EPHRATA - Ephrata will once again be the center of the youth baseball universe next Saturday as host of the Senior Babe Ruth World Series.
The series begins Aug. 5 and ends with the championship the following Saturday. Ephrata has already hosted the national sporting event three times since the Columbia Basin River Dog program began in 1994.
River Dogs Head Coach Randy Boruff said Johnson O’Brien Stadium is a popular spot for major sporting events like the Babe Ruth World Series.
“We have a great facility, a great field, some of the best practice facilities and everything is within close proximity,” said Boruff.
For Ephrata, the event goes well beyond baseball, fostering lots of economic activity in a town of about 8,000. “Last year in the eight days, we had a total of 22,000 people attending,” said Boruff. According to Boruff, the Babe Ruth World Series spurred over $200,000 in economic activity.
However, hosting a high-caliber sporting event requires help from the local community. With nine out-of-town teams visiting, the players need a place to stay for the week. That’s why local families welcome visiting players into their homes.
“There’s a few players who still need a family,” said iFIBER Customer Service Manager and Babe Ruth World Series Volunteer Board Member Heather Hein. Typically, about 40-50 volunteers are needed at the World Series doing everything from ticket taking to parking, concessions and garbage pickup.