Little leagues set to make large impact on southwest Virginia

Local

ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL/ABC Tri-Cities) – Little League Baseball players from across Virginia will chase their dreams of a state championship right here in our region.

Abingdon will host the 2019 Virginia Little League Major State Championship in July.

The town of Abingdon has now added another bragging right to its list.

“This big tournament comes around once every 16 years to each district and in each district, there are several leagues,” Abingdon Little League President, Steve Puckett said. “Back in 2010, we were able to host the 9-10 division. This will be the major division which is the 11/12 age range that ends up on ESPN as they get to Williamsport for the International Tournament.”

There will between 1,000 and 2,000 people in the area over a five-day period.

Puckett said, “A lot of people will be coming into town. We’re talking about 16 teams competing. Each of those teams have roughly about 13 players, coaches.”

It is the perfect fit for what some consider a town that treasures family time.

“Different businesses are staying open later but then also that night is our last night for our summer concert series, ‘Thursday Night Jams’, and we’re hoping that they will head on over there and enjoy some music and great family time,” Abingdon Main Street executive director, Carrie Baxter said.

Baxter explained this event is another reason to show off what the town has to offer.

“The little league group will be hosting a dinner but once that’s over, we’re going to be welcoming them downtown, hoping they will come out and shop with us, Baxter said. “Hopefully they can come back and stay with us longer, but for the town of course it’s great extra revenue.”

A little league mom herself, Baxter said this opportunity could not have come at a more perfect time.

Baxter said, “To cheer on the kids from our town that we all know, and have watched grow up and watch them improve over the years, and just to get to see them compete against other baseball players. It’s very exciting and it means a lot.”

The Abingdon Little League will be part of the district tournament starting Friday, June 28. It will be known then if the team will be representing the town and compete to be Virginia State Champions on their home field, in July.

If they take the title, they will be heading to Georgia to compete in the Southeast region, with a shot to go to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

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