TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Since 2007, Mike Carter Field has been the home of champions.
"We had really hoped that when we got the bid back in 2007 that we would keep this here for a long time," said former TJC baseball coach Jon Groth. "Like Grand Junction (CO) or Omaha (NE) long. For 30, 40, or 50 years."
Tyler's run must end at eight. Beginning in 2015, the NJCAA Division III World Series will be moved to Kinston, North Carolina. The biggest reason for the move, appears to be travel. Teams from six of the eight district's represented in the world series, must fly to East Texas. They can drive to North Carolina.
"If that's the case, I can't control where we are," said TJC athletic director Dr. Tim Drain. "I'm super proud of what we've done."
Drain says the loss will be felt by more than baseball fans.
"The rough numbers are it brings in between 200 to 250 thousand dollars a year," said Drain. "If you look at the eight year history of this thing, it's two million dollars we've put into the economy by hosting this tournament with Sport Tyler."
Despite the shock of losing the world series, Drain wants Tyler to go out with a bang. Tournament support will receive a big boost, with TJC back in the field for 4th time in past eight years.
"There's definitely some warm fuzzies going through your mind and heart at you look at the field and think about a Tyler team with a chance to dog pile like we did a few years ago," said Groth.
The Apaches are ready to win another ring.
"It's exciting," said TJC infielder Justin Monsour. "We never want to watch someone else dog pile on our field. We're really working hard to be the last to win on Mike Carter this year."
Which would cap off eight great years of championship baseball in Tyler.
"This will be a very reflective tournament," said Drain. "Where you're going to look back and all you're going to think about is all the cool memories that we made in Tyler."
"It will be a little bitter sweet," said Groth. But we're really looking forward to this week and hopefully it will be a good tournament."