First pitch at GFI right around corner

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
June 5th, 2017

The Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament is an event that has seen its share of major leaguers go through the event and onto bigger and better careers.

The likes of Canadian star Larry Walker, John Olerud of the Toronto Blue Jays, Scott Hatteberg and pitcher Tim Lincecum.

Later this month, June 27-July 2 at James Donaldson Park in Grand Forks, a few more future major leaguers most likely will be taking to the diamond to play in the 2017 Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament.

“Things are going well,” said tournament president Gerry Foster. “After almost a year of planning and preparations we are into the home stretch.”

A dozen teams from throughout North America will be in Boundary region to play in the event.

“There are four teams that will be here for the first time including the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, one of the most storied summer collegiate baseball teams in the United States,” Foster said.

“Also a team from Oakland, CA. Two new teams that were here last year for the first time are returning this year: From Houston, Texas, the Westchase Express as well as the San Francisco Seals.”

Other teams include Seattle Studs, Burnaby Bulldogs, West Coast Guns, Everett Merchants, Northwest Honkers, North Sound Emeralds, Kitsap Bluejackets and Okanagan Athletics.

Foster said tournament committee is extremely pleased to announce that as of 2017, the GFI has officially been designated an automatic qualifier for the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas.

The GFI winner will actually go directly to the 16 team Championship Week.

“The NBC is honored to be associated with an international baseball classic that carries a tradition and history as the GFI has,” said Kevin Jenks, NBC Congress General Manager.

“The goal of the NBC is to bring the best of the best ball players from around the world into one tournament.”

Foster saidfor the GFI being associated with arguably the most prestigious and successful amateur baseball event in America is a huge achievement and honor.

As well, the Seattle Studs Baseball and Everett Merchants have won both tournaments. The 2003 Chinese Taipei, who played in the GFI, actually won the NBC title that same year.

And the Alaska Goldpanners, who are making their first GFI appearance this year, are tied for the most ever NBC titles, winning the series six times.

For more information regarding the tournament go to the GFI website.

Categories: General