Seattle, Sept 11, 2006: With the sun shining brightly and the temperature easily hitting the seventies, Seattle Southside couldn’t have provided a better day for the Senior Softball World Championship opening ceremonies at the Russell Road Softball Complex in Kent today.
“Welcome to the City of Kent,” Mayor Suzette Cooke shouted to the crowd of senior softball players who crowded around the bases of the field to witness the ceremonies. “Don’t you just hate our weather, “she exclaimed as the crowd cheered.
After the city of Kent police and fire honor guard completed their presentation of the flags, a moment of silence was observed in remembrance of the September 11 attacks. Senior softball manager Joe Kline, of the 80-year-old River Hawks of California, sang the national anthem following with opening remarks from Kent mayor Suzette Cooke.
In conjunction with the opening ceremonies, two senior softball players were also inducted into the Senior Softball Hall of Fame. Richard Payseno, a Seattle native, now playing for Fairway Ford out of Placentia, Calif. and Dean Perkins with the Chiefs were honored at the opening ceremonies with introductions and awards.
After hosting the Senior Softball Western National Championship in 2005, the organization chose Seattle Southside for their tournament of tournaments, bringing over 220 teams from across the nation, fifteen teams from Canada and teams from as far away as Japan. The tournament is capable of bringing in an estimated 12,500 room nights and around $25 million to the local economy.
Seattle Southside Visitor Services serves as the Office of Tourism for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, Kent and Des Moines. Just 15 minutes south of Downtown Seattle and minutes from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle Southside is an ideal sports tournament destination in Western Washington.