FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                            For more information, contact:

Craig Fishel

Upstream Public Relations




Southwest Athletics Names Its Championship Sponsor of 2017 Cal Ripken Major/60 Regional Tournament and World Series

Tournaments, to be held in August, 2017, will feature teams from around the country



CLEMMONS, N.C. (September 19, 2016) — Southwest Athletics, the premier baseball and softball organization in the Triad for players ages 4-18, today announced that it has reached an agreement with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as the Championship (title) Sponsor for the 2017 Babe Ruth League/Cal Ripken Major/60 Regional tournament and World Series.


The 2017 Cal Ripken Major/60 Regional tournament and World Series will bring the best 12-year-old teams from across the country to the Clemmons and Winston-Salem areas. These teams will have won their district, state, and regional tournaments, representing the most talented teams of the more than one million youth who play Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken baseball. The 10-day World Series tournament is held in a “pool play” format, with the teams with the two best records from each of the four divisions reaching the championship bracket. Other participating teams will compete in a consolation bracket. Both brackets will compete in a single-elimination format until the 2017 Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series Champion is crowned. All games will be played at the Southwest Athletics complex in Clemmons.


Southwest Athletics’ sponsorship agreement with Wake Forest Baptist will extend beyond the regional and World Series tournaments, and will run for two years. As the Championship Sponsor, Wake Forest Baptist will receive prominent inclusion in all advertising and marketing materials for both tournaments and on-site. In addition, it will be recognized as the official Health Care partner of Southwest Athletics throughout its normal fall, spring and travel baseball seasons.


“We are thrilled to have Wake Forest Baptist as our partner and Championship sponsor for the Cal Ripken Major/60 Regional tournament and World Series,” said Barry Leonard, president of Southwest Athletics. “As the area’s leading provider of both pediatric and sports medicine, this partnership is a natural fit for both of our organizations. Not only will this agreement help us to put on two first-class events in 2017, it also ensures that our players’ health is in the most capable hands in the region. We look forward to a very successful 2017 and beyond with Wake Forest Baptist.”


“At Wake Forest Baptist, we take the health and safety of the young athletes in our area very seriously through our focus on pediatric care with Brenner Children’s Hospital and our research arm that includes the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma,” said Bob Gfeller, executive vice president of external relations at Wake Forest Baptist, and executive director of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. “Southwest Athletics has also shown a strong commitment to the well-being of its players, and that is just another example of how well our two organizations fit together. This agreement will allow us to continue to assist and educate players and their parents about sports injuries and their treatments, while also helping to support two great events in 2017. We are very pleased to be a part of the Southwest Athletics family.”


For more information on Southwest Athletics, please visit


About Southwest Athletics

Southwest Athletics was established in 1963 by E.K. Whitener as Southwest Forsyth Little League to fill the area’s void of little league baseball in the area. Located at Poindexter Field on Dillon Industrial Drive in Clemmons, Southwest Forsyth Little League has featured numerous championship teams throughout its history, with more than 60 district, state and regional titles. In 2016, the organization became Southwest Athletics and affiliated itself with the Babe Ruth League. Currently, more than 1,000 players from ages 4-18 participate in Southwest Athletics baseball and softball, and an additional 3,200 travel teams and more than 200,000 visitors have come to the complex.  For more information, please visit


About Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center ( is a nationally prominent academic medical center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with an integrated enterprise incorporating hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and other primary and specialty care facilities that serve the residents of 24 counties in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. The Medical Center’s divisions are Wake Forest Baptist Health, a regional clinical system that includes Brenner Children’s Hospital and more than 150 locations, 900 physicians and 1,000 acute care beds; Wake Forest School of Medicine, a recognized leader in cutting-edge research and experiential medical education; and Wake Forest Innovations, which commercializes the discoveries and research capabilities of the Medical Center and operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an urban district devoted to driving regional economic growth and building vibrant community. Wake Forest Baptist clinical, research and educational programs are annually ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


About Babe Ruth League and Cal Ripken Baseball

Babe Ruth League, Inc. is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing better citizens by providing properly supervised baseball and softball competition for 4 through 18-year-old players.  It is the basic intent of Babe Ruth League that every player who has a desire to play the sport is given the opportunity to participate and have fun. The approach combines developing and strengthening the fundamental skills of baseball and athletic conditioning with the equally important virtues of work ethic, practice and an understanding and love for the game. In 2000, Babe Ruth League, Inc. and Cal Ripken, Jr. came together to introduce Cal Ripken Baseball, A Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. for baseball players 4 through 12 years of age. For more information, please visit


About the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma

Life threatening injury is the No. 1 killer of kids in America. Nearly 10,000 children lose their lives every year from serious injuries, and many more are treated in the emergency room. It can happen anywhere, at any time, to any child. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma discovers and shares the best ways to prevent and treat severe injuries in children. The Institute funds research, education and advocacy to help improve the care and treatment injured kids receive across the U.S. The Childress Institute was founded at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2008 through a generous gift from Richard and Judy Childress. Visit to learn more.