The combination of Independence Day and baseball is as American as you can get, or as District 8 Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth Commissioner Chad Rainey would say, "Baseball on the Fourth of July, that's the only way we'd have it."
Youth players from around the state are gathering in Petal this weekend for the state tournament for the opportunity to advance to the regional rounds. Tony Stephens, Petal Optimist Club President, was enthused to be a part of the great American pastime.
"They come out there, it's been a tradition to play baseball on the 4th of July and we love it," Stephens said. "We've got great weather today so it's great having these guys out here."
Rainey added that they are more than honored to help kids in Mississippi play the game they love.
"You can't have a volunteer organization without volunteers. None of us get paid for these roles that we're in. We do it for the kids number one, number two for the passion of the game."