---- — PLATTSBURGH — Clinton County Mariners American Legion baseball program Director of Operations Harold LeClaire is keeping busy.
LeClaire, despite having his senior team finish runner-up in the state tournament in 2013, continues to look for ways to improve the Mariners.
“There is still a lot of work to do to keep us one of the best programs in New York State,” LeClaire said.
Among LeClaire’s new ideas for next season are plans in the works for a reunion of former Post 20/Clinton County Mariners players, which will coincide with the Brian Mehan/Alex Turner Memorial Tournament the weekend of June 21, 2014.
“I’ve had a pretty busy month in September,” LeClaire said. “One evening, I was on Facebook and caught a conversation that was started by Jeff Dumas, a former Post 20 player, and a few others about having a reunion. It didn’t take me long to jump at the opportunity. For years, with the help of Plattsburgh State baseball coach Kris Doorey, I have been doing a lot of research on the history of American Legion baseball in Clinton County.
“That research has produced over 550 names of players, coaches and supporters who have been associated with American Legion baseball, starting in 1967 and up to the present. With all the information researched, the Clinton County Mariners Baseball Organization was formed and, at the present time, has over 140 members.
“So what better way to mix the new players with stories from the older players than to have a reunion.”
All players, coaches and supporters will be notified by invitation in the mail soon, once the final details have been worked out.
Another event scheduled will be a change of format in the Hall of Fame ceremony.
Over the past few years, the ceremony has been held just prior to the last Mariner game in the Mehan/Turner Tournament on Saturday evening at Lefty Wilson Field. In 2014, the ceremony will take place at Post 1619 in West Plattsburgh at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening, June 21. The final Mariners game will start at 3 p.m., giving everyone time to attend the ceremony and reunion festivities.
Also new in the plans for 2014 is the very real possible formation of a Mariners’ 14U program, to go along with the already existing U19 and U17 teams.
“We’re not trying to take away from the City Babe Ruth League,” LeClaire said. “We’re just trying to make our program stronger, with those younger players getting the opportunity to play Legion ball.”
LeClaire has also taken on the added responsibility of being named the new commissioner of the Next Level Baseball League where the Mariners’ junior U17 team is a part of.
With the success of both the Mariners’ senior and junior teams in 2013, the coaching staff for both will remain intact.
Matt Tolosky, Mike Rascoe and John Coryer will be the coaches on the senior team, and Gary Duquette, Billy Hunt and Hector Duquette the junior team.
For a closer look at Mariner announcements, visit the organization’s website, at www.leaguelineup/com/ccmariners.