Nov. 23, 2002 – Basketball is not the only game in town during the coming week: Eight 9-to-12 baseball teams started today into an extended-play tournament at Alvin McBean Complex, which will end the Friday after Thanksgiving.
The St. Thomas Baseball Explorers is hosting the annual Lionel "Smut" Richards Thanksgiving baseball tournament. Although the tournament's been going on for at least 10 years, said Michael Bute of the Explorers, this year it's being held in conjunction with the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department; funded in part through a grant from the Law Enforcement Planning Commission; and co-sponsored by Beyond Visions Foundation.
Defending champion Falcons will compete against the Twins, Lions, Archers, Marlins, Ragamuffins, Rebels and Sluggers in daily action (except for Thanksgiving Day) until the tournament champion is declared Friday. Each team has about 15 players, and thus this year's participation matches previous years, when either six or eight teams have competed.
The Explorers group is a group that pulls together players to practice together and travel to compete in stateside tournaments. With their other co-sponsors, they've been working with the young people not only in game techniques, but also with information sessions about drug awareness and violence.
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