New world series dedicated to indigenous peoples
FARMINGTON — The American Amateur Baseball Congress is introducing a new world series this summer with the Jacoby Ellsbury World Series.
The series will be the first amateur baseball world series for players of indigenous background to play in the series.
"That tugs at my heart. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time," said Steve Aliva, the AABC's regional vice president for the Northwest and Canada. "The young men and women who come out of those communities, we hope we can do our part, as Jacoby said, to motivate them to get out and play America's game. Hopefully we can create a path to where more kids can play baseball so they can showcase their skills and abilities."
The series will be held July 22 through 28 in Shelton, Wash.
The AABC is currently reaching out to Native American tribes across the United States, as well as indigenous groups in Canada, to compete in the world series.
Richard Neely, the president of the AABC, which is based in Farmington, said the AABC, has been in talks with representatives for the Navajo Nation to put a team together for the series.
Ellsbury, who's entering his 11th season in Major League Baseball, is the first Native American of Navajo descent to play in the big leagues. His mother is Navajo.
"We're excited about it, and we're excited to get Jacoby's name on it," Neely said. "He was excited and thrilled. When we talked to him about it, he was honored that we would even think about him."
The tournament will include eight 12U teams. Entry into the series will be by invitation only.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.