1. Catch the games
The 70th edition of the Newton Mexican American Softball Tournament hosted by the Newton Mexican American Athletic Club will be as big as ever — 16 teams from multiple states will play on three diamonds over the course of two days.
The KC Indios, always one of the top teams of the tournament, will be on the diamond. Also in the filed will be Newton Los Vielos, NMAAC (which recently won a tournament in Hutchinson), Weezers, Pryor Electric, the Emporia Black Sox, KC Eagles, Salina Bonillas, KC Bravos, Team Topeka, PuebloDILLAF, KC Locos, Wichita Basic Brown and the San Antonio Glowworms.
Games begin at 9 a.m. July 7 with the finals set for Sunday afternoon in Athletic Park.
The evening of July 6 there will be hall of fame inductions, an oldtimers game and open ceremonies in Athletic Park.
2. Grab some food
Remember Chuck's Familia restaurant? They are back — for three days. Chuck's will be in the 4-H Building in the Harvey County Fairgrounds next to the softball diamond in Athletic Park. The menu will include Chuck's Special, burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and cheese dip with chips. The will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. July 6, 9 a.m to 6 p.m. July 7 and 10 a.m. until sellout on July 8.
3. Learn some history
The authors of “Mexican American Baseball in Kansas City,” will conduct a panel discussion at 7 p.m. July 5 at Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak. This program is part of the 70th year celebration of the Newton Annual Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. Panelists include Genovevo Teodoro (Gene T.) Chavez Ortiz, Richard Santillan, Ramon Del Castillo, Raymond Olais and Rod Martinez.
Following labor opportunities, Mexican immigrants proliferated in the region in the first decade of the 20th century. Eventually, they and their offspring settled in countless communities, including Kansas City, Topeka, Newton, Chanute, Emporia, Wellington, Wichita, Dodge City and Garden City, and had extended family networks in Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Iowa. Baseball and softball in their own unique ways confronted discrimination and promoted the spirit for social equality.
The discussion will center on the role of baseball in development of Mexican American (Chicano) community identity and solidarity. This program is free and open to the public. A book signing follows the program.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: Events start today
WHERE: Ceremonies and games at Athletic Park. Games will also be played at Washington Park and Centennial Park. Visit thekansan.com for a bracket.