GFI baseball fever hits Grand Forks

The 2014 Grand Forks International (GFI) baseball tournament is finally upon us.

Acting mayor Gary Smith and head organizer Joan Thomas cut the cake at the GFI volunteer and sponsor appreciation night on June 24.

Batter up!! The 2014 Grand Forks International (GFI) baseball tournament is finally upon us. After months of preparation including a year off in 2013, the GFI kicked off today (Wednesday) with a 1:30 p.m. game between the Nanaimo Coalminers and the North West Honkers.

In all, there are three games today plus an ALS fundraiser exhibition game between two youth teams. Taking the field at 7 p.m. are the Grand Forks Babe Ruth Juniors and the Castlegar Warriors. The youth game is followed by the opening game for the closest team, the Trail Orioles. The Orioles face the West Coast Guns at 8 p.m.

On Tuesday, the GFI committee hosted a volunteer and sponsor appreciation evening with drinks and appetizers and a great chance to mingle and talk about the upcoming tournament and past highlights.

Organizer Joan Thomas told the Gazette earlier in the week that preparations for the GFI have gone well and the organizing committee is ready for some ball.

“Everything is looking good,” she said. “We’ve had a few changes in teams but that always happens. I was down at the park earlier and everything is looking really good. We’ve been getting lots of positive feedback around the community.”

Thursday sees five games, plus the opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. There are another five games in the round-robin portion on Friday and Saturday.

After the round robin, eight teams make it to the money round which goes Sunday with four games.

Three games are played on Monday including the championship final at 2:30 p.m.

Of course, baseball is about more than just the game. The GFI has free bingo during all 25 games. People can win some cool prizes donated by local businesses right from their seats.

There’s a family-friendly zone behind right field with shade and seating where parents can watch their children, enjoy the games and visit with their friends all at the same time.

Also for the kids are plenty of activities such as the Toss-a-Ball for ALS, Run the Bases, and meet and greet with the players.

There’s also plenty of tasty food available at the concession stands. The Hard Ball Café, located under the grandstand, has a full menu to help keep you cheering through the whole tournament. There’s also a smaller concession in the large blue building with soft drinks, ice cream, popcorn and more.

In addition, you can also find some great GFI souvenirs to help remember the good times.

Be sure to check out the GFI Hall of Fame located in the blue building where you can find photos and information about players who went on to perform in the major leagues.

Thomas said the tournament truly has something for everyone. As for picking a favourite, she is a little more reluctant to make a selection.

“It’s hard—they’re all good,” said Thomas. “This time of year they have different access to college players than we’ve seen in the past when we had it in September. It makes it really hard to predict.”

All games and events are at James Donaldson Park.

Just Posted

Grand Forks remembers the Humboldt Broncos

The community gathered at a vigil on April 12.

Thirty years and going strong: the choir looks back

The Grand Forks Choral Society is celebrating its anniversary with a spring concert.

VIDEO: Highway 3A reopened after mudslide cleared

A mudslide closed Highway 3A between Castlegar and Nelson just north of the Brilliant Dam on Wednesday.

RCMP annual report shows detachment issues, successes

Staffing shortages, travelling criminals were concerns in 2017

Medical staff weighs in on KBRH design

Changes coming to the regional emergency department.

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

Unions set for national strike against CP Rail

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Cops corral pig on the loose on Vancouver Island

Police “put the grab” on pig before it can cross the highway on Vancouver Island

Accused in B.C. school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

Decision will put hold on upcoming trial for Gabriel Klein

Most Read