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FARMINGTON — Three people were inducted into the Connie Mack World Series Hall of Fame during the tournament’s opening ceremony tonight at Ricketts Park.

The new members of the Hall of Fame, who were inducted at the 52nd anniversary of the tournament, were East Cobb Yankees coach James Beavers, Midland Redskins coach Dave Evans and former Major League Baseball player Dave Parker.

Beavers and Evans gave speeches near the pitcher’s mound on the field. Parker appeared in a pre-recorded video played on the left field video screen.

According to biographies provided to The Daily Times, Beavers started working as a coach with the Chastain Yankees in 1979.

In 1990, the team's name changed to the East Cobb Yankees, and Beavers helped the team win seven CMWS titles and several championships in other leagues.

During his speech, Beavers said he and his wife, René Beavers, never had kids of their own, so the Yankee players have been like children to them. He joked that now he is a grandfather, since he is coaching the son of a former player. He also had praise for his wife.

“She has been right there with me, all the hours at the ballpark, and she does everything to encourage me and support me,” he said.

Evans has been a part of the Midland program for more than 29 years and joined the Redskins coaching staff in 1990, according to his biography. Seventy-five former Midland players have played for a Major League Baseball team, and 517 alums have played NCAA Division I baseball.

Evans thanked his family, former players and coaches, and those who have supported the Midland program during his speech.

“It’s about the 22 guys that come out here and get treated like big leaguers,” Evans said while talking about what is important about the Connie Mack World Series.

According to his biography, Parker was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round of the 1970 amateur draft and made his MLB debut in 1973. He was selected as the National League MVP in 1978 and was selected seven times for the MLB All-Star Game.

Parker opened his video by congratulating the Connie Mack World Series on its 52th anniversary and said the tournament was stepping stone for him to play major-league baseball.

Following the Hall of Fame induction, the 12 teams participating in the CMWS were introduced, followed by the six teams participating in the 9U Jackie Robinson World Series.

Before the fireworks were set off and the teams left the field, parade marshal Paul Almquist threw the ceremonial first pitch.

Almquist was part of the local committee that journeyed to Chicago to convince American Amateur Baseball Congress officials to move the CMWS to Farmington more than 50 years ago.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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