Diamond in the Ridge: Father’s Day softball tourney coming to restored field at Oak Tree Community Park
Rich Ramirez was on a leisurely drive through North San Juan one day when he came across an old baseball/softball diamond.
“I cruised by Oak Tree field for no real reason, I just went up there,” said Ramirez. “I pulled into the community park there, got out, walked up to the field and looked at it. And, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I see a vision.’”
The longtime rec-league organizer and youth sports coach had a “Field of Dreams” moment. Since then he has been on a mission to restore the diamond at Oak Tree Community Park and offer a new opportunity to play ball.
“I just want an extra day for people to get out and play softball,” said Ramirez, who runs the Nevada County Adult Sports Association. “Nothing better than being outdoors.”
Ramirez got the project approved by the Oak Tree Community Park Board of Directors in February and is working to have the field ready for play in time for a Father’s Day weekend softball tournament.
The inaugural NCASA Father’s Day Slow Pitch Softball Tournament is set for June 19-20 at the Oak Tree Community Park softball field. The event will feature eight teams, with a three-game guarantee for all teams. The cost to enter a team is $300. Deadline to sign up is June 5.
Ramirez, who runs basketball, volleyball and flag football leagues through NCASA, said there are plans in the works to create a Sunday softball league and a grass volleyball league that would use the field as well.
“It’s just one of those things I’ve always wanted to do,” Ramirez said, noting the Sunday league offers softball enthusiasts yet another opportunity to get outside and play. “People want to play more than one day a week, and I’m offering that opportunity.”
Ramirez said turning his vision into reality has been made possible by the support of the Oak Tree Community Park Board of Directors and Sandy “Jake” Jacobson of the Recreation Coalition of Nevada County. Ramirez added he’s also received several generous donations of time and material from Hansen Bros., Moonshine Lumber, Earth and Road Works Inc., GV Printers, Tony Sandner, C.J. Rist, Brian Jones, Jeff Nye, Jon Simpson, Shawn Olson, Lucille Rovnak and Doug Ramirez.
To register for the Father’s Day Tournament or learn more about the upcoming Sunday softball league, contact Rich Ramirez at 530-575-9142.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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