On Tuesday, July 13, local Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken President Mickey Houston received word from Babe Ruth State Commissioner Mario Mascaro that the state tournament for 13 year olds, scheduled to begin on July 19, was being moved from Kanab to Panguitch.

One of the reasons given was Kanab did not have two baseball fields with lights. On the first day of the tournament, six games need to be played, with some lasting as long as three hours.

Local 13-year-old coach Travis Terry informed Mascaro they could use a softball field and move the mound, but that wasn’t good enough.

A second proposal that some of the first day’s games be played at Valley High School’s new field was also shot down. Some coaches from the northern division complained they wouldn’t be able to scout the other teams if they weren’t played in the same town.

Another reason given was the state was having trouble getting Babe Ruth umpires to come to Kanab. Houston and Terry helped resolve that problem, but they still decided to move the tournament.

In an e-mail from Terry Rachiele, PSW Assistant Cal Ripken Regional Commissioner, he wrote that in the Utah Babe Ruth Bylaws, the state commissioner has the authority to award or re-designate a state tournament.

Houston was upset the tournament was being moved from Kanab, not only for the local players and parents, but also because of the economic impact. He’s had numerous complaints from business owners and other locals.

Southern Babe Ruth Assistant Commissioner Greg Excell, who lives in Panguitch, said he tried to convince them to keep the tournament in Kanab. They asked Excell if Panguitch could meet the requirements to have it there. When he could see it would probably be moved to Richfield or even up north, Excell told them he would see what he could do.

Houston solicited help from Utah State Representative Mike Noel, who lives in Kanab, to check into the situation. He’s also having the Kanab City mayor and attorney look into possible litigation for lost revenue.