The Southern Indiana District 4 leagues were moved into Central Indiana Babe Ruth Region 1, which encompasses 24 counties, including Franklin and Ripley. “I was asked to remain as the (Central) district commissioner, which I did.” This region is made up of around 45 different leagues and about 750 teams.
“Then the following year, I was asked if I would be interested in taking over as the state commissioner.” He must be appointed for each two-year term by the Ohio Valley Regional Commissioner with approval by the Babe Ruth organization. “I believe I could stay in this position as long as I want,” Blessing announces.
His responsibilities include: recruiting and retaining district commissioners; selecting and setting district and state tournament sites and dates; setting tournament contract fees; visiting and providing presentations to potential new chartered leagues; assuring and approving the required documentation for league all-star teams so they can participate in district and state tournaments; purchasing state and district tournament team and individual awards; making unscheduled visits to host sites during state tournament dates to determine if all needs are being met; attending Ohio Valley Regional State Commissioners’ meetings to report tournament outcomes, outline changes and plan for the upcoming season; and holding quarterly Central Indiana District commissioner and board meetings.
Even though it’s a lot of hard work being involved in youth baseball programs, the former Batesville league president reveals it’s very rewarding. “Just being able to see how the kids’ baseball skills and abilities change drastically from season to season. They mature from being a kid picking dandelions, chasing butterflies and running the bases the wrong way when they hit the ball in T-ball to making the Babe Ruth and/or Cal Ripken state tournament teams and then continuing their baseball career by making high school or college teams.”