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Youths win baseball contest

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CANTON — You could say that Stacey M. Reed’s family likes baseball.

A lot.

On Saturday, Mrs. Reed, of Gouverneur, sat and watched her 10-year-old son compete in the Canton Recreation Department-supervised local participation in the Pitch, Hit & Run competition, sponsored by Major League Baseball and Aquafina. The final prize is a chance to face other state winners in the national contest at the Major League All-Star game this summer.

So there was Mrs. Reed watching her son pitch, hit and run. His name is Ty. He was named after Ty Cobb, the legendary Detroit Tigers slugger.

Ty’s middle name is Christopher. That was Mrs. Reed’s doing.

As for her husband, Troy C., guess what he lobbied for?

Mrs. Reed laughed. “My husband wanted Ty Cobb Reed,” she said. “I told him you better go with Ty Christopher.”

Another laugh. “I had to draw the line somewhere,” Mrs. Reed said.

Maybe not. Sitting next to Mrs. Reed watching his brother was her 6-year son, Nolan Ryan Reed.

That’s right. The boy was named for another baseball legend, this one the seemingly age-defying pitcher who cowed sluggers from the 1960s to the 1990s for a variety of teams.

Ty, his cousin, 10-year-old Chancellor D. “Chance” Rowe, also of Gouverneur, and several other boys age 7 to 14 took to the baseball diamond at Noble Field to see how well they could handle the fundamentals of the great American past time.

Canton Recreation Director John Taillon has been involved with the local contest for three years.

“The kids have fun doing this,” he said. “It’s good, old-fashioned American fun.”

Not surprisingly, Mrs. Reed agrees.

“It’s fun and it’s all about the kids,” she said.

The winners by age category were: 7 to 8, Scott R. Ahfeld, 7, Canton; 9 to 10, Chancellor D. Rowe, 10, Gouverneur; 11 to 12, Jerod C. Burchell, 12, Canton; and 13 to 14, Chris Recker, 13, Rensselaer Falls.

The next stop is the regional contest in Syracuse next month, followed by the state level and then on to the nationals on July 10 at the All-Star game in Kansas City, Mo.

Chance, an Atlanta Braves fan who favors pitching “because it depends on how far the target is,” is quietly assessing his shot at winning in Syracuse next month.

“Hopefully,” he said.

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