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Sammy Linebaugh ReportingThe 9th annual Native American World Series is in town this weekend.
Welcome to day one of the Native American World Series where catchers chatter, everybody hits, and once on base runners aren't afraid to hit the dirt before stealing home.
Lawrence Bryan: "When we heard about it, we're like, we're going, we're going. This is our second year."
That's just the kind of passion Bobby Letterman likes to hear. He founded the Native American softball tournament nearly ten years ago hoping the idea would catch on, that somehow he could honor his heritage.
Bobby Letterman: "My great grandmother's a full blooded Cherokee from the eastern tribe in North Carolina."
When Bobby Letterman organized the first Native American world series in 1994, four teams signed up. This year 57 teams have made the trip to Utah from as far as the east coast and Canada.
Candice Fox, Kingman, Ariz. Resident: "We played a team from Florida. There's a bunch of teams from everywhere."
Donnie Bagley, Warm Springs, Ore. Resident: "We're from central Oregon and mostly we play in Washington and Idaho, so it's a blast to play these other teams."
Denys White, Warm Springs, Ore. Resident: "I'm glad it's getting bigger each year, and next year it's gonna be bigger."
And even getting to Utah took some effort.
Candice Fox: "We did bake sales, we did food sales. Just a bunch of fundraising just to alleviate some of the expenses."
Donnie Bagley: "Our reservation has a resort and a casino, so they helped us out quite a bit."
Bobby Letterman: "I'm excited. It's like a dream come true, you know, it's like a family.”
Games are going on now through Sunday with an opening celebration tonight at the Valley Softball Complex in Taylorsville.