For instance, the first 2021 baseball event on the schedule for Globe Life Field since the 2020 World Series: the 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown. With Six of the NCAA’s top-ranked baseball programs from the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences committed to play, the tournament is set for February 19-21, the opening weekend of NCAA Division I play. On tap: Texas Christian University, the University of Texas, and Texas Tech University from the Big 12 Conference and the University of Arkansas, University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University from the Southeastern Conference.
The State Farm College Baseball Showdown will be held annually at Globe Life Field. All eight Big 12 Conference baseball schools are expected to participate at least once in the tournament between 2021 and 2025 against opponents from the SEC and Pac 12 Conferences.
“We are thrilled to welcome six of the top baseball programs in the country to Globe Life Field for the inaugural State Farm College Baseball Showdown,” said Sean Decker, Texas Rangers Executive Vice President, Sports & Entertainment. “We started conversations to make this event a reality back when the new park was in the design phase, and I would like to thank State Farm and all six schools for their unwavering support since that time.
“We can’t wait to welcome all college baseball fans to Globe Life Field starting February 19th.”
In an interesting move, all tickets for this event are considered General Admission tickets. Upon arrival at Globe Life Field, open seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. In an effort to promote social distancing, every other row and select seats will be blocked.
On tap the following weekend is the second annual Round Rock Classic, featuring four of the top teams in the country competing across three days as Auburn, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas A&M face off at Dell Diamond, in a tourney hosted by the Round Rock Express (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
If you can’t wait until Feb. 19, other college levels are launching play earlier. Blue Wahoos Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Class AA; Southern League) will host its first baseball games of the new year on Saturday, January 30 as Pensacola State College, nationally ranked Northwest Florida State College, and Coastal Alabama Community College compete in a three-game day-long tournament.
The three-game slate will begin at 11 a.m., with Pensacola State facing Coastal Alabama. Game two will feature Northwest Florida State College against Coastal Alabama. The day of baseball will conclude with Pensacola State taking on Northwest Florida in game three.
Games two and three will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the preceding game. Each game will be seven innings.
Tickets are available now at BlueWahoos.com.
Also on tap this weekend: the ninth annual Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park (Jan. 29-31). The tournament will feature six NCAA Division II universities, squaring off in nine games across the three days.
The tournament field features the University of Central Missouri, which co-hosts the event with the Astros, Arkansas Tech, Arkansas-Fort Smith, St. Mary’s (TX), Lubbock Christian and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Astros will host a limited number of socially-distanced fans at the stadium over the weekend. Per State and Local health authorities and ballpark and event regulations, all fans, staff and vendors must wear masks at all times while on property, except when actively eating and drinking in their seats. All fans will be subject to a health screening that may include temperature checks upon arrival.
It appears that some prominent college tournaments will be taking a year off, such as the MLB4 tournament held the past few seasons at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, positioned as a kickoff of sorts to spring training.