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Immediate Release: [Madison, IN, June 17, 2019]. In early 2018, Madison Consolidated High School (MCHS) and Visit Madison, Inc. was awarded the opportunity to host the 2019 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBCA) North South All-Star Series. In mid-2017 a creative video invitation and incentive package was prepared by Visit Madison, and then presented to the association by the MCHS Baseball coaches, Tim Armstrong and Mike Modisett. The series takes place every summer just after school finishes, this year it will be Wednesday June 19th, through Sunday June 23rd, 2019.

Brian Abbott, IHSBCA President, expressed "The IHSBCA is very excited about bringing the 45th annual North South series to Madison, Indiana and Hanover College! Madison has long been a hotbed for baseball in Indiana with its high school and legion traditions. IHSBCA Hall of Famer Gary O'Neal has been an integral part of this organization for many years and is one of the reasons this community values our national past time.” In the series’ history, this is only the second time that it has been held at a high school field, the other being at Alvin C. Ruxer Field in Jasper, Indiana, in 1978. Typically, the series’ are held at colleges and city venues. Most importantly “we want communities that value baseball and Madison definitely fits that profile!” said Abbott.

The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association proudly serves the baseball coaches of Indiana. The members and executive council offer this service to provide coaches, parents, and students a way to see scores, polls, results, and more. The IHSBCA is in partnership with the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. Brian Abbott explains the details of the series: “The North South series features the best senior players from all over the state and is a showcase for Indiana baseball talent. Each year there is at least one member of this squad that winds up on a professional roster and/or makes an impact at the major league level. Friday night's banquet will honor each all-star and name the 2019 Indiana High School Baseball Player of the Year. Saturday's games will feature a doubleheader followed by a single game on Sunday. Sunday’s game will be played with wooden bats and each player wears their high school uniforms....this is a very nostalgic twist to the game!”

Tawana Thomas, Executive Director Visit Madison, Inc. said, “When we were approached about pulling this bid together, we didn’t hesitate to jump in! Most certainly if it has anything to do with bringing more and new visitors to town, we want to be a part of it. We’ve learned over the past year just how special this series is for the state and the honor it is for these individuals to play in. From day one, my staff and I have witnessed the passion and love our MCHS coaches have for the game and for our community. We hope to transcend the same passion we have in making our visitors feel welcome, to put on these great events outside the games themselves. We want the players and their families to leave with a memorable Madison experience, in the time they have outside of hitting homeruns.”

Hanover College, Indiana’s oldest private college, has also been a key partner in the planning of this event. Although the upcoming inclement weather has forced the annual Futures Games (formerly Junior Showcase) to be moved to the Madison Consolidated High School fields/gymnasium (Wed., June 18th at 8:00 a.m.), they have bent over backwards to assist Visit Madison and the Association in the planning of this grand event. All 50 players and 10 coaches from across the state will lodge in the dorms. Hanover’s Brown Campus will also be the host venue for the annual association banquet kicking off the series, and honoring the all-stars. Legendary Indiana University Baseball Coach, Jeff Mercer, will be the keynote speaker. He is a true Hoosier, and has much to say to these young men on their future baseball careers. This will take place on Friday, June 21st , and is a pre-registered event. Madison’s own Nick Griffith, MCHS Class of 99’, and team member of the 99’ Indiana State Championship will emcee the banquet. Griffith’s journey has taken him across the mid-west to the west, where he resides currently in Denver, Colorado as a FOX31 Sports anchor and producer.

Visit Madison and MCHS would like to encourage the community to come out to the games. The three series games will take place at the Gary O’Neal field at MCHS, 743 Clifty Drive. Admission is $5.00 per day/per person, this price includes entry access to onsite inflatables for the young, provided by T&T Inflatables. Free admittance is also given to any Madison Parks & Madison Travel Team players in uniform only, and children 5 and under. Concessions will be available. Game 1 on Saturday starts at noon, immediately following is Game 2 at approximately 3:45 p.m. Game 3, the series finale, will start at noon, Sunday June 23rd. Mayor Damon Welch will welcome the all-stars on Saturday before Game 1 begins.

On Saturday evening, June 22nd, there will be a “Meet the All-Stars” event organized by Visit Madison. It will be under a tent on the riverfront near the gazebo with all 50 players and their families. Rain or shine, the community is welcome to join in for yard games, music, meet & greets, and food trucks. Festivities are from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Brian Abbott concludes, “We look forward to celebrating the game of baseball with the good folks of Madison and the family and friends of the all-stars. This weekend is the culmination of the high school career for all; but, for many, the beginning of a new journey in the game. Pray for good weather, good memories, and lasting relationships!!"

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