The 80’s and 85’s went MAJOR LEAGUE at THEE 2018 SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC June 18,19, 20.
Due to too many 80/85’s (13) and 70’s (12) THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC had to find an additional complex to carry the overflow.
AKRON FIRESTONE STADIUM despite it’s dimensions fit the bill.
Built in 1925 the STADIUM has been home to minor league baseball, NCAA Regional softball, Ohio High School state championships, Ohio fast pitch men's, industrial, church and open state championships as well as woman’s fast pitch championships.
Lately it has been home to the 16U and 18U girls state and regional championships. The AKRON RACERS of the womens professional softball league played irs home games at FIRESTONE as well as games against the US Olympic teams.
Five SPA 80’s and one 85 team played their six-game bracket in THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC bracket of the round-robin tournament at FIRESTONE
The six teams were PROHEALTH (WIS), FITTEAM (OH), SYRACUSE (NY), LOUISVILLE THUNDER (KY), CHICAGO GEEZERS (IL) and the 85-team CENTER FOR SIGHT (FL).
The current layout was perfect for the elder statesmen with the dimensions being 210 down the lines and 220 in center.
“It gives us a chance to hit home runs over the fence also,” said five ft-eight MIKE GUY of FITTEAM who hit a pair out in one game. “It was really a thrill and made the game so much more enjoyable to me and other players my age and size who can no way reach the 300-ft fences.”
Forty plus home runs were hit by the 80 group in their 27 game schedule. However, the long ball wasn’t all they liked about FIRESTONE.
“The complex was outstanding,” BILL DOEL of the GEEZERS said. “Step down below field level major league style dugouts, manicured outfield, true hops in the infield, 4,500 seating stadium, it was major league all the way.”
"I think FIRESTONE was a great idea for the 80’s,” SPA President and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “We (SPA) are going to look into it a little more as a possibility for a women's tournament with the 6’s, 65’s and 70’s playing there and the others in Barberton.”
“If we can work something out, it would be great,” he said.