Niagara Gazette — Last week, the Niagara Gazette proudly sponsored the City Championship, which brought the majors division champions of the four city-based youth baseball leagues together for a playoff series, won ultimately by Cayuga’s representative, the Jocoy Collision Dodgers.
Congratulations to the Dodgers for a fine championship run. I also want to extend congratulations to the other participating teams, the runners-up Hyde Park Tops Tigers, Whirlpool Harris & Lever Florist Yankees and the Midtown Tops Yankees. Although only one team could lift the Mayor’s Cup, all four teams got there because they were the best in their respective leagues. That shouldn’t be forgotten.
What also should not be forgotten are the efforts of several others who made it much easier for me to prepare for this tournament for my first time.
Thank you to John Forcucci, Athletic Director for the Niagara Falls School District, for providing us the NFHS Varsity Softball diamond, plus a working scoreboard and all the steps needed to get the field ready for play. Also from the school district, Donna Eagen has my gratitude for making sure any insurance questions were resolved.
Thanks to the members of the Niagara Falls Umpire Association for officiating all three games.
Thanks to the Cataract Little Loop Football Association for opening and hosting their concession stand during the games.
Many thanks to Doug Smith, my friend and our Monday baseball columnist, for once again taking the role of public address and getting a few chuckles from the fans. I’ve previously referred to him as Niagara Falls’ version of Harry Caray, and once again he didn’t disappoint.
Thanks to Mayor Paul Dyster for being there to congratulate the champions and offer a pep talk to both finalists. It should be noted that, as Doug pointed out in his column earlier this week, the mayor had an opportunity to take the microphone and speak but chose instead to speak more intimately with the players.