GCBL Summer Kickoff Bash hosts record number of teams

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Greenville Citizens Baseball League opens season with 14th Annual Summer Kickoff Bash. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GREENVILLE – Greenville Citizens Baseball League (GCBL) kicked off the 2024 summer baseball season with the 14th Annual Summer Kickoff Bash at Sater Heights Park with a record number of teams participating.

This year’s event saw a record 48 teams taking to the local diamonds under the direction of veteran GCBL Tournament Director Keith Heidrich.

GCBL 14th Annual Summer Kickoff Bash hosts 48 teams to open summer baseball season at Stater Heights Park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“It is nice to see Sater Ballpark this busy,” said Heidrich. “This is the biggest tournament I have ever run since I have been involved down here. It’s impressive. We have had great weather, concession stand has been packed all weekend long with the Winner’s pork chops blowing out the doors. We have been very fortunate to have this great of a weekend.”

The three-day weekend tournament guaranteed participating teams three games and trophies for first and second-place finishers.

Young player gets coaching instructions at GCBL 2024 Summer Kickoff Bash to open season play at Greenville’s Sater Heights Park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Hours of work go into getting teams to Greenville to compete in local tournaments.

“They don’t come to you nowadays,” Heidrich said. “There are countless hours of being proactive and trying to recruit these teams because it’s not easy when there are tournaments all over the Great State of Ohio – but that we can still draw 48 teams in a weekend in May is awesome.”

Fourteenth Annual GCBL Summer Kickoff Bash record number of teams to Sater Heights Park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Heidrich and the GCBL board plan well in advance to make certain the weekend tournament has a full staff of the area’s finest umpires working the games.

“It is very hard,” Heidrich said of lining up officials. “We don’t use an assigning service; we haven’t for years because this way, we can control who officiates. I want good umpires down here who care about the kids. Once again, months and months of planning to ensure we can lock these guys in because as we all know, the official shortage in every sport is absolutely crazy right now.”

Young second baseman makes a play in GCBL 14th Annual Summer Kickoff Bash. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

GCBL is a community organization that promotes youth baseball opportunities for players aged three through Middle School.

The organization’s success is due to the support of the many volunteers, who dedicate countless hours to organizing our programs, maintaining and upkeep the Sater Park facility, coaching, running the concession stands, and supporting teams, players, and families.

“It was a great tournament,” said GCBL Commissioner Bent Short. “Many GCBL members volunteered to make it work, which took many hours for all involved. However, the success of this tournament and the money brought in will benefit the programs in the future. This kind of tournament would not have happened without Keith’s leadership and organization.”

Greenville hosts GCBL 14th Annual Summer Bash Kickoff at Sater Heights Park. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

​Sater Heights Park is the home of the Greenville Citizens Baseball League, the Darke County Fall Baseball League, and the Greenville High School and ACME baseball teams.

“All we’re doing here is trying to keep the tradition of great Greenville tournaments going,” Heidrich concluded. “It takes many of us to work hard to get the word out. We have had a great reputation at this tournament for all these years, and it takes a lot of volunteers to spread the word.”

The GCBL Board of Directors is comprised of eight dedicated volunteers who guide all aspects of the GCBL programs.

Commissioner: Brent Short

Brent is in charge of all the ballpark operations.

Vice Commissioner:  Matt Brinley

Matt is in charge of fundraising.

Treasurer: Erin Eberwein

Erin is in charge of the ballpark finances.

Secretary: Holly Weaver

Concession Stand Manager: Robbie Jones

Equipment Manager: 

Business Manager: Kurt Labig

Tournament Director: Keith Heidrich

Keith is in charge of all tournaments.

Board of Trustees

Jesse Brents

Adam Eberwein

Scott Holzapfel

Daniel Jones

Jim Weaver