Play ball! Governor’s Cup returning to city this weekend|[7/28/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 28, 2005

Like shorter days, migrating birds and back-to-school sales, another sign of the end of summer comes this weekend.

The Governor’s Cup, one of the largest youth baseball tournaments in Mississippi, returns to the city on Friday for the 10th year. The tournament, which features more than 60 teams in 10 age groups, begins Friday night at 6 at Halls Ferry Park.

The 7-, 9-, 11- and 14-year-olds’ age groups will compete this weekend, the first of two for the tournament. It will conclude next weekend with games in the 5-and-6, 8-, 10-, 12, 13- and 16-and-under groups.

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Twenty-three teams from Mississippi and Louisiana are set to play Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday, and as many as 48 are expected for the second weekend.

“The first weekend is always a little slow. The second weekend is always the bigger one, and right now we’ve got about 70 teams entered,” said Darrell Evans, president of the Vicksburg Baseball Association and Governor’s Cup tournament director.

The tournament will bring about 1,000 people to Halls Ferry Park, although the city’s hotels won’t house all of them. Lynn Foley, director of sales and marketing for Fairfield Inn, La Quinta Inn and Motel 6 in Vicksburg, said while she expected large occupancy rates around the city, her hotels only had about 35 rooms booked by tournament families this weekend. About 56 are booked for next weekend.

“A lot of teams are within a close enough proximity that they’re driving back-and-forth,” Foley said.

The Governor’s Cup was started by former Gov. Kirk Fordice as a tool to promote physical fitness in Mississippi. After three unsuccessful years in Madison, it was moved to Vicksburg and began to grow.

Although the name is the only connection to the original tournament, Fordice’s vision has become a reality. The number of teams participating has doubled since it moved to Vicksburg.


The Governor’s Cup youth baseball tournament at Halls Ferry Park begins at 6 Friday night, 8 Saturday morning and 9 Sunday morning. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children.