Brandon to host baseball tourney

BRANDON — On the weekend of July 20, 21 and 22 all-star baseball comes to Brandon for the second annual Marble Valley All Star Jamboree and Home Run Derby.
Teams from New York and Vermont will descend on Neshobe Field to vie for the tournament championship as well as try their skills at the long ball in the Home Run Derby. The Marble Valley All Stars, a local team representing Brandon and the area, consists of some of the best local 11- and 12-year-old Majors baseball players.
Among them are Cole Warren and Carter Paquette of Shoreham, Tim Whitney Jr. and Jacob Kemp of Cornwall, Owen Thomas of Whiting, Carson Babbie and Joe Buxton of Orwell and Tre Lee of Benson. The Brandon players are Isaac Whitney, Drew Pelkey, Logan Letourneau, Gavin Disorda and Gavin Roberts.
Manager Duke Whitney is in his fourth year of organizing the team, and the second year of hosting this event.
“I grew up playing baseball all summer. When Little League All Stars ended in early July it was family games weekly at Jack Brown Field in East Middlebury,” Whitney said. “It always turned into pick-up games with the neighborhood kids and even parents. I loved playing ball and there is not much opportunity for kids to enjoy what I enjoyed in my youth.”
Baseball players from the Middlebury area do get a chance to earn a spot on the Addison County All Star teams, but players from Leicester south compete in the Rutland County league, which is not sanctioned and has no summer baseball.
The home run derby has grown very popular with the local youth baseballers plus adult softballers, American Legion baseball players and Babe Ruth players and anyone who just wants to have fun. It is open to everyone with age divisions 8-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-17, and 18 and up. There is also a pitching station with a radar-gun, so participants can see how fast or slow they throw. The rules are very simple, participants must use an old “Little League Approved” or the new USA “Little League” bat. They must supply their own pitcher and get 15 swings. Baseballs are provided at the field and bats will be on hand as well.
The official date of the Home Run Derby is Saturday, July 21, with division start times of, 8-9-year-olds and 10-12-year-olds all day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; 13-15-year-old division is 11 a.m.-12 noon; 16-17-year-old division is 12 noon-1 p.m., and 18-up division is 1-2 p.m.
The cost of the Home Run Derby is $5 per entry and you can enter as many times as you like. Participants of any age division can get a jump on the derby by taking swings on Friday, July 20, from 5-8 p.m. Trophies to each division winner will be awarded at the final of each division time on Saturday.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and ending mid-day Sunday, tournament games will be played at the same location as the Home Run Derby — 17 Neshobe Circle in Brandon.
“We hope people will come out and enjoy the weekend of baseball, great food from the concession stand, and relax with America’s greatest pastime,” Whitney said.
People can stay updated on weather, standings etc. on the Facebook page for “Marble Valley Baseball Jamboree” or by emailing Duke Whitney at [email protected].

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