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Kudos to fair and rodeo organizers

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Congratulations to everyone involved in putting together the 121st annual Gilbert Plains-Grandview Agricultural Society fair and rodeo, this past weekend.
Weather is usually a factor in events such as this and it was again this year. Most often, it is rain that causes problems, but this year it was the heat and humidity.
Luckily, there were tents set up to provide some welcome shade and concessions had plenty of water on hand to help keep everyone hydrated.
As hot and humid as it was, it did not keep people away, as they were coming and going all weekend and the stands were full for Saturday night’s rodeo.
All in all, it was a successful weekend for everyone involved.
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Imagine hitting more home runs than everyone else competing in a home run derby and not winning the event.
That is what Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. experienced last week after he hit 91 bombs, only to “lose” the derby.
The derby is set up with head-to-head matchups. Some people questioned Guerrero’s involvement, since he only had eight dingers entering the all-star break.
He quickly showed he belonged there by breaking the record for most homers in a single round with 29 in round one. As if to prove his point, he did it again in round two, sending another 29 long balls into the stands at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
Vladdy’s showdown with Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the round two was epic.
After they each hit 29 home runs in regulation, they were each given one minute to hit as many homers as they could, with each slugger sending eight balls into the stands.
Then it came down to a three-swing showdown. It was not once, but twice, before Guerrero finally bested the Dodgers’ slugger.
In the finals, Vladdy was visibly lagging, but still managed to hit 22 pitches out of the park.
New York Mets’ rookie Pete Alonso, another rookie slugger, ended up hitting 23 to be the official winner of the derby.
But with 91 total home runs, there is no question Vladdy Jr. stole the show. The previous record for a single derby was 61 set by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.
For the record, Alonso finished with 57.
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Saturday is going to be a busy day at the Vermillion Park Sportsplex.
The annual Richard Bogoslowski Memorial Slo-pitch Tournament hits the diamonds in two divisions, a fun and a competitive.
But there is much more going on as there will be a 50-50 draw and a raffle table with lots of items available to be won.
And if you want a bit of a break from slo-pitch, you can walk a short distance to take in all of the rugby that will be played at the Kin Field, as the Dauphin Mavericks celebrate the 30th anniversary of the club’s formation.
The reunion will feature four or five games, a beer gardens, concession, a lot of reminiscing and good times.
While it is being billed as a Mavericks reunion, the day is starting to look more like a celebration of rugby in general, as there will be several teams coming to the city for the event.
If you are looking for something to do on Saturday, stop by Vermillion Park Sportsplex to take in some slo-pitch and rugby action.

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Doug Zywina
REPORTER