Thunder Bay

Volunteers, spectators needed for U-18 Baseball World Cup, organizers say

'This is a real unique opportunity for us to shine on an international stage,' said the executive director of the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association.

'This is a real unique opportunity for us to shine on an international stage'

Warren Philp is the executive director of the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association. The association hopes that volunteers who helped with the Staal Open will chip in to help make the U-18 Baseball World Cup a success, he said. (Heather Kitching/CBC)

Officials in charge of hosting the U-18 Baseball World Cup in Thunder Bay are putting out a call for volunteers for the event and urging the public to buy tickets.

Now that the Staal Open is over, organizers are hoping that volunteers from that event will sign up to help with the cup, said Warren Philp, the executive director of the Thunder Bay International Baseball Association.  

They're also reaching out to students in need of volunteer experience and anyone else who'd like to take part in the event.

The event could use about 200 more volunteers, Philp said.

In addition, the baseball association is encouraging people to make plans to get out to the games, which take place Sept. 1-10 at Baseball Central and Port Arthur Stadium.

"This is a real unique opportunity for us to shine on an international stage, and people sitting in the seats at Port Arthur Stadium for not only Team Canada games but for the other games, people should pay attention to that too," Philp said.

The tournament will feature teams from nine of the top 10-ranked countries in the world, he said.

Tickets range from $10 to $25 for adults.

On Thursday, officials from the city and the baseball association raised the flag of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) outside City Hall.

The event coincided with a site visit by members of the confederation.

WBSC executive director Michael Schmidt told CBC at the flag-raising that the championship has evolved since Thunder Bay last hosted it seven years ago.

"We have definitely also more exposure worldwide, bringing our event into more countries ... more contracts with broadcasting stations, et cetera, so it got more professional," Schmidt said.

Baseball is also back in the Olympics after a near-ten-year absence, he added.

That means some of the players competing in the Thunder Bay event will go on to become Olympians.
 

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