Members of the Centre County Baseball League are looking to put together a team to travel to York this coming Labor Day (September 5-6) for the Tom Kerrigan Memorial Baseball Tournament (formerly known as the York Colonial Baseball Tournament).
The tournament was first held in 1965. Twelve teams duked it out, and York Central took the title that first year. Over the years, the tournament grew in popularity and in size. It held steady at 32 teams through the 80s. At one point, there were as many as 48 teams in the tournament! The tournament was a major event for professional scouts before the development of all the “showcase” events held today. At one point, over 45 scouts showed up during the span of one tournament.
Many former major leaguers appeared in the tournament in their earlier days, including Jamie Moyer, Greg Gross, John Kruk, and Sid Bream to name a few. Other fans mentioned seeing former MLB standouts Dickie Noles and Johnny Briggs. In the early 1980s, Emanuel Upton (father of Melvin and Justin Upton) played for a Virginia Beach team in the tournament, and Long Island brought a team that was managed by former New York Yankee Joe Pepitone.
Other interesting facts:
- Teams from as far north as Connecticut, west to Ohio, and south to the Carolinas have traveled to the tournament.
- The Cecil County MD team has brought a team to every tournament since 1965 and will be there for the 51st time this year!
- The tournament is used to fund the Ray Gunnett Memorial Scholarship that has been awarded since 1967 to college age players of the York County Central League, which was established in 1931.
- State College used to bring a team back in the late 80s/early 90s and it is said they were very competitive.
For the past few years, the Centre County Baseball League has been trying to become a part of this tradition and has sent teams down to play in the tournament. We are looking to do it again. Please contact Devin Alterio if you are interested in playing in this long-standing tournament! The cost will be dependent upon the numbers of player who go (usually around $30-40/player).
Sounds like a great opportunity for our league. Let’s go #CCBL!
Thanks to Devin Alterio and tournament director Ed Brenner for providing history/information on this tournament.