Article originally published March 7, 2012:
How does the “Summer International Championships” sound?
“Say it," said Jack Sebesta, an official with the McHenry County Youth Sports Association.
“S-I-C. Call us that. For short, the kids will start calling us ‘sick.’ Saying something is ‘sick’ is like saying something is ‘cool,'” Sebesta said.
Ted Groat, treasurer of MCYSA, agreed.
"We need something catchy like 'CABA,'" Groat said.
The Continental Amateur Baseball Association, commonly known as CABA, proclaims itself to be “the greatest show on dirt.”
But MCYSA got rid of CABA five years ago. The name, however, stuck around like gum on the bottom of your shoe or a jingle for a commercial that keeps playing in your head. The CABA tournament for a short while reestablished itself in surrounding communities. People didn't know which tournament was which.
“That’s the mistake we made back in 1993,” Sebesta said. “We allowed CABA to become our brand name. Some people still call us CABA, even now, five years after we dropped them.
"The tournament should be known really for our volunteers and not for the vendor we hired.”
Groat said CABA was dropped in 2007 after disagreements arose regarding the caliber and the local origins of teams that it produced for so-called international tournaments.
“CABA dropping out, disappearing from the county, is good news for us,” Groat said. “Now we have just one big tournament in McHenry County and we are it. We’re eliminating some of the confusion."
Sebesta said MCYSA hopes to “partially” fill the void left by CABA’s departure by expanding.
MCYSA's SIC tournaments are scheduled for the end of July and early August. Games will be played in , Cary, Woodstock, McHenry, Johnsburg and Lake in the Hills.
The numbers participating in the 11-, 13- and 15-year-old MCYSA tournaments will grow to 128 teams this year from 86 teams in 2011.
Sebesta said the impact of the MCYSA-sponsored tournament to the local economy is expected to be about $2.3 million this year, up from $1.8 million in 2011.