LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - An announcement made nearly seven months ago is coming to life this week thanks to the power of social media.
The New Balance Future Stars Series National Championships kicked off Tuesday in Lake Charles.
Eric Zartler, sales director at Visit Lake Charles, said they reached out to Jeremy Booth and the team at Future Stars after they saw a post on Twitter looking for the next home for the event.
“We said we have the baseball tradition here in Lake Charles,” Zartler said. “We have the facilities here for you. We have the willingness to host you so come take a look and he was here in a week.”
Southwest Louisiana was picked from choices such as Vegas and Nashville to land the event for four years.
The tournament will utilize three fields in the Lake Area: McMurry Park in Sulphur, Legion Field, and Joe Miller Ballpark. More than 90 teams from the U.S. are participating.
“We believe that every event we run needs to leave them better than we found them,” Booth said, who is the CEO/President of Baseball Operations for NBFSS and Program 15 founder.
“So, the fact that they walked in here today, they need to leave today different than when they showed up at this ballpark. So, when we’re working with them, we’ll be here working with them, talking to them, instructing them, connecting and advancing. I feel very comfortable saying that will happen every single day that we are there.”
Over the next four weeks, the tournament and combine will showcase the best of the best on the diamond; from the Class of 2021 to the Class of 2024. The talent represents the future of baseball.
“Just to give an example of the caliber of athlete that will be here; just in the major league draft this year, there were six first-round draft picks from this tournament last year,” said Zartler. “That’s the type of caliber athlete. So, hopefully, when we watch the draft next year, we’ll have 12 of those kids that came right here through Lake Charles.”
Booth said this is not an open call event and athletes must be invited.
“The talent that we have is talent-on-talent. That’s the point of the event,” Booth said. “You have to be referred to if you are an individual. We have to see you. We’re all major league people and ex-major league people. There’s a major league all-star on this field right now as our hitting coordinator that I went to high school with. So, this is different, and it should be different. That’s what we are for.”