FORT MYERS Baseball players from around the world will converge on Lee County for the 25th Roy Hobbs World Series Oct. 26 Nov. 23.
Over the course of this four-week annual tournament, nearly 4,000 adult, amateur baseball players will take the fields in Lee County's five county-owned complexes which include the Lee County Sports Complex, Terry Park, City of Palms Park, JetBlue Park and the Lee County Player Develop-ment Complex.
Last year's tournament brought in more than $12,206,000 to Lee County over the course of 28 days according to Jeff Mielke, executive director, Lee County Sports Devel-opment.
"The Roy Hobbs tournament is a grand slam for tourism," said Mielke. "Lee County will welcome more than 230 teams this year totaling almost 4,000 players as well as their families. In addition to traveling and staying in local hotels, these visitors will spend money at local restaurants, shops and entertainment venues during their stay. This is one of the largest amateur sporting events in the country, and a big win for Lee County's tourism industry."
Operated by Lee County Parks and Recreation, Lee County's five county-owned baseball complexes play host to more than 200 days of amateur baseball tournaments a year when they aren't being used for spring training games. The estimated economic impact of these events is $50 million annually.
Named after fictional baseball hero Roy Hobbs as depicted in the book, "The Natural," by Bernard Malmud, the Roy Hobbs Baseball's annual World Series in Fort Myers has grown from 54 teams in 1993 to an expected 230 this fall. The tournament has expanded to include amateur player divisions for men and women ages 18 and up, with divisions up to ages 75 and older.
"When we accepted Lee County's invitation to move the Roy Hobbs World Series to Fort Myers in 1993, we had no idea how things would turn out," said Roy Hobbs President Tom Giffen. "But this year is Roy Hobbs 25th anniversary, our 21st year in Lee County, so I believe it has turned out very well for all concerned."
"We are most pleased to be celebrating this milestone anniversary in a community that has been incredibly welcoming and provided great venues, professional services from grounds crews to hotels to vendor services, and amazing hospitality. Ellen (my wife) and I and Roy Hobbs are proud to call Lee County home," Giffen added.
Source: Lee County Parks and Recreation