The most popular baseball tournament in the Kansas City Metro area returns this weekend, May 17-19, with more than 760 teams participating. The tournament is organized and hosted by Midwest Sports Productions, the largest promoter of youth fastpitch and baseball tournaments in the country.
“Hawaiian Hitfest has become the largest baseball tournament in the world,” said Jeremy McDowell, Owner and CEO of MSP. “When I started this event 13 years ago I never dreamed it would become the pinnacle youth baseball tournament in Kansas City, let alone the world. The players look forward to dressing up, the team moms look forward to decorating the dugouts and the entire MSP staff looks forward to seeing the smiles on the faces of everyone as they walk through the gates and transport themselves to the islands.”
The weekend includes special activities for teams to participate in, making the Hawaiian Hitfest more than a baseball tournament. Teams are invited to decorate their dugouts in a Hawaiian theme, testing the creativity of each team. Many teams choose to wear customized Hawaiian themed jerseys for the tournament to go along with their dugout theme. A spirit contest is held throughout the tournament as well, with judges looking for the best team-wide spirit, including fans, parents, coaches and on-field sportsmanship.
A highlight of the weekend is the awarding of MSP Love medals during pool play games. The MSP Love medal is awarded to one player on each team by the opposing coach during their two pool play games. This award is presented not to the best player or athlete on the team but rather the player that best demonstrated a Championship attitude during the game, including a display of outstanding character on the field, extraordinary example of sportsmanship, example of respect and example of hustle. MSP Love medal winners also receive a free sub card from Jimmy John’s of Kansas City.
Hawaiian Hitfest kicks off Friday evening with the first pool play games and wraps up through the day on Sunday with Championship Surfboards being awarded.
2019 Hawaiian Hitfest by the Numbers
• KC Metro Economic Impact by Tournament: $2.6 million
• Total of teams participating: 764
• States teams are coming from: 8 (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois)
• Total fields played on: 107
• Total full and part time employees: More than 150
• Total complexes being used: 13
• Total champions and runners-up being crowned: 65
• States umpires are coming in from: 6 (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma)
• Total number of umpires: More than 500
• Sport store locations for merchandise purchases: 9
• Hawaiian Leis purchased for fans when walking through the gate: 20,000
In addition to the Hawaiian Hitfest, MSP is also hosting three youth fastpitch tournaments in the area, bringing the total number of teams playing in an MSP event this weekend to 1,025. The fastpitch Hawaiian Hitfest is scheduled for May 31-June 2 in Kansas City and June 7-9 in Wichita, Kan.