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National Pastime Honors Military

Massapequa hosts all-stars and Long Island elite

It was a special night at John J. Burns Park in Massapequa, as the Town of Oyster Bay hosted the First Annual Supervisor’s Trophy Game. The Long Island Force, an elite traveling baseball team of prominent baseball players from high schools across Long Island, took on the U. S. Military All-Stars, a team of players with ties to the U.S. Military, including active duty service members. In an exciting contest, the U.S. Military All-Stars rallied in the seventh inning, defeating the Long Island Force, 8-5.

“This is a great night and just one example of why the Town of Oyster Bay is so special,” said Supervisor John Venditto. “This game featured two terrific teams made up of highly skilled players, and the event was filled with patriotic festivities to honor those who have served our nation as well as those who are presently doing so. Great baseball and a tribute to the United States in beautiful Burns Park made this a wonderful night for players and fans.”

The U.S. Military All-Stars travel the country to promote awareness of the service given by the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. Players wear patriotic jerseys and military style camouflage pants, and the names on the backs of the jerseys are not the names of the players but instead pay tribute to an American ideal, institution or historical figure.

Prior to the game, a dignified patriotic ceremony was held, which included members of American Legion Post 1066 under the direction of Past Commander Jack Hipp. Brianna Stratus from Bethpage delivered a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Later, at 9:11 p.m., the game was paused to conduct a solemn ceremony which remembered the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and to also pay tribute to the first responders whose brave actions saved lives on that awful day, as well as the members of the U.S. military who responded to the attacks by defending freedom throughout the world. During this ceremony, the crowd joined in singing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”

As for the game, after trailing 1-0, the Long Island Force took the lead with Kyle Heiss from Locust Valley High School delivering a key hit. Heiss would later be chosen as the Force’s Most Valuable Player.

However, the U.S. Military All-Stars would rally in the seventh to take the lead. Manager Karl Seiter, wearing number 5 and the word “Pentagon” in place of a name on his jersey, contributed on the field by pitching several innings and also chipped in with timely hitting. Reliever Jordan Egan, with a blazing fast ball, pitched the ninth inning to get the save. Seiter would be chosen as the MVP of the U.S. Military All-Stars. In addition to a distinguished baseball career, one that includes two hits in a spring-training game against the Boston Red Sox, Seiter has also served the country admirably and has been awarded two Purple Hearts.

“The Town of Oyster Bay was our best stop so far on our tour,” said Seiter. “Thanks to Town Supervisor John Venditto, Town Councilman Joseph Pinto and their colleagues in Town government for understanding why we do this and truly supporting the cause.”  

The U.S. Military All-Stars also won the Home Run Derby contest held between the two teams. Players from youth baseball organizations within the Town of Oyster Bay participated in this contest by playing the outfield and catching the fly balls that did not make it over the fence. The youth ballplayers also participated in a baseball clinic held prior to the game.

“It was a great night for baseball, a great night for the Town of Oyster Bay and a great night for the United States of America,” said Venditto.