MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Babe Ruth League World Series, one of the largest youth sporting events in the country, will once again be played in Mobile.
The 2020 Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series will take place August 1-8 at Hank Aaron Stadium. The announcement was made on Thursday, January 9.
Last year's games were also held in our area. Games were played at the University of Mobile.
According to officials, the World Series is rarely held in the same city for consecutive years.
'It’s rare that the World Series returns to the same location two years in a row. We’re real proud that Babe Ruth chose to return to Mobile. Last year the University of Mobile did a great job in hosting this but I think we’re going to ratchet it up a notch with this beautiful stadium," said Mobile Sports Authority Executive Director Danny Corte. "It’s also very rare that a Babe Ruth World Series is played in a minor league stadium because obviously it’s usually played during the baseball season when scheduling is an issue."
As the host community, the Mobile Rawdogs will select its own 16-18-year-old squad to compete in the event, which will also include eight regional champions from across the country, as well as MLB China. Competition will begin with pool play before advancing to a single elimination bracket to determine the World Series champion.
“We are excited to again host the World Series” said Tony Hendrix, Alabama Babe Ruth State Commissioner and Babe Ruth 16-18 League Manager (Alabama Rawdogs.)
"The Rawdogs have had the pleasure to take part in several Babe Ruth World Series and have been fortunate enough to bring home 10 World Series titles. In addition to a great competitive athletic experience, we were left with many lifetime memories to share," Hendrix said. "It says a lot about our community - that our volunteers, host families, and others in our city left such an impact on the visitors from last year’s World Series that we were again asked to host.”
For Ari Rosenbaum of the Mobile Sports & Entertainment Group, announcing a baseball event of this magnitude was crucial.
"It was very important that we announced a baseball event as our first event here at the stadium. It’s right in line with what we’ve been trying to do and what we’ve been trying to preach that we can do with Hank Aaron Stadium," Rosenbaum said. "It is a baseball facility. Our mission has always included baseball as the focus. Yes, we have light shows and some other events but I’m a baseball guy. I wear baseball seams on my wedding ring. I met my wife at Hank Aaron Stadium; baseball is very important to me. The fact that our major event for 2020 is going to be a baseball event and ties with Babe Ruth, it means so much to us at MSEG.”
The World Series serves as a gateway experience for many first-time visitors, inspiring large numbers to make plans for subsequent trips and vacations to the area and region. Area hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, shopping outlets, gas stations, entertainment venues, and other local businesses will experience direct spending from attendees.
“Tournaments like the World Series are incredible opportunities for youth to see a new city, explore new surroundings, make new friends, experience a social and cultural exchange, and play their favorite game,” said Robert Faherty, Vice President for Babe Ruth League, Inc. “Mobile is the type of community that is right for our players. Just think about it; even 17 and 18-year-old kids can get a little nervous about going to a new town. However, when our young athletes get to Mobile they will see a town like their own, where the people care about kids and put community first. That’s why we are coming back with our Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 World Series.”