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Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach adds eighth field

The Ripken Experience Myrtle Beach has added something new to its roster: an eighth field.

Ebbets Field, patterned after the big-league ballpark of the same name that was home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, debuted this weekend and is the first expansion at the 50-acre complex off Mr. Joe White Avenue since it opened in 2006.

The $1 million, 90-foot diamond caters to 13-year-olds and older. The complex has had to turn away teams in that age group because there weren't enough fields, said Bobby Holland, The Ripken Experience's general manager.

With the new field, business already is up, Holland said. About 190 teams have signed up for spring training, 70 more than last year, and about 450 teams have booked for the summer tournaments, compared to 403 in summer 2010, he said.

During the weekend, Division III college baseball teams broke in the new field.

The Ripken Experience, a partnership between Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc., hosts baseball tournaments, spring training and women's fast-pitch softball. Teams from across the country and overseas come to compete in the tournaments and learn lessons of the game infused into the program by the Hall of Famer.