Teams have come to Elk Grove for a weeklong baseball tournament from as far away as Guam and Utah, but three of the 10 participants only had to travel a few miles.
All of the Elk Grove Youth Baseball League's teams for 11-year-olds–one from Elk Grove and two from Laguna–are participating in the Pacific Southwest 11/70 Regional Tournament this week at .
"This area has always had a strong showing for baseball," said Stephen Davidson, the Northern California Deputy State Commissioner for Cal Ripken Baseball. "This is baseball territory."
The Laguna Gray and Laguna Purple teams won their first games Monday, while Elk Grove fell to Northern Utah in a game that had to be called at dusk Monday and resumed Tuesday morning. The Laguna Purple ran over Northern Utah in a 26-0 game that was called due to runs Tuesday morning.
Davidson noted that local teams of 10-year-olds , and has former Cal Ripken players on its roster.
Mike Zamora, the Assistant Equipment Manager for the Elk Grove Youth Baseball League, said parents and league officials have put countless hours of work into Rau Park, the league's home field.
"I like to have a great field [for the kids] to play on and enjoy themselves," Zamora said. "That's where I get my satisfaction."
He estimated that in recent years, the league has spent $40,000 to $50,000 in improvements to the park's scoreboards, infields, benches and fences.
The regional tournament continues with four games every day this week. The championship game will be played at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Do you have a player in Elk Grove Youth Baseball? Have you been at the tournament this week? What do you think of the program? Let us know in the comments section below.