May 25, 2019

Sports Force Parks delivers for local tourneys


By Brian Kollars,

I'm ready for my first Ohio Bike Week. I grew up in South Dakota, so I saw plenty of bikers rumbling to Sturgis and heard stories about the Hells Angels and Bandidos. I understand things are a bit more tame on Sandusky Bay. Now, about my usual parking spot in the public lot at Market and Jackson …

I spent a good part of Thursday and Friday at Sports Force Parks covering high school baseball. Tough job, right? This facility is a jewel, even if there are no grass fields. Going with turf makes sense, of course, because a little rain won’t cancel games. The complex is clean, roomy and full of amenities. Two suggestions: Add more bleachers for big games and put hot dogs on the menu. How can you not sell hot dogs at a baseball complex?

The food isn’t cheap, but the menu is pretty strong. I had a pulled pork sandwich between a pair of Division II district semifinals Thursday. Very tasty. If your kid plays baseball, softball, soccer or lacrosse, chances are you’ve been to Sports Force or will be in the near future. The only complex I’ve seen that compares to it is Grand Park north of Indianapolis, which is bigger but not as fan-friendly.

This was supposed to be a great month for the Indians. With 18 home games on the May schedule, it would be time to get down to business and show those Twins who’s the boss in the AL Central. Hasn’t happened. The Tribe is 8-8 at home this month heading into Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay. I’d recite the Indians’ batting stats but I don’t want to depress you on a holiday weekend. Oh, did you see that the Twins hit eight homers in one game the other day?

Cleveland will host the 2021 NFL Draft. That will be some kind of party on the lakefront. A few hundred thousand visitors will invade the city to drink, wear overpriced football jerseys and chant Mel Kiper’s name. Hopefully there won’t be a snowstorm. The other hope among Browns fans, of course, is that the draft won’t mean much to the locals because their team will be picking 30th or later.

The Golden State Warriors are too good. Kevin Durant? Who needs him. It’s hard to watch an entire Golden State game because the ending is predetermined. I’d rather watch Wedding Crashers for the 87th time. I know what’s going to happen, but it’s enjoyable to watch. When it’s the Warriors, I flip on the game and they’re trailing big in the third quarter. But they always win. Certainly this is one of the best dynasties in NBA history, but parity makes for better viewing.

We’ve launched a Boating & Fishing page in our Weekender Sports section. It includes a feature called “My Boat.” Real original, I know. Anyway, I need some boat owners to play ball and talk to me about their boats and allow me to snap some pics. If you’re interested, drop me a line (contact info under the scary mug shot at left). C’mon, take the plunge.

Trending up: Dick Klein, Hayden Snow, Michael Huger. Huron High School named its baseball field after two local baseball legends and WWII veterans — Dick Klein and the late Jim Campbell. Classy move to honor these fine men. Klein was the guest of honor at a Tigers game this week and shook hands with all the players. What a thrill it must have been for those teenagers to meet a man who was part of D-Day.

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