MOORE — A national high school baseball tournament in Norman is looking for volunteers to house out-of-town players June 17-22 and is holding a silent auction to fund tornado relief.
The Heartland Classic Baseball Tournament is unique to other tournaments because instead of making the players stay at hotels while they’re in Norman, area residents open their homes to let them eat and sleep there until it’s over, said Jud Foster, director of Norman Parks and Recreation and vice president of the tournament.
However, about 10 to 12 players are still in need of host families.
“Our biggest challenge continues to be finding enough housing for the players,” tourney president Sherri Rogers said. “The reason that we have found through all the years of hosting is that as families children grow-up and away from baseball, we have to find replacements. With that said though, we have a great core group of families that continue year after year to host and they really do enjoy it.”
The tournament takes all-star high school baseball players from all over the country to compete against each other, said Foster, who has let players stay at his house before. He said it’s a great experience to be able to interact with young baseball players who might go on to play professionally, and it’s also great for the players to be able to adopt a family for a few days.
“It’s a great display for local residents from Oklahoma City and Norman who want to watch high-quality baseball,” Foster said.
The tournament will take place this year at Norman High School, Norman North High School and Southmoore High School, he said. The opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. Monday at Southmoore High , followed by the games beginning at noon on Tuesday and running through Thursday. Games are free and open to the public.