San Angelo Turns Youth Baseball Tournament Away
SAN ANGELO, TX — The 2020 Bring the Heat Baseball Tournament scheduled for Saturday and Sunday was abruptly canceled by the City of San Angelo yesterday. The two-day sporting event for 7-year-old through approximately 18-year-old private league baseball players had attracted at least 125 teams to come to San Angelo from across west Texas and eastern New Mexico. The tournament was set to take place on three City-owned baseball fields, including the Texas Bank Sports Complex off Bell Street.
The City stated this morning that their decision to cancel the event was due to COVID-19. “Our active cases in Tom Green County increased by 218 cases in less than a week, which took our total number of active cases to 449. Our COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 27 to 40 in the same amount of time,” City Public Affairs Officer Brian Groves said in an email.
But for parents, the sudden cancelation makes no sense.
“The City has become the Grinches they are and took this away from the kids,” said Rikki Sarabia Bosmans, a parent of a 10-year-old player on a 10 U team called the West Texas Elite. “They stole every ounce of happiness they had.”
Bosmans had two specific complaints about how the cancelation was handled. The first was the suddenness of the decision. Up and until Tuesday, the managers of the City fields told the USSSA tournament organizer Tommy Hawkins that the tournament would happen. Then, Bosman said, at 5 p.m. Wednesday, the City changed course abruptly, canceling the event.
“There is not enough time to move the tournament somewhere else,” she complained.
Some of the teams originally scheduled for the San Angelo USSSA tournament have signed up for similar events in the DFW Metroplex. Two tournaments are scheduled in McKinney and Mesquite this weekend. If tournaments can move forward in DFW, why not San Angelo?
For parents like Bosman, she doesn’t understand the City of San Angelo’s reasoning. She mentioned a tournament held in Midland two weeks ago. “The stands were set up so you could social distance. Everyone wore masks,” she said.
According to the registration website, 125 teams had registered for the event, most of them from Midland, Lubbock and eastern New Mexico. Each team has approximately 10-12 youth players. The tournament would have filled over half the available hotels in San Angelo.
Bosman’s 10-year-old son, Michael Sarabia of the West Texas Elites team exhibits his disappointment in the video embedded in this story.
The full statement from the City of San Angelo about the tournament cancelation:
“It was not an easy decision to make, but with positive cases of COVID-19 in Tom Green County increasing daily and our hospitalizations increasing as well, this was the right decision to make in regard to public health and safety.
“As we have seen throughout this pandemic, the situation has changed every day. Our active cases in Tom Green County increased by 218 cases in less than a week, which took our total number of active cases to 449. Our COVID-19 hospitalizations increased from 27 to 40 in the same amount of time.
“One of the primary goals with any action we take is to protect the capacity of our local hospitals and the overall health of our community.
“Although San Angelo takes great pride in offering recreational opportunities for our citizens and guests, we also take pride in providing safe and enjoyable locations for events to take place. With that said, and in light of the current circumstances, we believe canceling this tournament is necessary to protect not only our community, but the players and families who would be visiting San Angelo from across the State. It is our sincere desire that as local cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations decrease, that San Angelo can resume hosting a multitude of quality recreational events such as the Texas USSSA “Bring the Heat Baseball Tournament” which was scheduled here for this weekend.
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this decision may have caused teams planning to attend, and hope that each of you will remain safe and return to San Angelo for future recreational opportunities when our state and local COVID-19 cases have subsided.”
Bosmans responded, "Dallas still having tournaments. They are going on all over the state and we couldn’t have one here?"
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