featureParis Optimist baseball swings into 58th season
Paris Optimist baseball swings into 58th season

Paris Optimist baseball swings into 58th season

The Paris Optimist baseball season began on Monday, March 22, 2021, marking the club’s 58th year of providing recreational baseball to the youth of Lamar County. This season there are a total of 66 teams allowing 667 players, including the Buddy Baseball league, to enjoy playing baseball.

“We are really excited that the season was able to start on schedule this year after we had to postpone last year due to COVID-19,” said executive director Sabra Vaughan.

Opening night was highlighted by honoring Paris Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC for sponsoring the AAA baseball field for five years. Brian Richie represented Paris Chevrolet, Buick, and GMC as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch on the field.

“We are so grateful to Paris Chevrolet, Buick, GMC for this field sponsorship. We cannot provide this baseball program without our many sponsors like Paris Chevrolet, Buick, GMC. The five-year field sponsorships allow us to make larger upgrades, such as scoreboards, fencing, and bleacher covers that enhance the baseball experience for the teams and fans,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan noted that the Charles Taylor Youth Complex at Woodall Fields is owned by the Paris Optimist Club. The Club has year-round expenses to maintain the ballpark.

“I think most people think that we only have expenses during the baseball season, but the reality is that in 2020, our expenses directly related to baseball and maintaining the ballpark were over $93,000 even with the reduced spring/summer season and no fall season last year. Last year’s baseball registration revenue was less than $48,000 so the generosity of our sponsors and grantors are really needed and appreciated,” Vaughan said.

The Paris Optimist Club has several items on its baseball calendar this year. The end-of-season league championship tournaments will begin on May 8 with the league championship 2 of 3 series played May 17-19. The Club will also host a Yellow Hammer open tournament April 17-18. Postseason events to be hosted by the club are the AAA (9-10), Ozone (11-12), and Ranger (13-14) district tournaments June 18-21 and the AAA and Ozone Division 1 and Division 2 tournaments July 10-13.

“We are really excited to host so many postseason tournaments this year. These tournaments bring many people from out of town into Paris. Several teams stay in hotels and, of course, eat and shop while in town. These tournaments are not only a great way for us to showcase our baseball facility, but they are also a great way to show off our lovely city and bring additional revenue to Paris,” said Vaughan, “This year is getting off to a fantastic start, and we anticipate a great season, postseason and fall season in 2021!”

The Paris Optimist Club is an affiliate of Optimist International. Those interested in joining should contact Sabra Vaughan at ed.parisoptimist@gmail.com or 903-249-3499. For more sports and outdoor coverage, click here.

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