Ray Nelson baseball tournament

The Ray Nelson Memorial Tournament returns to the Hailey and Bellevue baseball fields Friday, June 10.

The Ray Nelson Memorial Baseball Tournament, Idaho’s longest-running Little League tournament, celebrates its 50th year of play June 10-11. Local baseball enthusiasts will cheer five Wood River teams ranging across 10U, 12U and 14U divisions.

The Wood River Baseball Association sponsors the tournament.

The tournament is held on Hailey and Bellevue baseball fields, with pool play dominating Friday’s opening day. The contest is all morning on Saturday, with championship games highlighting the weekend. The newest feature of the Ray Nelson is Friday’s home run derby. For those interested in competing, it’s $10 for 10 pitches and takes place at Nelson Field No. 3 at 4 p.m.

With the tournament returning to June for the first time in two years, the WRBA also reimplemented the 14U division. As a result, the tournament will feature 30 teams this year, 10 more than last year.

“We’ll have many more people in town, which is cool,” WRBA All-Star and Ray Nelson Director Brad Golub said. “We will be using every baseball field in the valley except for the Ketchum fields. The tournament’s expansion is a big deal, and we’re trying to make everything run smoothly.”

Previously known as the Wood River Baseball and Softball Association, the Wood River Baseball Association split off—allowing both baseball and softball to gain equal attention.

Wood River teams are the Desperados (14U), Outlaws (12U), Rough Riders (12U), Mustangs (10U) and Colts (10U).

“This tournament is a big deal to this valley,” Golub said. “It’s one of those events every year like Trailing of the Sheep. I hope the community comes out and supports these kids.”

The opening games on Friday begin 8 a.m. 

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