Nine college baseball teams from four states will compete February 3 – 6, 2022, in an inaugural tournament at the new Majestic Park baseball complex in Hot Springs.
The tournament will be named the Dugan Invitational Tournament in honor of Mike Dugan, the late Hot Springs baseball historian who spearheaded the creation of Majestic Park, according to Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison.
“Teams from Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma will compete in the first of what will become a long list of tournaments to be held on this amazing baseball facility,” Majestic Park General Manager Derek Phillips said. “We’ll have 2021 conference champions and conference runners-up competing in a first-class tournament setting.”
South Arkansas University and Henderson State University will both be on hand. Conferences represented will be the Great American Conference (GAC), the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) and the Gulf South Conference (GSC). Henderson State’s participation is especially significant because Mike Dugan was the former sports information director at HSU.
“Majestic Park is not wasting any time in fulfilling its mission to provide top notch baseball for our local leagues and to bring new visitors to our community,” Arrison said. “We are now major participants in the sports tourism market for
baseball. Majestic Park is going to fulfill its promise of becoming a significant tourism generator for our city.”
The games in the Dugan Invitational Tournament will be played on Babe Ruth Field, presented by Oaklawn, the focal point of the Majestic Park complex. Babe Ruth Field, one of five fields at Majestic, is perfect for high school, college and
professional tournament play, with its 400 feet to the centerfield wall and grandstand seating, Arrison said.
Majestic Park sits on the site where The Babe first attended spring training in 1915 with the Boston Red Sox. Ruth, along with scores of other Baseball Hall of Fame members, spent many years in Hot Springs getting ready for the upcoming
major league season.
Majestic Park is a five-field complex located on the site of the former Hot Springs Boys and Girls Club and was the site of one of the first spring training sites in Major League Baseball history. Henry (Hank) Aaron, Jackie Robinson and many other Hall of Famers played and trained at the Majestic Park site. All five of the Majestic Park baseball fields have artificial turf infields and outfields with MUSCO Lighting. The Championship Field will also accommodate college, high school and professional play.
Majestic Park is part of Hot Springs’ rich history as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Spring Training. The Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail includes a guided tour of locations throughout the city that were the sites of significant events during the late 19th Century and up until the mid-20th Century when Hot Springs was the favored training site for 50 percent of the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Historical markers at these locations guide visitors through the colorful history of the game as it played out in Hot Springs. A block-long mural at Convention Boulevard and Malvern Avenue in the downtown area illustrates the legends of the game who played in the city.