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Our Opinion: Diamond dominance

July 19, 2001

We're in the middle of another summer, and Imperial Valley teams are again dominating regional baseball and softball tournaments. Such has become the case in recent years, with the Valley squads performing better and better each year.

For various reasons, Valley teams often have difficulty competing with teams from more metropolitan Southern California areas in football and basketball, sports in which player size and speed are huge factors. But in baseball and softball, skill, poise and grit are at a premium. And because our young people have plenty of all those traits, they go to regional tournaments elsewhere in Southern California and beyond and often put whippings on the metro-based squads.

Southern California is the baseball and softball hot spot of the nation, if not the world. Yet teams from our little Valley consistently win big regional tourneys.

Competing in the "heat" of coastal California is something of a joke for our desert-hardened teens. Two games on an 85-degree day? That is a breeze for our kids, who practice daily this time of year in weather well above 100 degrees.

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And when other teams come here during the summer, our squads are at an even greater advantage. Teams from more temperate climates have been known to wilt in our summer. Welcome to our oven.

The Valley will be hosting some major baseball and softball tournaments in coming weeks. We urge you to go out and watch the games. It is healthy, wholesome entertainment and top-level play. Future stars abound in such tournaments.

We hope our relatively mild recent temperatures, particularly at night, continue as we cordially host visitors from other areas. We do, however, hope it doesn't cool enough to take away the advantage our youths have in playing in the heat to which they are accustomed.

Some of our teams likely will be winning these and other tournaments and going on to bigger events in faraway places. They will need money to go to those places and may be soliciting donations.

We think sending groups of our healthy and achieving youths to other locales to represent the Imperial Valley and beat the pants off teams — or hosting other teams to do the same — is a worthy cause and one we should all support.

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