A record number of teams will play in a three-day baseball tournament for charity that starts Friday.
The 2013 Forsyth County Slugfest has 286 teams signed up to play for titles and support local causes.
Committee member Bill Moats said the tournament drew 253 teams in 2012 and 245 in 2011.
Games will be played at all the county parks with baseball fields, as well as at the Cumming City Park, two fields in Alpharetta and one in Johns Creek.
Teams of kids from ages 8 to 14 hail from within the county, across Georgia and neighboring states.
“It’s the largest season-opening tournament around,” Moats said. “Because of the level of competition, it’s a good way for some of these guys to get prepared for other tournaments.”
The tournament’s focus on donating to charity also draws teams in, he said.
The event began as a fundraiser for the Miracle League in Forsyth County, but has expanded along with the field to support other organizations, Moats said.
“First and foremost, this is about doing things for charity that benefit the community and benefit our kids,” he said.
Last year’s tournament raised about $33,000 for seven health care organizations and nonprofits in the community, which will be beneficiaries again this year.
The groups include: the Miracle League; Northside Hospital-Forsyth; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; Forsyth County Special Olympics; Humane Society of Forsyth County; Forsyth County Family Haven; and the Will to Live Foundation.
Moats said the tournament stands are open to friends, family and anyone else who wants to watch some good baseball.