Diamond Backs host baseball tourney, Native American Day
Phoenix — The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will host the fourth annual Arizona Diamondbacks Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Invitational on Aug. 7-11.
The four-day tournament will be held at Salt River Recreation, 1880 N. Longmore in Scottsdale (the northeast corner of McDowell and Longmore roads).
The tournament is open to players ages 9 to 12 as of July 30. Players must provide proof of their age and Indian blood.
The D-Backs welcome teams from all of Arizona’s 21 Indian Tribes/Nations.
Teams must have a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 15 players, and competition is limited to 32 teams. The $175 entry fee (due by 5 p.m. on July 19) helps cover umpire, scorekeeper and award costs.
On Aug. 10, the D-Backs will hold a baseball clinic from 9 a.m.-11 a.m., with a special appearance by pitcher Miguel Batista. Participating teams will receive 20 free tickets to the Diamondbacks/Marlins game during Native American Day at Bank One Ballpark on Aug. 11.
Tournament winners and MVPs will be honored in a pre-game ceremony with third baseman Matt Williams and performances by American Indian entertainers.
Native American Day will also feature artisans’ displays and entertainment in the rotunda as well as reception for tribal leaders, with each tribe and Native American community organization receiving two free tickets.
There will be special game pricing for Native Americans. As a special treat, Arizona tribal royalty will greet fans at the gates.
The D-Backs are the only Major League Baseball team with a tradition of giving back to Native American tribal communities. Training clinics and friendship tournaments have been held in the Fort McDowell, Hualapai and Navajo Nations, as well as the Gila River and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Communities since 1999.
Joe Garagiola, Sr., of the Diamondbacks’ broadcast team, works with St. Peter’s Mission in the Gila River Indian Community. Batista, a Carib Indian from Santo Domingo, is involved in community work and studies Native American flute with acclaimed Ute musician Aaron White. Williams and his wife, Michelle, a Cherokee, are also involved in Native issues.
For information on the tournament and Native American Day, including a list of hotels with discounted rates for teams, call James Jones at 480-850-8360, or visit the Diamondbacks’ website, www.azdiamondbacks.com.