This has been a busy month at local baseball and softball fields, and the schedule doesn’t doesn’t let up anytime soon.
A total of nine Texas Teen-Age Softball/Baseball Association district and state tournaments are taking place in Brown County this summer. Last week’s softball games were were held during only the first of four consecutive weeks of play. Baseball takes center stage this week, then softball and baseball will alternate again for the third and fourth weeks of play on local fields.
Brown County has become a popular choice for these tournaments, and that’s a plus not only for the economy but also for the community’s statewide prestige. Improvements in facilities already made and those being planned in the near future can only build on the reputation Brownwood, Early and area residents enjoy as being a gracious hosts from such events.
These youth softball and baseball games are bringing hundreds of players and their families into the community. While some of the teams they represent are not so far away that they must spent the night, many of them do. And even for those who choose to “commute” each day, it’s certain that they will eat several meals in local restaurants, pause long enough to shop with some of the retailers and perhaps purchase a tank of increasingly valuable gasoline. The latter is hardly a small purchase these days.
Summer youth sports is not a minor league endeavor any more, and it covers youngsters from preschool to high school. That category includes everything from youngsters just learning the game to high school football players participating in 7-on-7 football, for which the state championships were held in College Station last week.
Wherever these tournaments are played, a sizable contingent of supporters will follow. It becomes a part of the summer vacation for many families, and they enjoy local attractions during the hours they aren’t required to be on the field.
Brown County has a lot going for it to attract such events in addition to its central location in the state. The success with which local leaders have in bringing in these tournaments is evidence that they are doing a lot of things right.
But the future may bring new and tougher demands, and the recreational improvements City of Brownwood voters voted to support in a May election will ensure that this area keeps pace. Leaders in the statewide leagues have voted also: they like coming to play in our community. And the community likes hosting them.