Cal Ripken is coming to Columbia County.
I don’t know whether my baseball hero will ever be here personally, especially after the way his other dealings in the area went, but his brand of baseball will make its arrival this spring.
Yes, the East Georgia Cal Ripken Baseball League will debut this spring in Grovetown, providing another avenue for youth to play baseball in addition to recreation leagues and Martinez Evans Little League.
Kevin Rosier and six other founders of the league wanted to make a break from MELL and bring something to Grovetown. They started discussing options over the summer, had meetings with Grovetown’s mayor and other city officials and the go ahead for the league was given.
The league, which will have five divisions, will have practices and play all of its games at Liberty Park in Grovetown.
While all the activity is taking in place in Grovetown, the league will be open to players in Columbia County and Richmond County as well.
“We partnered with the City of Grovetown and in our agreement they’re going to maintain the fields and all that for us to help us keep our costs down,” said Rosier.
The delineations for the league are as follows: Junior T-ball – 4-5 year olds (5 with no experience); T-ball - 5-6 year olds (5 with experience); Machine Pitch - 7-8 year olds; Minors - 9-10 year olds; Majors - 11-12 year olds.
The cost to register is just $59 and information about the process can be found by going to East Georgia Cal Ripken Baseball on Facebook. To find out more about the league, you can also visit the Web site at www.egacalripken.com.
Some kinks are still being worked out, mostly the specific dates that things will occur. Registration will conclude at the end of February so tryouts can take place to give teams the full month of March to practice. Opening day is tentatively scheduled for either the week before Masters Week, which is Monday, April 7 through Sunday, April 13, or the week after, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Rosier says what will set this league apart is that it is geared more toward true baseball, like in T-ball players will be called out although no scorekeeping will be kept.
Like other leagues, teams in the Majors will have a chance to advance to the ultimate proving grounds, the Cal Ripken World Series, or as it’s known, “The Road to Aberdeen (Md.).”
Although there are supposed to be five new organizations beginning this year, because there are so few teams in Georgia, teams will not have to compete in district tournaments. No, instead they will jump right into state competition with winners advancing to Southeast Regionals and then on to the World Series.
It’s great that the City of Grovetown will have a league it can call its own.
Rosier is expecting 300-400 children to register to play and I hope they meet and even exceed their own expectations.