Two of the key people that helped allow the World Series to continue in Battle Creek were also honored by the NABF.
In NABF annual meetings over the weekend in Baltimore, the organization named Battle Creek World Series Tournament Director Terry Newton as the “Man of the Year” and his daughter Annie Newton was named as the “Woman of the Year”.
In a press release, the NABF cited that fact that Terry has the most visible role in the World Series as the Tournament Director, running the day-to-day functions of the World Series with his vast experience in baseball and tournament management. In his role as an employee for the Battle Creek Recreation Department he also supervises all aspects of Bailey Park and the baseball facilities.
The NABF went on to say, while Terry handles all of these major operations of the World Series, his daughter Annie has been the superglue for the World Series. Annie has handled most all of the pre-tournament technical communications with the NABF and qualifying teams leading up to and during the World Series, compiling all of the necessary documentation to run the tournament. This behind the scene role is critical to any successful event.
The 2016 World Series will be held during the first week of August at Bailey Park.
“We look forward towards the 2016 World Series and have many things to do leading up to the event, but the biggest thing we want to do is enhance the visibility of the World Series here in Battle Creek”, said Demarest.