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The World Series in Grand Junction: JUCO

June 3, 2010

2010 JUCO

The Junior College World Series (JUCO) has been hosted in Grand Junction CO for over 50 years. Each year the best of the best junior college baseball teams meet on the Western Slope of Colorado to vie for the title of World Series champion. This Memorial Day my wife, some friends, and me decided to watch one of the games.

I grew up surrounded by baseball every summer. I played YMCA baseball, and as soon as my brother was old enough he did too. My dad coached our teams and practiced late into the evening with us in our backyard. Our family went to Texas Rangers games and I idolized players like Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodrigez. Since moving out to Colorado, however, I’ve lost touch with game. I don’t go to games and I don’t watch it on TV. I saw this JUCO outing as a chance to relive some of my childhood.

The stadium is small, only holding about 8000 fans. We sat in the outfield bleachers because all the infield seats were already full. Sitting in the bleachers reminded me of hot afternoons with my dad and brother waiting for a homerun in the centerfield bleachers at The Ballpark in Arlington. The sights and sounds of baseball haven’t changed much. The green field covered with nine players, knees bent and ready for the ball to zip toward them. The pitcher sneaking a fastball past a batter. Close calls at third base that ended with one of the coaches yelling at the umpire. I even ate the quintessential baseball snack, sunflower seeds.

At the end of this week JUCO will be over. One team will be crowned champion. You probably will have never heard of the school. But for those players, this week in a small town on the Western edge of Colorado could be the proudest moment of their lives. Long live baseball.

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One Comment
  1. Johnny permalink

    Great article!! I remember those hot summer days. But it was always worth it!!

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