David Newnam knows all about the East Frankfort Kiwanis Invitational baseball tournament, having played in it twice in the late 1990s.
When last year’s tournament ended up having a lineup of three teams, the athletics/program director with the City of Frankfort Parks and Recreation Department decided it was time to get to work on this year’s event.
“EFK will be involved,” Newnam said. “This will be their 58th year running this historic event.”
The tournament, which in the past featured all-star teams from recreational leagues across the state, will have 12 teams this year in the 12-year-old age division. Two of the teams are all-star teams, and the rest are traveling squads.
The tournament will take place next weekend.
“As a kid, playing at State Stadium’s historic field and legendary stadium, it was one of a kind,” Newnam said. “I’ve played baseball all across the state, and I’ve never seen a facility as unique and historic as State Stadium.”
The tournament will have pool play on Saturday and go to single-elimination play on Sunday with games at Paul Weddle Field at State Stadium and East Frankfort Park.
The event kicks off with an opening ceremony Friday at 6 p.m., followed by a home run derby.
Games will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and the championship game is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday.
Because most traveling teams are actually organizations that have teams of different ages, there will be three other age divisions competing over the weekend.
The traditional EFK tournament will have 12 teams composed of 12-year-old players. The other age divisions competing are 8-, 10- and 14-year-olds, with the possibility of an 11-year-old division.
Those divisions will play at Capitol View Park, and each division will crown a tournament champion.
Tournament organizers are expecting six to eight teams in each division.
Working on the tournament with Newnam are Anthony Russell and Deron McDonald.
“They’ve been a huge asset,” Newnam said.
The trio is happy to help EFK continue the tournament.
“This benefits their sports scholarships,” Newnam said of the tournament. “They assist with funding for kids to participate in athletics who might not be able to otherwise.”
And after 58 years, there are plenty of people in town who have participated in the EFK tournament.
“A lot of people have played in this tournament,” Newnam said, “and they’d like to see it survive and grow.”