Beast of the East Returning to Ohio Valley This Summer
WHEELING — The Beast is back!
After last year’s hiatus due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the Beast of the East is returning to the Ohio Valley this summer.
The showcase will take place on June 30 at Patterson Field and the games begin July 1 and run through July 4.
“We’ve had the Beast of the East for 32 years in a row and not having it last year was devastating,” tournament director Bo McConnaughy said. “Not only to us but to the community because of the money it brings in.
“It’s great to have it back. Over the years it’s brought it millions of dollars to the economy in the Tri-State area.”
A total of 70 teams have signed up as of now, including local teams such as Wheeling Post 1, Moundsville Post 3 and the Wheeling Wild Things.
The numbers are down at this point but McConnaughy believes that is also due to lasting effects from the pandemic.
“We usually have 100-125 teams and we usually get 15-25 teams from Canada,” McConnaughy said. “They still haven’t opened their borders yet. Some other causes are teams didn’t have the opportunity to raise money and businesses weren’t open and couldn’t sponsor them.”
Nevertheless, the Beast of the East is a tradition for any baseball fan from the Ohio Valley and having it back in town benefits players, coaches, fans, communities and businesses.
“We started this back in 1988 at West Liberty and we had 21 teams,” McConnaughy said. “One-hundred and sixty-two is the most teams we’ve ever had here. We were using every field in the valley. Alex Rodriguez was here once, too, so it’s great to have it back.
“We want to thank our sponsors in the Elm Grove Civics, TJ’s Sports Garden, Generations and Shirts ‘N More.”
Patterson Field, Bridge Park, Wheeling Park, Garden Park, Neffs, Washington & Jefferson, Wild Things Park, Valley Fork, Vaccaro Field, I-470 and John Marshall are just some of the fields that will be used during this year’s event.