KEARNS — The fourth annual Gates Field World Series is returning to Kearns High School for five straight days.
The tournament is comprised of seven upper-echelon amateur teams from five different states, including the Utah Marshalls and Utah Bucks. Tournament action begins Saturday and concludes Wednesday, July 10 when the top two seeds square off in the championship game.
“There’s tournaments in this country for amateur baseball players that will encompass 30 to 50 teams, and we thought that basically all that does is bring a bunch of mediocrity to a tournament,” Gates Field World Series director Chad Shepherd said. “When we set out to do the Gates Field World Series four years ago it was, ‘We want all top 10 teams in the country to play in this thing.’”
The tournament format strictly follows American Major League rules, meaning designated hitters are admitted for pitchers only and only one re-entry is provided for starters.
Between the 2012 champions, So Cal Renegades (Calif.), as well as Chaffey Baseball (Wash.), Danville Hoots (Calif.), Cherry Creek (Colo.), Austin Wings (Texas) and the two Utah programs, many of the top high school recruits will be on display.
"You could argue that it’s seven of the best 15 teams in the country. The idea is for every game to be big-time,” Shepherd said. “I would imagine that from guys either going to college next year, between the seven teams, I bet there are 80 Division I signees or players in that group. There’s probably 20 draft guys. It’s about being an ultra-competitive, ultra-talented tournament.”
Rosters are collected primarily from the region the teams are located in, but also feature players from various states.
“We have, I believe, 21 guys from out of state in between our two programs,” Shepherd explained. “Then the So Cal Renegades — they have a guy from Florida. All the teams are basically conglomerate teams from where they’re from for the most part, but every team has guys from just outside their area.”