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Jackson County to host youth baseball tournament
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JEFFERSON — Youth baseball players will flock to Jackson County next week when the county’s parks and recreation department plays host to the 2009 Dizzy Dean 11-year-old Baseball World Series.

An estimated 35-50 teams from states across the Southeast will descend on Lamar Murphy Park, East Jackson Park and Jefferson Sports Complex July 16-21 for the tournament, bringing an estimated 1,200 visitors to the county, according to a news release.

Ricky Sanders, director of Jackson County Parks and Recreation, announced the news to the Jackson County Commission in December, and told commissioners he’s excited about the county’s chance to be home to the World Series.

"We’ve got a great group of kids in that age range and it’s nice to reward them with a world series host," Sanders said.

County Manager Darrell Hampton said the choice to make Jackson County the site for the World Series is a good reflection on the parks and recreation department.

"This is a national-level event and it speaks very well of our recreation program and the capacity it has," Hampton said.

The parks and recreation department has been working with Dizzy Dean Baseball, Inc., a youth recreation program spanning 13 states, since 2004, when the county softball and baseball programs were fully integrated into the Dizzy Dean organization.

"Our department has hosted 15 district tournaments and four state tournaments in various age groups (since 2004)," Sanders said. "Jackson County Parks and Recreation teams have also won numerous district titles, three state titles and the 2007 10-and-under Dizzy Dean Softball World Series Championship."

For more information about the tournament and other events, visit www.dizzydeanbbinc.org.

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