SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — This year’s Class A and B State Amateur Baseball Tournaments are in the final stretch with the champions being crowned on Sunday.

In this week’s Flashback Friday, KELOLAND’S Travis Fossing takes us back to 2004 when some old-timers showed they could still play ball.

“They’re all over 50 years old, but they love it and that’s what brings them back. Everybody gets a chance to bat, to play. It’s really a highlight for those guys that are beyond 50.”

“Everybody’s batting average is a lot higher now then it was 30 years ago.”

The curve still bends, but the fastball and players aren’t so fast. The leather is still the same, but the reflexes aren’t so sharp. They’ve aged, their skills have dulled, but the smiles and enthusiasm never fade. And amateur baseball will always be their game.

“We had more teams in those days. Teams have dropped out through the years, but they have, I don’t know, 50 to 60 teams in the state. They’re pumped up when they’re playing league games at home and everybody wants to qualify for the state tournament.”

Mitchell or Montrose, Rapid or Redfield, baseball is baseball, and the state amateur championships are a big deal.

“It’s something that’s part of me, and all the guys that play. They’ve had there chance to show their talents through the years, represent their cities, and it’s a big thing for the smaller cities and the big cities.”

“You have towns coming in here of 100, 200 population, and they’re taking on towns a lot larger than that, but their following is always just as good as the larger towns and they have a lot of good players in those small towns, so watch out for an exciting time.”

The Class B Quarterfinal action in the 2023 state tournament continues Friday afternoon as the Larchwood Diamonds take on the Canova Gang. The first pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.

Then at 7:30 p.m., Dell Rapids PBR will meet the Dimock/Emery Raptors. The winners of these matchups will meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.

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