East Hills going to bat with softball tourney

The Village of East Hills is hosting the 15th annual Mayor’s Trophy men’s softball tournament at the village park starting Sept. 18.

The single-elimination event takes place over two weekends, and eight teams will face off to make it to the championship game on Sept. 25. 

Stewart Faden and Peter Wagner, commissioners of the East Hills softball committee, organize the event, and Faden said it gives the village a “small town feel” when everyone gets together for the games.

“I’ve had this said to me so many times because we live in an affluent area, you never get that small town feeling,” Faden said. “When the guys do this it feels like you’re in the middle of America. It’s a great morning.”

Faden and Wagner participate in a weekly Sunday morning pickup game, which has been a tradition for about 30 years, Faden said. It was during one of these games that the idea for the village-wide softball tournament came up, he said. The event was named as a tribute to Mayor Michael Koblenz.

“Basically one day we were standing in the outfield talking to each other and we said, ‘Why don’t we do a community event like this?’ to kind of make it feel like a small town kind of thing,” Faden said.

Now it’s been 15 years, and Faden said the event is still going strong. Each year has shown a consistent turnout of  70 to 100 men, and in recent years there has been more participation from younger players.

“I guess some of the sons are coming back to play,” Faden said. “There’s a lot of father and sons that are playing together, which is great.”

The games are open to people of all skill levels, and players will be drafted for balanced teams, Faden said. But even some of the less-experienced players have won games for their team, he said.

The tournament is aimed at people living in East Hills, but friends of residents are welcome to sign up, he said.

The registration cutoff date is Sept. 12 at 4 p.m., with an entree fee of $35. Players receive a team jersey, coffee and doughnuts. Everyone who enters is guaranteed to play at least one game.

To sign up, visit the village website or send an email to [email protected].

by Chris Adams

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The Island Now

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