Lacie Lowry, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Baseball returned to the old Drillers Stadium Wednesday night.
It's been a long seventh inning stretch since the Drillers moved to OneOK Field, but that changed with the start of a new teenage league.
"It's just unbelievable, it's a dream come true. I never thought that this would happen and it has and I'm loving it," Colton Strickland said.
The players are much younger this time around, ranging from 14 to 19 years old. They come from all over Green Country to use the ballpark as a training and tournament facility.
"I think anybody that plays baseball and wants to become good at it, wants to play here," Strickland said.
RBI Baseball runs things at the stadium.
"We are one of the only facilities in the nation that has a program with kids that play on a field like this that don't have to rent it out on a weekly basis," Jason Arrowood, with RBI Baseball, said. "We kind of control our own destiny."
RBI feels that the more exposure this field gives the kids, the more the players benefit as well as all of Tulsa.
"They can draw more teams in for Tulsa, more revenue and it's not just good for the kids, but we're trying to help boost the economy around here, too, with hotels and restaurants when these people come to play," he said.
County leaders are just glad to see fans in the stands again. RBI moved in at the start of the year, paying $5,000 a month in rent for a year lease.
"We're delighted to have Drillers Stadium being used and not just sitting in idle," Fred Perry, Tulsa County Commissioner, said. "So, we're excited about this whole thing and we wish RBI the greatest of success."
County Commissioner Fred Perry watched the plan become reality. So he got to throw out the first pitch and says this is what Tulsans wanted to see come of the park.
The games are just the start of several events planned over the next several months, from showcases to World Series tournaments.
Right now, only 14-year-olds are playing. High school athletes will join once their school season is over.