Since it’s officially summer, it’s time for a deep dive into baseball, and this weekend will offer fans an opportunity to see some quality teams.
The Albany Athletics, 2012 and 2016 American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series champions, will host their 22nd Price Chopper/Market 32 Baseball Fest in Schenectady’s Central Park Friday through Sunday. It’s the longest-running summer baseball invitational tournament in the Northeast for 17-year-old-and-up teams.
The event will be an official Coaches vs. Cancer benefit for the ninth year. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Each player, coach and umpire will be provided a set of pink sweat bands to wear throughout the games to bring awareness to the fight against cancer.
The Capital District Baseball Umpires Association will contribute a portion of their game fees to the American Cancer Society. Donations may also be made directly by calling 518-220-6931 or visiting http://man.acsevents.org/goto/AlbanyAthleticsBB. Checks can also be made payable to American Cancer Society and submitted at tournament sites this weekend.
Competing this year are the Whitesboro Pilots, All Stars Academy (Latham), Upper Deck Titans (Amsterdam), Twin Town Devil Cats (North Greenbush), King Sports Monarchs (Schenectady) and the host Athletics, who are 13-time Baseball Fest champions, including the last three in 2021, 2019 and 2018. The 2020 tournament wasn’t played due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Tournament founder/director and Athletics head coach Joe Altieri said this year’s field is a combination of available, quality local teams and teams willing to travel amid improving, but still notable COVID-19 statistics.
“We’re grateful that Whitesboro is traveling and staying overnight,” said Altieri, who noted that teams once came from as far away as Columbus, Ohio (in 2012), Ottawa, Ontario, Rhode Island and New Jersey for the tournament. “It worked out fine this year, and there are some good teams playing.”
Altieri said he is also thankful to the City of Schenectady for its role.
“They’ve been great about holding that date for us for 22 years,” Altieri said. “And they’ve made substantial improvements to the fields over the years.”
Each team is slated to play three round-robin games, with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals on Sunday morning. The championship will be at 1 p.m. Sunday on the A diamond. Tournament admission is free. All games can be followed on the Tourney Machine app or on Twitter @AlbanyAthletics.
“Even though we had it last year, it does feel great to be back,” Altieri said. “This should be a great weekend for players and fans to bounce between the fields and see the other teams in a lot of friendly competition.”
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All games at 6 p.m.
Albany Athletics vs. Whitesboro Pilots at Diamond A
King Sports Monarchs vs. All Stars Academy at Diamond B
Twin Town Devil Cats vs. Upper Deck Titans at Diamond C
King Sports Monarchs vs. Albany Athletics at Diamond A, 11 a.m.
Twin Town Devil Cats vs. All Stars Academy at Diamond B, 11 a.m.
Whitesboro Pilots vs. Upper Deck Titans at Diamond C, 11 a.m.
Twin Town Devil Cats vs. Whitesboro Pilots at A Diamond, 1:30 p.m.
King Sports Monarchs vs. Upper Deck Titans at B Diamond, 1:30 p.m.
Albany Athletics vs. All Stars Academy at C Diamond, 1:30 p.m.
**Rain make-up slots on Diamond A from 3 p.m. until dark, if necessary
Semifinal: No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 seed at Diamond A, 10 a.m.
Semifinal: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed at Diamond C, 10 a.m.
Championship: Semifinal winners at Diamond A, 1 p.m.