---- — AUSABLE FORKS — AuSable Forks will be hosting the 51st Annual AuSable Forks Men’s Fast Pitch Softball Tournament beginning Friday, July 12–Sunday, July 14, at the Billy Mitchell Memorial Field in AuSable Forks.
Players from as far away as Ontario and Quebec, and all over the state of New York, will be playing on these teams to win the first-place prize of $2,000.
The first game will be at 6:30 p.m. between Gordon Oil from AuSable Forks and Barrhaven Broadway Blues from Ottawa, Ontario followed by the 8:30 p.m. game CPI Classics vs. Razzanno Trucking.
The AuSable Forks Post 504 American Legion Color guard will be raising the American and Canadian flags and Susan Richards will sing both the American and Canadian National Anthems before the start of the 6:30 p.m. game. The dedication of the tournament will be at the conclusion of the first game.
This year’s tournament has expanded to a 12-team round robin format due to a lengthy waiting list according to TP O’Neill, Team Coordinator for the tournament.
The teams will be playing for the first-place prize of $2,000, second place $900, third and fourth place $300. There will be 16 trophies handed out and there will be an All-Star team announced following the tournament.
Carp I 4C from Carp, Ontario will be back to defend their title after winning the top prize in the 2012 Tournament. Carp I4 C was also the runner-up in 2011.
2010 and 2011 champions, Donnacona Blue Sox from Donnacona, Quebec, return trying to win the title back in 2013.
Razzano Trucking, Johnstown/AuSable Forks who have won the tournament in 2008, 2006, 2005, 2001, 1989 and runner-up in 2009, 2003, 2002, 1998, 1988 will also be vying to get their title back.
Cutro Professional Inspections (CPI) from Oswego were 2007 champions and 2008 runner-ups along with Knoxville from Ontario/Pennsylvania, 2002 champion,s will be back with some new players looking to make a run for the championship.
Also in the tournament are Mountain Brook Lodge Blitz from Ottawa, Ontario/Wilmington, the Barrhaven Broadway Blues from Ottawa, Ontario, Scooters Pub from Forestport and local Gordon Oil Company 1997 Champions
Newcomers this year will be Angels from St. Henri Quebec, NY Bombers the 2009 NSA World Series champions from Cortland and, NY Swashbucklers from Staten Island, 2012 ASA National Champions and currently ranked No. 22 in the world.
The AuSable Forks Fast pitch Tournament has only been rained out two times, 1976 and 2000.
Tournament play will resume Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and Sunday morning at 9 a.m.
There will be four pools with three teams in a pool, round robin format and each team will play a minimum of three games.
Tournament Director Tom O’Neill is in his 36th year overall and has directed the tournament for the past 11 years. The tournament was dedicated to O’Neill on the 25th year and is still actively involved as Director in the 51st year.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the great working relationship I have had with the community, the players playing in the games,the managers coaching and the tournament committee over the years,” O’Neill said.
“No one has a paid position, everyone does it for the love of the tournament,” he added about the volunteers.
O’Neill stated that Bobby Meconi says it best when talking about the tournament, ‘It’s more than a tournament to our town, it’s truly a festival as the entire town becomes involved one way or another and everyone marks their calendars for the second weekend in July every year’.
The “Dick Crahan” Food Concession Stand and the beer booth will be opened all weekend with proper identification.
Following Friday night’s second game there will be live music by TJ Swan at the Dr. Najim Pavillion behind the announcer’s booth and a fireworks show by Alonzo Fireworks of Saratoga at approximately 10:15 pm.