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ABOUT TOWN: The Umpire Strikes Back (And, Want a Christmas Parade? Volunteers Needed!)

Welcome to "About Town with Mark Snyder," a column that will keep you up to the minute with what's what, who's who and what's going on around town. If you see or hear something we could use here, let us know by sending an e-mail to pmpco@aol.com.

THE UMPIRE STRIKES BACK! For the third consecutive year, local umpires from Stoughton were selected to work the championship game at the very prestigious Cooperstown Dream Park in New York. 

Each year, Cooperstown Dream Park runs 13 one-week tournaments for 104 teams from all across the country and Canada (). This year local umpires Lee Policow, Rich Snyder, John Zaniboni and Paul McKeen were all selected to work the championship games.

Rich Snyder was selected for the week 1 championship game.

Week 10 saw Snyder return to the big game along with Lee Policow and John Zaniboni. Three umpires from the same town in the same game has never happened before in this tournament! That would include umpiring teams from big cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. And, little Stoughton beat all the big cities! 

To top it off, this was Policow's first time attending! But, Policow self-deprecatingly says not to give to much credit to him.

He tells About Town, “McKeen, Zaniboni and Snyder are arguably three of the best umpires I’ve seen. I was fortunate to have been paired with John [Zaniboni] and Rich [Snyder], two experienced guys. That’s why I got the opportunity to do the big game. To do the championship game with two of the best teams in the country, and some of the most talented 12-year-old players across the nation, was quite a thrill.”

Paul McKeen traveled out to Cooperstown for week 11 and was selected as the plate umpire for that week’s championship game. Policow told About Town that “McKeen was truly selected as the #1 umpire in week 11. It’s incredibly prestigious.” 

McKeen, who has been umpiring over 15 years, was long-time director of the umpires at Stoughton Little League, as well as Manager of the Major League Tigers. He still umpires for Babe Ruth League and varsity high school games.  Zaniboni and Policow do AAU, Babe Ruth and Little League, while Snyder (he wants me to emphasize no relation) also does high school games.

A true testament to hard work was recognized and rewarded this year at Cooperstown Dreams Park. Each week close to 100 umpires work there. To have these individuals rise to the top of the class consistently each time they go shows their dedication to the profession.  It also shows great promise for the Stoughton baseball programs. This year, Stoughton High grads Adam Elmowitz and Kenny Boykin were both certified as umpires.

Congratulations to these four individuals who have brought national prestige to the Town of Stoughton.  To have FOUR umpires from our town working Championship games at Cooperstown is quite an achievement!

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COMMUNITY EVENTS COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUThe Stoughton Community Events Committee has plans for a number of great events for the residents of Stoughton. But member Kevin Stetson points out that some of the events could . 

He tells About Town, “I cannot stress enough the need to have volunteers step up and help us out with these events. If we do not get help, these events may have to be canceled.”   

Anyone willing to help is asked to come to the Events Committee’s meeting on September 10 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall, or call Joe Mokrisky at 781-344-8887. 

Here’s what the SCEC has scheduled, so far:

  • Haunted Hayride: Saturday, October 13, 2012 At Cedar Hill Golf Course, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. - (Rain Date Saturday, October 20th)
  • Annual Christmas Parade: Sunday, December 9, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. - (Route TBD)

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HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAYS: (Sunday, August 19) Happy 9th to Hannah Lambert (daughter of Stoughton historian David Allen Lambert.) Also, on the 19th, to Ken Sawyer, owner of Spoontiques on Island Street; To Randolph Town Clerk Brian Howard; and to Stoughton Public Schools food service director Edward Gilbert.

(Monday, August 20) Debra Smith Cote, a nurse and involved West Elementary School parent.

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