Monday, July 28, 2014
Utica Hosting State Legion Baseball Championship July 30-Aug. 3
UTICA – After three years of hosting the New York State American Legion Championship Series in Utica, the City of Utica has been awarded the honor of hosting the event through 2020. The 2014 tournament kicks off on July 29 with the arrival of the eight competing teams. Games begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 30, and will conclude with the championship game at noon on Sunday, Aug. 3. All games will be played at Donovan Stadium at Murnane Field in Utica.
“The initial goal of our committee was to learn the details surrounding the logistics of hosting such a prestigious event for our region,” said tournament director Mike Macchione. “The hard work and dedication of the tournament committee convinced top state Legion officials that the best place to award a long-term agreement was the Mohawk Valley region.”
State Baseball Chairman Bruce Mayfield said his committee reviewed the old format of double eliminations just as they have at the National level. “My committee decided to follow the same format that National uses, and that is to go to pool play. Pool play means every team is not only guaranteed a minimum of three games, but just as important for the fans, they will know the times their team will be playing. We expect that will have a positive impact on travel plans for parents and friends from outside the Utica area.”
Noted Macchione: “In additional to great baseball, there will be a number of fun activities for spectators to see and participate in during the tournamen. These events will include the ‘Carbone Challenge’ for a new car or Harley, honoring our country’s Military K-9 from Fort Drum, fireworks on Saturday night, and Little League Appreciation Night, following the finish of the last qualifying team for the Championship game on Sunday.”
“This is a great announcement for our City,” said Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. “I thank Chairman Bruce Mayfield and Mike Macchione for enabling Utica to host the New York State American Legion Championship Series for the next six years.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente stated, “I congratulate Mike Macchione and his team for making Oneida County the location for the New York State American Legion Championship Series for the next six years. It’s a testament to our region and to the facilities and venues available here in Oneida County. This is a great opportunity and the County of Oneida is proud to be a partner in this endeavor.”
Simultaneously throwing out the first pitch on opening night July 30 will be local and state elected officials. Those expected include Utica Mayor Palmieri, Oneida County Executive Picente, State Senator Joseph Griffo, and Assemblypersons Anthony Brindisi and Claudia Tenney. Joining them will be RoAnn Destito representing Gov. Cuomo.
“We also want to recognize our volunteers and great sponsors.” Macchione said. “Our gratitude and thanks to the Carbone Auto Group, BNY Mellon, Commercial Travelers Insurance, Oriskany Manufacturing Technologies, and PJ Green for their support in making this premier event happen.”