An Owatonna tradition of more than 40 years will be delayed this year. Corky's Early Bird Softball Tournament, which usually is held the first weekend in May, is rescheduled for September 10-13. The event is headquartered at the Steele County Fairgrounds diamonds. Over 100 teams usually participate.

Tournament director Loren Dietz told local columnist Todd Hale, "We never thought about canceling the event altogether. We didn't want to lose the funds we raise for park and recreation scholarships. All of the participating teams rallied around our decision and selected the September date for the rescheduled tournament."

The Corky's Tournament Facebook page lists teams from Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, and even California and Canada signing up for the different divisions. There will be a co-ed tournament to kick off the 41st tournament on Thursday, September 10.

The page also promotes a tournament July 3-4 at Alexander Park in Faribault. The goal for that event is 16 to 24 teams. The post indicates, "Refunds will be given if gatherings are still banned in July."

The namesake for the tournament Corky Ebeling just celebrated his birthday Monday, April 20. Ebeling was involved with the Owatonna Parks and Recreation department for many years and is a longtime softball enthusiast.

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