It’s that time of year for teams from faraway places such as Sri Lanka, Dominican Republic, Japan, Brazil and Puerto Rico to converge on the cornfields of McHenry County to play baseball.
The Summer International Championships – including tournaments for 15-, 13- and 11-year-old baseball players from across the U.S. and overseas – injects about $2 million into the local economy the first week in August, said Jack Sebesta.
The 15-year-old and 11-year-old tournaments started Saturday at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake.
“Except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the people at Best Buy in Crystal Lake have told us that this is the best time of year for them because of all the out-of-town visitors,” said Sebesta, president of the McHenry County Youth Sports Association. “The tournament has a big economic impact, especially on hotels, restaurants and retail.”
Sebesta said about 1,500 ballplayers are competing in the weeklong tournament now in its 20th year.
Stix – a 15-year-and-younger baseball team connected to the Cary Grove Youth Baseball Association – won its first game Saturday afternoon, beating the Cougars from Cedar Rapids 5-3.
Photographs from the Summer International Tournament will also be posted on the Crystal Lake-Cary Patch Facebook page. Check them out, and feel free to post your own photos from the games! Click here to visit the Crystal Lake-Cary Patch Facebook page.