LIVERMORE -- America's pastime is bringing one of its worldwide events to a city known for its scientists and cowboys.
Livermore is one of 12 cities in the United States that was selected to host a Little League World Series Tournament for its nine divisions. With a population of more than 80,000, Livermore was picked by Little League's governing board back in August to host the inaugural Little League Intermediate 50/70 World Series tournament in the summer of 2013.
"We are thrilled to be doing this," said Dave Wetmore, District 57 district administrator for Little League's West Region and the 50/70 tournament director. "It should be fun."
District 57 serves roughly 8,000 kids, ages 4 to18 from Little Leagues in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and San Ramon, and most of the District 57 staff have been volunteering for at least 25 years, Wetmore said. District 57 is one of 31 Little League districts in the state.
The newly formed 50/70 division is for kids ages 11 to 13 and refers to the distance from home plate to the pitcher's mound (50 feet) and the distance from base to base (70 feet). It is one of eight baseball or softball divisions that Little League offers, according to Little League Baseball's website.
The 50/70 division tournament will be held from July 30 to Aug. 5 at Granada Little League's home site at Max Baer Field in Livermore. The Aug. 5 title game is scheduled to air on ESPN, Wetmore said.
Little League's oldest and most well-known division, which features 11- and 12-year-olds, has been played for the past 67 years, including the last 55 in South Williamsport, Pa.
"It was a difficult choice, since all the cities are so close in terms of what they have to offer," Stephen D. Keener, Little League Baseball and Softball's president and CEO, said in a news release. "Any of them, we are confident, would do a terrific job of hosting such a high-profile event. Ultimately, the board of directors settled on Northern California, the greater San Francisco area, Livermore and Granada Little League, as its top choice."
Chicago and Vancouver, Wash. were also considered. Livermore's selection to host the tournament next summer comes just over six months after it hosted a stage of America's biggest cycling race, Amgen's Tour of California, where thousands descended on the Tri-Valley and Livermore.
The Little League tournament is expected to be another draw for the region with eight to 10 teams from the United States and internationally to the Tri-Valley and Livermore.
Wetmore and District 57's staff are also gearing up to raise an estimated $100,000 to host the tournament that they hope will be an annual occurrence for Livermore. Seven of the other host cities have held their respective tournaments for the past 12 years.
"There are currently eight World Series, and this will make nine that is another offering for kids to be able to participate on TV and in front of the world stage," said Wetmore. "It will also be great for the Tri-Valley economy because we will get eight to 10 teams coming to the area for two weeks of baseball."
District 57 plans to increase its fundraising efforts after Thanksgiving. For more information on the tournament and ways to donate visit District 57's website at http://www.ca57.org. Officials from Granada Little League could not be reached by deadline.