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Organizers make difficult decision, cancel 2018 GFI Baseball Tournament

Baseball fans are going to need to wait another year to watch action at the GFI Baseball tournament. — Photo courtesy Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament

There’s been another casualty due to the Great Flood of 2018.

On its Facebook Page Friday, the Grand Forks International Baseball Committee said it is cancelling the 2018 Tournament due to the spring flooding that has devastated the Boundary City this spring.

“The Grand Forks International Committee is saddened to make the difficult decision to Cancel this year’s Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament scheduled for June 26-July 2, 2018,” Steve Boutang, Tournament Co-ordinator for the GFI said in the Facebook post.

“The impact of recent flooding has rendered business and accommodations damaged or destroyed, has depleted the necessary volunteer base required to operate the tournament, and has generally devastated the community to a point where it is impossible to move forward with this event for 2018.”

The GFI Baseball Tournament dates back to 1968 when Larry Seminoff and other local baseball enthusiasts held the first annual International Labor day Tournament at James Donaldson Park.

As the annual tournament grew the organizing committee was able to garner corporation sponsorship to become home to what is recognized by many as one of the best tournaments of its kind in North America.

However, the flood of 2018 was too much to overcome for the organizing committee.

With the city pulled in every direction in efforts to save homes and businesses, the volunteer base became stretched to exhaustion, forcing the committee to make the most difficult decision.

“There is too much uncertainty in the coming few months to make commitments to travelling teams or to allow us to entertain holding any kind of successful event due to these logistical challenges facing us as a whole,” Boutang said.

The Seattle-Cheney Studs scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th to walk off the Alaska Goldpanners 3-2 in the final of the 2017 GFI tournament.

The victory earned the Studs the grand prize in the money baseball tournament while the Goldpanners took home second place cash.

The organizing committee is thankful to the City of Grand Forks and Provincial departments, the RCMP, the Canadian Armed Forces and especially all the volunteers of this great community that are working around the clock to help the City rebuild.

“The City will rebound and be stronger than ever, and so will the GFI,” Boutang exclaimed. “The 37th tournament will return June 25-July 1, 2019 and we look forward to bringing you this wonderful event at that time.”

“Stay Strong Grand Forks,” Boutang adds.