Jackie Robinson Day Classic in Kingsport pushed to one-day Sunday event

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — All Saturday baseball games in the Jackie Robinson Day Classic in Kingsport have been postponed to Sunday, the East Tennessee USSSA said.

According to the organization, all games scheduled for Saturday at Domtar and Brickyard parks will take place on Sunday, making the tournament a one-day event. The decision was made after recent rain showers soaked the fields, making them difficult to dry out in time for the classic.

News Channel 11 spoke with Kingsport’s Assistant City Manager Michael Borders and the tournament’s Director Greg Creech, who said they decided between 9 and 10 a.m. Saturday to postpone.

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Borders told News Channel 11 that the city follows a rain protocol for the fields it operates. Criteria for that protocol include if more than 5% of the field has standing water and if significant impressions are left on the dirt when walked on.

Borders said that a clay mixture was added to the baseball fields around two weeks ago to prepare for the warm season and that recent rain combined with new clay dirt could have contributed to the slow drying.

Creech corroborated that the dirt on the fields wasn’t as compacted as it needed to be.

He said he called for the postponement as early as he could, so traveling families had a chance to pause their plans and reevaluate. He said he hoped he could start play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, but the condition of the fields did not make that a possibility.

Creech told News Channel 11 that as a result of the rescheduling, four teams dropped out of playing in the tournament. He said he faced a challenge rescheduling the teams, especially since many were coming from out of the region.

Creech said he made sure games won’t go too late Sunday, due to kids having to go to school Monday morning. He said his organization always postpones rained-out games to Sunday in cases like this, but this one was tougher due to the number of teams coming from out of town.

The Jackie Robinson Day Classic will kick off on Sunday in Kingsport.

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