CWS 2023: SlumpBusters tournament bringing young ballplayers to Omaha

The Greatest Show on Dirt isn't the only one in town this weekend -- the Slumpbusters are also here to play.
Published: Jun. 16, 2023 at 5:23 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The College World Series may be the ‘Greatest Show on Dirt’ -- but it’s not the only show in town.

Baseball diamonds across the metro area are covered with teams playing a tournament of their own. This tournament brings thousands more baseball fans to the area -- many for the very first time.

They come from 35 states, including Alaska.

670 teams total -- there are Warriors and Ducks and Lightning, every team name under the Sun -- all here for the 21st annual Triple Crown Slumpbuster baseball tournament.

Alyssa Reichard and Sara Kaufman are two of a group here from Denver, Colo.

“We have our whole team and then we have a bunch of grandparents that came with us,” Alyssa said. “So, there’s about fifty of us. We’re all in the same hotel...we kind of took over.”

“The more the merrier. It’s fun,” Sara laughed.

Great Grandma Sheila Maddy even made the trip.

“It’s fun, it’s really nice to be able to do that at my age,” she said with a laugh.

Thousands of baseball fans are here at ten fields at the Council Bluffs Recreational Center.

On these fields, kids dig in at the plate...hit line drives and if they get brushed back or knocked down...they get back up and refuse to dust themselves off.

Three days of youth baseball...complete with concessions for the fans, souvenirs, spiked shoes, and commemorative shirts.

Where shade is readily available for fans, or they can bring their own without incident.

Where the swing of the bat isn’t shown across the country, but captured by moms.

“Yeah, it’s something,” Suzanne Seaton of Jackson, Tennessee said. “I didn’t think there’d be this many people we saw online there’s supposed to be ten thousand or something.”

“Well I like it,” Danny Seaton said. “I like crowds, I like ballgames. I like excitement...there’s a lot of excitement here that’s for sure.”

Jason McCoy is the Director of the Slumpbusters tournament.

He said this tournament doesn’t compete with the CWS but encompasses and adds to the entire baseball experience.

“Not only do people want to play baseball in the morning or early afternoon but they also want to go to the CWS so I think it’s a perfect marriage,” he said. “We intentionally schedule it in the morning, early afternoon that way teams have an opportunity to go to the CWS in the evening because we do know that’s a huge part of why these teams come here.”

The Seatons from Tennessee say if conflicts arise, they know which game they would attend.

“Oh, the grandson,” Danny Seaton said. “There’s no competition to that one.”

Director McCoy said dates for the 2024 Slumpbusters tournament are already posted on their website and teams are already signing up.