East County Sports

Stars get invite for Mickey D induction

San Diego Stars founder Mickey Deutschman.

2021 SAN DIEGO STARS BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff report

LAKESIDE —- The San Diego Stars semipro baseball team announced that its summer collegiate program gained the opportunity to play at Riverfront Stadium.

No, not the old ballpark that formerly was home to the Cincinnati Reds, but the brand-new, $75 million project which opened in 2020 in Wichita, Kan., as home of the National Baseball Congress World Series.

The Stars, which placed fifth and third nationally at the World Series in 2018 and 2019, did not play in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although the World Series was held in 2021; the Santa Barbara Foresters are the reigning champions.

However, NBC officials still will welcome the Stars this summer as part of induction ceremonies to the NBC World Series Hall of Fame, including late Stars owner/manager Mickey Deutschman.

Current Stars owner Kelly Ritayik made the announcement prior to Saturday’s (July 10) Western Baseball Association doubleheader against the San Diego (Poway) Crush.

“We want to thank the National Baseball Congress for the selection of Mickey D. to the Hall of Fame,” said Ritayik. “I understand NBC was going to induct Mickey last summer, but because of the COVID situation, delayed it  a year so Mickey could attend.”

“Unfortunately for all of us, Mickey didn’t make it that long and is sorely missed by everyone.”

From August 4-14, this summer’s national event will open in Hutchinson, Kan., for the early rounds of an event that is returning to its roots as a double-elimination format. The top ballclubs then advance for the second week at the new downtown Wichita Stadium, which replaced historic Lawrence–Dumont Stadium, a minor league ballpark in use from 1934 to 2018.

On the night of August 13, the banquet honoring Deutschman and other Hall of Fame inductees is scheduled. “Mickey D.” is already a member of the National Semipro Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Evansville, Ind., back in 2014.

“Mick would’ve been proud to have been there,” added Ritayik.

Riverfront Stadium is located on the west bank of the Arkansas River. The 12,000-seat facility is home to the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge, which relocated from southern Louisiana two seasons ago. While being constructed, NBCWS games were held at Wichita State University.

Meanwhile, the Stars dropped Saturday’s twin bill to the Crush, 12-0 and 7-4.  No names were available for the Crush, including the pitcher who fired a 4-hit shutout in the run-rule shortened opener.

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