Assemblyman James Tedisco said despite however many runs are scored the real winner of the annual softball match between Saratoga County rivals Ballston Spa and Saratoga Springs is the Brookside Museum.
The Abner Doubleday Classic, now in its second year, was held at the Police Benevolent Association fields on Weibel Avenue in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, Aug. 4. Last year’s game was at Doubleday Field in Ballston Spa.
“Proceeds from this fundraiser directly support the education programs that Brookside offers to thousands of Capital Region children each year,” according to information from the museum’s staff.
Tedisco R-Glenville, who threw out the game’s honorary first pitch, said anytime two communities come together for a good cause the time spent is worthwhile. Tedisco, who was also last year’s guest of honor, said he was glad to be part of an event intended to benefit an organization, The Brookside Museum, which services a wide breadth of residents, including those from both localities.
The annual matchup between the two municipalities’ helps raise funds for the museum while also honoring the long-standing tradition of baseball in the northern Capital District.
Food and other concessions were offered to help raise money for the museum, and sponsors of the game were displayed on the back of both team’s uniforms.
Last year’s game resulted in Ballston Spa handily defeating Spa City, and this year’s games was on par with the previous contest. Ballston Spa won the game by a score of 15-3, with Ballston Spa scoring the maximum five-runs per inning limit several innings. The contest was seven innings total.
The match was held close until the fourth inning of this year’s game when Ballston Spa broke the game open in the top of the inning scoring five runs.
Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano was in attendance, and Milton Supervisor Dan Lewza, along with school district administrators, local athletes, media and residents, participated in the game. John DeGuardi, who graduated from Ballston Spa High School after playing quarterback for the football team and midfield for the lacrosse team, played a rare left-handed shortstop for Ballston Spa. DeGuardi said next year he is going on the play Division III lacrosse.
Lewza said he had not had a chance to get out and play too much softball lately but the fundraiser sparked his competitive edge, and he said he is considering getting back into playing softball. He quipped, though, playing on one of the warmest days of the summer was no walk in the park.
“It was the hottest the game I ever played in,” he said.
He said he was glad to participate in a game designed to raise money for the museum, since it plays such an important role in the county.
“Brookside is very important to both communities and to Saratoga County as a whole,” Lewza said.
Patty Tesch was team captain for Ballston Spa and Joe Templin was at the helm for Saratoga Springs.
“The Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside is a non-profit organization located at 6 Charlton Street in Ballston Spa that inspires community memory by telling the story of Saratoga County through engaging exhibits and interactive programs. Brookside’s programs and services are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of [Gov.] Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature,” according to information from the education institution.
For information, visit brooksidemuseum.org or call 518-885-4000.
Note: Dan Sabbatino played for Ballston Spa in the match, representing The Ballston Journal.