Lansing Tournament kicks off today
With three American Legion baseball teams in the city, it's not easy for fans to see all of the local squads in action.
This weekend they'll get their chance.
The inaugural Lansing Tournament kicks off at 4 p.m. today and runs through Sunday night at Lansing High School. The Lansing Cavalry, Lansing Cubs and Lansing Reds all will be in action at the tournament in an event that coaches hope will give their sport plenty of exposure locally.
"I think it's going to give a definite boost to Lansing baseball," Cubs coach Michael Smith said. "It'll give everybody a chance to see what's out there. I've had phone calls today from people wanting to know when it starts and how much it is. They're pretty psyched about it.
"It should be fun with a lot of good competition, and the important thing is it puts a spotlight on the kids."
Cavalry coach Jake Hanson said the tournament has been in the works since late Feburary, although he said the idea of conducting a local tournament has been tossed around for a few years.
With three American Legion teams from Lansing this summer, the idea made sense.
This weekend makes sense, too, because all three teams have spent time on the road at other tournaments in recent weeks. Hanson said the home tournament would provide the teams a chance to play a lot of games without dealing with the stress of travel. Plus, he said, it would be nice to have some large home crowds.
"We haven't played in front of any real big crowds yet," he said. "So hopefully we can get a couple hundred people out there for the kids and have it be a lot of fun."
All three city teams enter the tournament playing well. The Cavalry are 14-3-1 and winners of four straight. Meanwhile, the Reds are 4-14 but have won four in a row, and the Cubs have won two of their last four games.
The tournament initially included eight teams, but one dropped out so the schedule currently is being modified. In addition to the three Lansing teams, other confirmed participants are the Bonner Braves, Tonganoxie, Basehor and the Bonner Pirates - a combination of players from Bonner Springs and Piper High Schools.