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American Legion Tournament Returns to Peekskill

PEEKSKILL – For the second straight year, the New York State American Legion baseball tournament will be held at Peekskill Stadium.

Teams from across the state in the 17-and-under age group were on hand Tuesday evening for the tournament’s opening ceremony. Host American Legion Post 1080 of Mahopac presented its color guard as teams were introduced and treated teams to a barbecue dinner.

There are eight American Legion districts in the state and the best team in each region will be competing in the double elimination tournament in Peekskill to be state champion.

Admission to the games is free for spectators and the stadium has a concession stand and restrooms for visitors.

The coach for American Legion 1080, whose teams draw players from Northern Westchester and Putnam, is Sonny Gracci. He was unable to be at the center because he was coaching his 19-and-under team at its state tournament in Binghamton. He said it had been a good year for his players.

“By hosting it we get a lot of scouts and college coaches coming to the games,” he said. “That’s how we try to get them into school.”

New York Vice Chairman of American Legion Baseball Ralph Mianti said state organizers were very happy with the city’s facilities.

“The Peekskill community is fantastic and the facility is second to none,” Mianti said.

For the first time all games in the tournament will be broadcast live on the city’s cable access channel and on the city’s website, www.cityofpeekskill.com .

“We have five cameras, slow motion, replay, graphics, play-by-play announcers and we have some sponsors that are helping us do this,” said City videographer Mike Miner. “We’re doing all the games: four games on Wednesday, four on Thursday and two games on Friday, and Saturday if needed.”

Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster said she was happy to welcome visitors from across the state to Peekskill for the second year in a row.

“We’ll make sure we leave lots of brochures about things they can do, like the Evening Star [boat] tours, so the families that are visiting here from elsewhere really get to enjoy the river,” Foster said. “It’s exciting. It’s nice to have hundreds of people coming in that wouldn’t normally be here from all over the state getting to see the city.”

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