Baseball Classic largest of its kind

Erika Gilbert, National Post · Friday, Jun. 25, 2010

The first pitches in what organizers say is Ontario's biggest non-national baseball tournament will be thrown today, as the Green and Gold Classic Tournament Series kicks off in Richmond Hill.

Around 800 youth baseball players and 3,000 spectators are expected to attend the event, consisting of four tournaments over two weekends, said Dan Giantsopoulos, one of the event's co-organizers and a director of the Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club.

The tournament will be held at the Richmond Green Baseball Facility. Giantsopoulos said that has been a significant draw for teams and spectators, since most baseball tournaments require teams to travel between games.

The Richmond Green complex will also host baseball at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Giantsopoulos hopes the venue will leave an impression on the young players.

"We hope that they will see baseball as more than just a recreational sport, but something where they can aspire to become as good as they possibly can."

Giantsopoulos said the tournament, which involves 11-and 15-year-old players this weekend and 13-and 17-year-olds in July, is also the "biggest baseball experience" of any regular tournament in Ontario. Not only does it have the most participants, it also involves professional catering and other activities throughout the day.

"We've got the Toronto Raptor coming out, we've got the Toronto Raptors dancers coming out," Giantsopoulos said. "Joe Tilley from CTV is going to be there. Jay Onrait from TSN is going to be there. We're trying to make this as big of an event as possible to promote baseball in Ontario, amateur sport, and children's athletics."

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