Adult softball strikes out

Triple Crown cutting tournaments from business mix

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— After 26 years, Triple Crown Sports is calling it quits on the sport that sustained the company through its earliest years. This year will be the last for adult slow-pitch softball.

Adult softball tournaments dominated Triple Crown's schedule during the company's first years in Steamboat Springs, and softball players gave the company a cooler-toting, bar-brawling, late-night-partying image that still persists in the minds of many Triple Crown opponents. In reality, adult softball has been drawn down to just one weekend of Triple Crown's youth-dominated, 10-week schedule in Steamboat each summer. This year's slow-pitch tournament is scheduled for July 4 to 6.

"Demographics show a diminishing population of competitive slow-pitch players," an announcement on Triple Crown's Web site reads. "The economy shows that the average American has less discretionary income to spend on recreation. The job market is more demanding and competitive than ever, and 'time off for softball' is not as easy to come by as in past years."

As the city's relationship with Triple Crown has come to a new head and officials work to craft long- and short-term arrangements with a company that also is courting offers elsewhere, opinions are mixed about whether Triple Crown's decision will make a difference in the eyes of its detractors.

"The stereotype they've put to it is the partying middle-aged guy who's away from his family," Steamboat resident Paul Knowles said. "Now it's pretty much all family-oriented kids."

Knowles has participated in the softball tournaments for several years. He is sad to see the event go. Although he hopes the loss of adult softball will change the minds of some Triple Crown opponents, he thinks the sport's reputation is undeserved.

"The ones we've met, they're great people," Knowles said about other softball players.

Furthermore, Knowles said he thinks it is these people who make it possible for him to live in Steamboat in the first place.

"I think it's easy to lose sight of the fact that this town is one that's driven by these events," Knowles said. "If this was still a cow town, most of us would not be here. I totally understand there are some downsides of Triple Crown. I totally don't deny that. But it's what we're based on."

Triple Crown opponent Michael Turner said Triple Crown's decision makes no difference in his mind. Whether its partying adults or rambunctious children, Triple Crown groups are the only tourists who have driven him to the point of calling the police.

"From an overall standpoint, I don't see a difference," Turner said. "The problems that we have had have not been isolated to the adult groups or the kid groups. It's not a matter of whether it's the kids or adults, it's the groups in general."

Steamboat Resorts President Bob Milne said Triple Crown participants have not caused any damage to the properties his company manages. He thinks Triple Crown's decision to cut adult softball will mean little.

"They've been slowly filtering down the number of adult tournaments so it's not going to be a huge change," Milne said.

Milne said even the small number of adult softball players who participate in the remaining tournament are different from those of earlier years because they take the game more seriously.

"It was definitely different," Milne said about past adult Triple Crown participants. It was like anything that evolves. It was more of the beers and coolers and adults that weren't here to play any kind of competitive softball. They were here to party. All they were spending money on was beer, and they were barbecuing every chance they got. : I can remember going down and watching some of those games and laughing."

Sandy Evans Hall, executive vice president of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said the party perception of Triple Crown has been a fallacy for years and that the city urged Triple Crown to move toward children as long as 15 years ago.

"It has not been real for a long time," she said. "I think it's important that people realize that. We've got to change that perception."

Evans Hall said Triple Crown's decision will only make a big difference if it puts this perception to rest.

"It's not going to be a huge difference," she said. "Going from one to none is not a huge jump, but if people are still under the impression that this is all adults, now it's all youth, and that is a huge jump."

Bob and Audrey Enever have had their share of Triple Crown concerns throughout the years. Currently, the couple opposes a Triple Crown proposal to use Emerald Park fields adjacent to the Yampa River Botanic Park, which they donated to the city and remain involved with. Years ago, when they managed condominiums in the mountain area, Audrey Enever said they had to deal with Triple Crown softball players who would pour beer in hot tubs and do other "horrible things." She said the move to youth events has been a good one, "so we don't have these party-type things going on at night that upset everyone," and she is surprised that some still complain about similar issues.

When it comes to the current decisions being made about Triple Crown, Audrey Enever said she hopes the city can reach a compromise that reduces the number of people the company brings to Steamboat each summer.

"We reached a compromise with them once before," Enever said. "I thought that worked quite well."

Comments

MtnWarlock 5 years, 11 months ago

Well, I guess on a more optimistic thought, we will have to wait and see if this remedies some the troubles! The overtones of recession are still in the loom and you never know the income figures until they come in. I'm sure we can depend on the police blotter to keep us informed! LOL! Have a good day!

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 11 months ago

Mike turner parallels my grandpa. After having raised 6 kids, he has gotten crotchity; the new children in the neighborhood drive him nuts by playing sports on the side streets. I think it comes with old age, and we need to recognize that when we get too old to deal with society, we should retire to the old folks home, where there is plenty of peace and quite and meds.

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addlip2U 5 years, 11 months ago

That is a good start..... by not having the adult softball players.

Now, how soon can we get rid of the "all family oriented" aka polluting cars with trailers, rambunctious children and their drunken parents Triple Crowners?

Mr. Turner is absolutely correct. If you have not experienced what he has, you would never know how your life is disrupted for the 10 weeks of summer.

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justathought 5 years, 11 months ago

Now I understand, "All they were spending money on was beer, and they were barbecuing every chance they got. :" it's not the tourists, it's the class of the tourists! Softball is seen as a "poor" mans sport, not the high class sport of skiing that attracts the "ritzy" tourists. Need to keep the poor folks out to accommodate the affluent (spending) tourist. I'm 100% for not letting TC tie up every ball field in town, something needs to be available to the locals, but to run them out of town because they can't afford more than beer and barbecues is absurd. Most of these people are hard working, tax paying, just trying to get by families that spend what money they can afford getting their kids to wherever TC is held. I've had experiences with TC people that made me want to say thank you, please don't ever come back but that happens with almost any "crowd". I've had to plan my shopping and dining out for weekends in Craig to get away from the rude, I'm entitled because I'm spending money so the locals must kiss my azz skiers; but they are spending lots of money so you're willing to put up with them. Don't agree to build more fields at taxpayer expense and don't give up emerald field, but think twice before you try to run anyone out of town. Many of you whine about 3 jobs to be able to live in stmbt, maybe these people work 3 jobs to be able to get their kids to a TC event. I'm sure if you live in stmbt that you've never been rude or obnoxious in your lifetime, especially while vacationing in another town. In your lifetime you probably never attended events and partied in someone else's town but if you had and you are a working man, how much money do you think you would have been able to throw around in a town with the cost of living like stmbt? Same old NIMBY attitude. Triple Crowner's, I apologize, I used to wish you were gone too but I guess you really don't get too old to change.

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ekruoro52 5 years, 11 months ago

Softball is a great summer sport,too bad it always ends up a drunkfest.

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housepoor 5 years, 11 months ago

You would think anyone who would buy a house on the railroad tracks would be able to handle a few middle class families driving by on the way to a baseball game(sounds pretty mom & apple pie to me) for a few weeks during the summer??? I think Mike Turner needs a hobby.....maybe he should take up umpiring.............he could walk to work and teach proper behavior to the feral Triple Crown kids from behind the plate!!!!.......I'm sure his kids were always exceptionally well behaved like the rest of our local children.

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SilverSpoon 5 years, 11 months ago

The pot calling the kettle black. Ever been to a "local" league? I bet the OTP and Mohogany and the TIC teams are always sober as clams! Or is it drunkin' clams? What about the hockey league? Steamboat has its fair share of citizens who hang up their mtn. bikes for a day, and take a crack at the oversized slow moving ball, and probably celebrate successes by dancing on picnic tables with a beer in each hand.

At the country club, golfers are always on their best behavior, right? Nope, they get absolutely tanked on the course, then go with their 4some to Slope Side and drop a couple hundred bucks, getting more wasted. But that is where the double standard begins, we'd rather have drunks who spend tons of money, than families who BBQ burgers and drink cans of MGD. I hate the stereo typing, because it can only be 50% accurate, 20% of the time.

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Dukebets 5 years, 11 months ago

Beer in the hottub.................Call the cops!!!!!!!!!!!! Middle age guys having a few beers during the summer, or ski bums and their girlfriends dumping other things in the tubs during the winter. A little alcohol is easier to clean up than the loads and puke.

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Mountainfun31 5 years, 11 months ago

Dukebets, Have you ever heard of a thesis ? I dont think anything of what you said above makes sense or actully flows togeather to mean much of anything !!!!!

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dave reynolds 5 years, 11 months ago

just a thought..TC only adds to the rude and "im entitled group we have here....thier are plenty of them here in Steamboat just read the whining about the way ski season went this year thats just one example and for that matter the number of folks who want TC out

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Dukebets 5 years, 11 months ago

Mountain - With the exceptional grammar and spelling skills you have represented, I can understand your lack of understanding to my comments.

My attempt at humor could easily be misunderstood...........I was basically pointing out that Stmbt. is a resort town that is highly dependent on tourism. The skiers that hang out, smoke dope, snort everything under the sun and drink like fish are welcomed throughout the winter months. A few softball players over a couple of weekends get bashed for their very presence.

That would be like the Colorado Lottery Commission being against gamblers.

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