28th Art Von Memorial Baseball Tournament welcomes largest field ever

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Those driving down Jean Duluth Road or Riley Road this weekend shouldn’t be surpirsed to see a packed Lake Park Athletic Complex.

Duluth 709 Baseball’s Art Von Memorial Tournament began Friday, and in it’s 28 years this one is their biggest ever.

“This tournament keeps evolving into something much more broad and much more big than we ever expected,” tournament director Seth Marsolek said. “It’s really a celebration of what it’s become here to be a Northland baseball player.” Marsolek added, “it’s incredibly rewarding, gets me up every morning.”

64 9U to 14U teams from Fargo to Wisconsin, and all the way from Thunder Bay, will battle through 149 games across three days. There will also be home run derbys, pancake breakfasts Saturday and Sunday, and plenty of summer baseball fun.

“It’s been great. I’ve had a lot of fun playing baseball even though I’ve only played one game so far,” said Jackson Benfield playing for Duluth 709. “It doesn’t matter if you win or loose as long as you play your best.”

A lot is needed behind the scenes in order to make the tournament possible, including large numbers of volunteers and 37 umpires. Tune-in to WDIO Saturday evening to hear their story.