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Connie Mack World Series back to full capacity

FARMINGTON — The Connie Mack World Series is set to return this week, and the tournament’s chairman said he believes spectators should expect the experience to be like it was in 2018 or 2019.

CMWS chairman Tyson Snyder told The Daily Times all events and games will operate at full capacity as nearly all COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the State of New Mexico were lifted on July 1.

Events like team arrivals, the parade and opening ceremonies start on Wednesday. Players will take to the field on Friday for pool play.

He urged those attending to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to wear a face mask if they are not vaccinated.

“The fans can expect the tournament to be the same as it was in 2018, 2019,” Snyder said.

The CMWS Executive Committee made the decision to cancel the 2020 tournament due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That action gave additional time for renovations at Ricketts Field to be completed.

Some of the last-minute touches were being finished on the field when Snyder was interviewed on July 15.

The pandemic created issues for supplies for the estimated $560,000 renovation project but everything will be completed by the time teams start playing at Ricketts Field.

The 12 teams from across the United States are to arrive in Farmington on Wednesday and register for the tournament at the Farmington Civic Center. Snyder said members of the public are welcome to greet the players in downtown Farmington as in previous years.

The Albuquerque Baseball Academy’s 2021s is in the tournament, as the first non-Farmington New Mexico team to reach the Connie Mack World Series.

The events for Thursday are the tournament parade, home run derby, the fungo challenge and opening ceremonies.

The parade is set to begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Farmington with the players walking on foot to Ricketts Field.

It allows the players to hand out candy to attendees and engage with the crowd since they are no longer riding on semi-truck flatbed trailers as in past years, Snyder said.

The coaches’ fungo challenge at 5:30 p.m., the opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. and the home run derby at 7:30 p.m. take place at Ricketts Field.

Pool Play will take place Friday and Saturday with bracket play starting Sunday and the championship falling on July 31.

The Hall of Fame ceremony was moved to Monday at 7:15 p.m. at Ricketts Field.

Retired Major League player Mike Dunn will be the only person inducted this year into the Connie Mack World Series Hall of Fame, according to Snyder.

First drafted by the New York Yankees in 2004, the Farmington native also played for the Atlanta Braves, the Florida Marlins and the Colorado Rockies.

Dunn announced his retirement in February 2020 after 15 years of pitching.

The induction was moved from the opening ceremonies so the induction would take place before the host team, the Farmington Sting, plays, Snyder said.

Dunn played on the host team, the Farmington Virus, in 2003.

Snyder thanked the community for stepping up to host players in their homes and give donations so the tournament could take place.

CMWS games will be streamed online by ProView Network on YouTube and Facebook.

The Journal staff contributed to this story.