Melissa to become center of youth baseball universe
Tournaments in June and July bring world-class talent to City
MELISSA (June 8, 2021) The City of Melissa will become the center of the youth baseball universe during June and July as four major tournaments that will draw teams from throughout the US converge at the Z-Plex Texas Sports Village.
The first of these is the second annual “Academy Sports+Outdoors Pudge Rodriguez World Classic, powered by Utter Family Auto Group” with opening ceremonies set for Monday, June 14 at the Z-Plex, 4220 E. Melissa Road.
Over 30 of the nation’s top teams of players 16 years of age and under (16U) will battle for the 2021 championship trophy in the double elimination tournament. The inaugural tourney, named for and promoted by the former Texas Ranger and Hall of Fame catcher, was held in 2019 and was hailed by coaches, players, and scouts as among the best showcases for the country’s up-and-coming players. The 2021 tournament has attracted teams from throughout every region in Texas, along with teams from California, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico, the namesake’s birthplace.
The weeklong tournament opens with special opening ceremony events on Monday, June 14. A welcome banquet, sponsored by Piazza Construction, for the 400 players, coaches, and scouts, will be held under the covered tennis courts at the Z-Plex. The dinner will include a number of special ceremonial presentations and is intended for participating players and coaches.
That will be followed by a homerun derby at 7:30 p.m. to which the public is invited to watch. The dinger derby will be held in the Z-Plex’s Williams Field, its largest diamond capable of hosting major college games. Melissa High School cheerleaders and the Cardinal Marching Band will be on hand to add to the opening night’s festivities. Pudge Rodriguez will also be in attendance.
Play begins on Tuesday, June 15 and continues until the championship games on Sunday, June 20. The public is invited to attend games throughout the week and join pro and college scouts in the stands who will be there to catch glimpses of some of the top players in this age bracket. While most games will be played at the Z-Plex, some games may be held at Melissa’s Zadow Park, 3001 McKinney St.
The list of sponsors includes Academy Sports+Outdoors, Utter Family Auto Group, Piazza Construction, City of Melissa, Melissa ISD, D-BAT Melissa, TCS Baseball, Vista Physical Therapy, The DougOut Sports Grill, Five Tool Baseball, Baird Financial & Scott Birmingham, Symmetry Turf, AstroTurf, Skyler Ammons-The Brooks Team, Pacheco Koch, Redden Concrete, HIdden Grove RV Community Resort, West Construction, Birmingham Insurance Group, Red Bed Turfgrass, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Z Group, Palio’s, Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, Sugar Babes, and Blue Ridge Riding Club.
The Pudge Rodriguez 16U tournament will be closely followed by the Alex Bregman World Series for the 15U category from June 22 to 26 at the Z-Plex. Then, a return of the AABC Don Mattingly World Series in the 17U category will occur from July 6 to 10, again at the Z-Plex. The summer high-level baseball youth season will conclude with the Five Tool Youth 13U-14U World Series at the Z-Plex from July 15-18.