- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

ENID, Okla. (AP) - Baseball might be becoming Enid’s No. 1 business.

Is there any other attraction in Enid that has brought in crowds like the Great American Conference, the Region 2 Championships, the Class 6A state tournament and Division II National Junior College World Series in May?

Not to mention a Connie Mack Regional qualifier, state tournament and National Regional at David Allen Memorial Ballpark this summer, the Enid News & Eagle (https://bit.ly/1HywWlM ) reported.

Who says there’s no interest in baseball anymore?

The 6A tournament was held at David Allen for the first time this month. Like the junior college World Series, the 6A tournament appears to be a perfect fit for Enid.

Enid is between the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas, which produced most of the teams.

Owasso and Westmoore, which played for the championship, had to go about an equal distance to play.

Both Ram and Jaguar fans seemed to have fun, which is made easier by the ballpark having a message board.

Those who ran the weenie races on the board said the fans got into it. That’s not an opportunity they have at their own ballparks. Everybody stood up when “Oklahoma” was played instead of the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for the seventh inning stretch.

Enid is a 6A town. Baseball fans here know about the teams because they probably have seen them at some time against the Plainsmen. People may identify even more with the high school teams than the junior colleges.

Westmoore had been a regular visitor to David Allen. Owasso coaches Larry Turner and Brent McConnell were well known here from their days at Phillips University.

Now consider the attraction of David Allen to the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, which unlike the junior college tournament, has to schedule its events around other school events.

Thanks to the turf infield at David Allen, the tournament was finished in three days. Contrast that with the Class A and B tournaments which had delay after delay before finishing on a Monday and a Tuesday.

No one should have to play a semifinal and a final on the same day at a state tournament. Especially if they had to go from a second site as the Class A and B finalists had to do.

Both Turner and Westmoore coach Jared Freeman expressed how much they enjoyed playing here and hoped the tournament would come back.

If the tournament ever got set way back, Failing Field is an option.

David Allen might not have the prestige of playing on a professional field such as Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark or ONEOK Field in Tulsa, one can understand that. Everyone wants to play on the same field as a professional player.

But 3,000-seat David Allen was the right fit crowd-wise for the finals. It was a near-capacity crowd, which added to the atmosphere.

The crowds were enthusiastic and loud. That might not be as evident as if there were 3,000 fans in a 10,000-seat stadium.

Everyone was on top of the action at David Allen. There was enough cover for people to run to when there was rain.

It was a lot easier for the Owasso fans to come on the field to celebrate at David Allen than ONEOK Field or Bricktown.

There are plenty of media facilities at David Allen to handle the coverage.

OSSAA officials said they knew Bill Mayberry, who runs things at David Allen, would do a good job. Let’s hope they give him another opportunity to do so.

And maybe extend that to Class A and B fall tournaments.


Information from: Enid News & Eagle, https://www.enidnews.com

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