HAMMOND | Even though the event is 10 months away, Tom McDermott Jr. says he's already nervous.
Maybe he should be.
Not only will he be the mayor of the city hosting the 2013 Cal Ripken 12U Major Division World Series, Aug. 8-16, 2013, at the Hammond Optimist Youth Sports Complex, he will be the manager for one of the teams.
"As hosts, we're already in," McDermott said. "There will be 12 kids from Hammond playing in the World Series next year for sure.
"I'm excited. We're the first ones. Others will have to follow."
McDermott managed the Hammond Optimist Youth Sports Bulldogs 11-and-under team last summer. The 12-and-under version of that team gets the host berth.
"We had a pretty good run before getting stopped short in the Ohio Valley Regional," McDermott said. "We're already practicing for next year."
McDermott was on hand for a Hammond Optimist Club meeting/press conference Wednesday night at the Hammond F.O.P. to formally herald the World Series. Also on hand were several dignitaries from Babe Ruth League Inc., which is the umbrella organization for Cal Ripken Baseball.
"You can say this is our official kickoff," Hammond Optimist Youth Sports president Tim Bell said. "This is when we start with fund-raising, getting more sponsorships ... getting more of the word out.
"It's going to be a lot of work. This is already like a full-time job. But I want to be in a position that when the World Series finally comes, I can sit back, relax and enjoy some great baseball."
Bell has been working with Babe Ruth League Inc. vice president Robert Faherty since 2009 for the possibility of hosting a World Series.
"One of the reasons we decided to come here is the location and the great facility," Faherty said. "This is an ideal place for an event like this. It has a small-town feel, but it's so close to Chicago that it also has major-market exposure.
"The kids coming here are going to be treated right."
In addition to the HOYS Bulldogs, there will be at least one other regional team as the Northern Indiana State Champion will also get a berth.
"I really couldn't tell you for sure who that will be, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's Crown Point," McDermott said. "They're one of our toughest rivals. Maybe because we're named the 'Bulldogs', but we didn't take it from them."
Though match-ups between local teams with likely invoke the biggest draw, Faherty says that fans -- especially the ones who appreciate excellent baseball -- tend to adopt other teams and players as their favorites.
"The local teams tend to get a lot of attention, but during the course of the series, fans will get a chance to see some real special players," Faherty said. "While they're waiting for their teams to play, many fans will go out of their way to catch a game to see these type of players some more."