Tonight marks the 59th Diamond Classic Championship in boy's high school baseball in the area. At one time it was the most prestigious high school sporting event in the mid-Michigan area.

I was fortunate in 1976 to play in this great Championship game as a junior in high school. There are 2-3 different rounds to get to the championship game. Back in the day, it was a huge event.

But, don’t get me wrong, it’s still a huge event especially at the tail end of the Pandemic. Our Lansing Catholic Central Cougar team was solid my junior year. Although we were beaten by the late Len Lapka’s Waverly Warrior team. It was a memory I will never forget.

Photo Courtesy of Geoff Kimmerly and the Lansing State Journal Archive
Photo Courtesy of Geoff Kimmerly and the Lansing State Journal Archive

The Diamond Classic was something that young baseball players in the Mid-Michigan area dreamed and strived to play in. The late Lansing State Journal sportswriter Bob Gross really kept it going strong in the '70 and the early ’80s.

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The Grand Ledge Comets have dominated this tournament in the past 30 years. Grand Ledge’s retired phenom head coach Pat O’Keefe was the reason why. Pat, is regarded as one of the top-flight baseball coaches in the United States. He coached for close or over 50 years at Grand Ledge. They have won 28 Diamond Classic Championships out of 58. Unbelievable!

Oh, so tonight Grand Ledge plays DeWitt for the Diamond Classic Championship at Municipal Ballpark with a 7 PM first pitch. It should be a barnburner.

In case you were wondering how our game went when I played, we were beaten 6-2 in 1976.

Get out to the 59th Diamond Classic Championship weather permitting.

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