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In baseball, grand slams are only possible when a batter takes advantage of a rare opportunity. The circumstances have to be just right, and on the rare occasions when that happens, the batter still has to capitalize on the situation.
This year, Lebanon got that kind of opportunity, and it knocked one out of the park.
The 2011 Kentucky State Little League Tournament came to town July 16-21, and the Marion County Little League did a marvelous job as the tournament host.
The city certainly benefited from a strong starting line-up.
Leading off, local Little League officials deserve the credit for putting in the necessary preparation to host the tournament. Those preparations started two years ago, and they included learning from previous tournament hosts and making sure all the pieces were in place to pull it off.
Second, the City of Lebanon made the investments in new facilities that made it possible to even consider bringing the state tournament here.
Third, the park employees kept the ball in play by working countless hours prior to the tournament making sure the fields were ready to go and spending up to 17 hours at the park during each day of the tournament to make sure everything was properly maintained.
Batting clean up were the 200 volunteers who did any number of small tasks that insured that all the bases were covered.
During the tournament, several supporters of the teams outside the community commented on how nice our park facilities are and on how well the tournament was run.
Park Director and Marion County Little League President Matthew Mattingly said the chance to host the state tournament only comes up every seven years at the most. While there is no guarantee that the state tournament will be back in the heart of Kentucky that soon, we're confident in saying that Lebanon turned in an MVP-quality performance in 2011.