Thanks from the Friends of Warren Ballpark!

The 6th Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament played at Bisbee’s historic Warren Ballpark, is now history. Saturday was lots of fun thanks to our volunteers, teams, vendors and cranks (fans). An enthusiastic huzzah is shouted out to the five teams from the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League; your local team the Bisbee Black Sox won both games they played. The Colorado All-Stars again entertained the crowds with their colorful uniforms and superb showmanship. Sadly Sunday was rained out. 

KBRP, Bisbee’s local radio station announced the tournament. Their rapport with the players added a great deal of interest and fun. Support KBRP in all they do for this community.

The Bisbee school district staff made sure that the tournament ran smoothly: they got up early on a weekend to open the gates, clean the stands and supply the bathrooms. Thanks to Richard Hodges and his crew, Richard Moots, Cory Giacoletti, Victor Vega, and Teri Armstrong. We couldn’t run the tournament without them. 

Honoree Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a 1954 Bisbee Grad and star Bisbee baseball player threw out a first pitch. Mike Frosco, Bisbee High School Baseball Coach, Acting Chief Albert Echave and Staff Sergeant Robert Coronado from the Bisbee Police Department along with Commander Ken Bradshaw of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department, escorted Sheriff Dupnik onto the field in honor of his years of public service. 

Saturday night’s Post-Game Blues was a rousing success, packing the Stock Exchange Saloon and Grill. Our dear friend, major league pitcher and renowned blues musician, Mudcat Grant sang with the young musicians from the Cholla High School Blues Standard and later with Bill Greenberg and his group Eric Garcia, Dave Clark and Steve Goetz; Mudcat named the band the Larry Doby, Lacoochee Blues Band. 

A tip of our baseball caps goes to our volunteers who provided security, took photos, sold tickets, beer, food and merchandise. Our many sponsors helped defray the expenses of the tournament: Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, Wick Communications, Morning’s Restaurant, Grand Hotel, Café Roka, Bisbee Royale, Barco Ice, W. R. Ryan Company, Red Shoes Hair Salon, Bisbee Bug, Acacia Art and Antiques, High Desert Market, B & D Hardware, Suby Construction, Beast Brewery, Bisbee Observer, Copper Queen Publishing and Copper Queen Hotel. We also thank our sponsoring organization, the Bisbee Council on the Arts and Humanities. Please support these local enterprises. 

This letter would be much longer if all who volunteered were named but thank you so much. The money raised will fund our next project, construction of modern public restrooms. The Friends have now raised 65% of the estimated $102,000 needed to construct restrooms and are approved for a Federal Rural Development Grant to pay for the remaining cost. If you are interested in joining the Friends or donating call 520 432-3813 

6th Annual Copper City Classic

Bare-handed base ball as it was played when Abraham Lincoln was running for his first term as president returns to Bisbee’s 105-year-old ballpark for the sixth consecutive year! Teams from the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball league and the Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association will gather at historic Warren Ballpark on Saturday and Sunday, April 11 and 12 to take part in the Sixth Annual Copper City Classic Vintage base Ball Tournament. The home team – the Bisbee Black Sox – are off to a good start this season and are hoping to claim the tournament championship. Come cheer them on – or cheer on your own favorite team – as ballists wearing vintage-style uniforms play the game by 1860 rules.

Honoring ‘Scrap Iron’ and an Outstanding Lawman

This year’s tournament will honor two outstanding athletics who played baseball at Warren Ballpark in years past: Clint “Scrap Iron” Courtney and Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Clint Courtney began his professional baseball career as the catcher for the 1947 Bisbee Yanks before moving up the ladder to a colorful and successful career in the big leagues during the 1950s and 60s. Clarence Dupnik, a 1954 Bisbee High School graduate, was a star third baseman for the Pumas before beginning a distinguished career with the Tucson Police Department and as Pima County’s longest-serving Sheriff.

Added attraction: The Post Game Blues

Jim “Mudcat” Grant, ace American League pitcher, baseball historian and musician, is planning to return for the Post Game Blues concert. Last year Mudcat missed the tournament to receive the prestigious Jackie Robinson Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Face of Adversity on the same date. Join Mudcat along with Tucson’s Cholla High School Blues Standards and Bisbee’s own Russell “Cat Daddy” Gillespie and his 12-Barz Blues Band for Saturday evening’s Post-Game Blues concert at the Stock Exchange Saloon and Grill in historic Brewery Gulch.

Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for both days. Children 12 and under are free with an adult ticket. Active military are free on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased on-line or at the gate. Gates open at 9 a.m. and play will continue until approximately 5 p.m. All funds are used to restore Warren Ballpark and specifically for the project to build modern, ADA accessible restrooms. For more information about the tournament and accompanying events, call 520 432-3813