1. Eight states playing in inaugural year
HOUSTON – Texas, Louisiana, Florida, California, Nevada, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are the eight states represented this year. This tournament has the potential to grow into something big. The teams are built with the best talent in their given state, as an All-Star team of sorts.
2. Hosted in Houston
The organization selected Houston as the host city for a number of reasons. For one, it provides multiple great ballparks. This year, both Reckling Park and Constellation Field are being used. Ron Eastman, head coach of Team Texas, said, “It’s a great venue with Rice and Constellation field. I’m honored to be here.”
Also, for an event with so much potential to grow, Houston is the perfect big city to allow this event to expand more and more each year.
“Houston has a lot to offer. We want to keep this event here for a long time,” founder Glen Estopinal said.
3. Pool play-style tournament
The tournament is set up in a pool play format. Texas, New Jersey, Illinois and California are in Pool A, while New York, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada are in Pool B. Clear Creek product Matthew Etzel is a fan of the tournament.
“I think it’s a great format. It definitely brings a lot of competition because every state wants to be the best and they want to compete to be the champion,” Etzel said.
A schedule of the games can be found on the event's homepage.
4. Lance Berkman is an assistant for Team Texas
Astros great Lance Berkman can be seen coaching from the dugout during Team Texas games. Berkman told Channel 2 that he enjoys the chance to be a part of the event's first year.
“I love coaching and, whenever you get to coach great players, it’s a lot of fun. I don’t really know these guys that well, don’t have any prior experience with them, but it will be fun to see what they’ve got and make adjustments on the fly," Berkman said.
5. The championship game will be at Minute Maid Park
As mentioned, the first three days of the tournament will have games at Reckling Park and Constellation Field but fans are really in for a treat on Thursday, when the championship game will be at 7 p.m. at Minute Maid Park, after the Astros game.