Babe Ruth getting jump on signups

By Ivan Sanders

With old man winter still attempting to make a reappearance, it's hard to believe that registration for America's favorite pastime is already here for young men between the ages of 13-15.
   The Elizabethton/Carter County Babe Ruth is getting ready to start signing players up, beginning this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Elizabethton High School's baseball concession stand.
   Babe Ruth Baseball is entering its 51st year of competition for those young men who want to enhance or learn new skills to improve their play.
   The desire of the local Babe Ruth league is to provide a quality atmosphere where players can receive positive instruction, and their families can come for a refreshing evening of watching their son play baseball.
   "We want to be pro-active with all our local high school coaches as we provide a feeder system for their programs," said league president Tim Chambers.
   Said Chambers: "We have the defending back-to-back district, region, and state champs in our returning 15-year old All-stars, so we are a proven league. We just want kids to come enjoy our facilities and have fun playing on our teams."
   There are many things that have been improved. The league has worked in conjunction with the Elizabethton High School APO to construct a new press box and storage facility.
   The field is currently being worked on by Elizabethton Park and Rec. to get it in great shape for the season.
   Signing up is simple. A new player needs to bring a copy, not the original, of their birth certificate, $40 league dues, and have a parent or guardian fill out a registration form.
   Returning players will only need their fees and a new form filled out.
   The league will also be accepting applications for coaches, volunteers, and full-time umpires. Information will be provided at sign-ups for those having questions.
   "We want all the kids from Carter County and Elizabethton area who really want to have fun playing baseball to come and be a part of this organization this year," said Chambers. "Everybody who signs up will play."
   The league also is hoping to see a good turnout from the Hampton, Cloudland, and Mountain City areas. "These are areas where we want to invite those young men to come out and be an important part of this league," added Chambers.
   If you can't make it this week, don't fret. There will be another registration date next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the same location.