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Milford Shines as Legion Tourney Host

Milford drew rave reviews from legion brass after hosting its second American Legion state tournament in three years, and the state's chairman said he would be happy to keep coming back to Fino Field in the near future.
"Milford is excellent, they always do a great job," said state chairman Dick Paster. "It de- pends on who else bids and what the athletic committee decides on, but we are absolutely pleased with Milford and we wouldn't have any problem coming back."
Paster said the quality and quantity of volunteers has set Milford apart when it comes to putting together the right team showcase that caps off the legion season in the state.
"They have everything and everyone ready, the people who whatever you need them to do to make things happen," he said. "Anything at all we need to do, they have somebody avail- able to take care of it for us."
Post 59 skipper Steve DiVitto also extolled the effort of volunteers who helped staff the event, which concluded last Thursday with a doubleheader.
"Parents have come in and helped out, taking care of the field, concessions, the ticket booth, merchandise, it's a group effort and community effort," DiVitto said. "I can't thank everyone enough for the work they put into making this an outstanding tournament."
After bringing the state tournament to Fino two years ago, this year's tourney gave Milford the chance to upgrade aspects of the historic ballpark. New bullpens, a redesigned infield surface, and a $10,000 speaker system were among the on-field amenities that were featured during the tournament.
"The venue here is everything," said Milford Legion President Steve Gulino. "It's the com- plete ballpark. You've got media, a press box, bathrooms, a concession stand, you've got everything."
"When they play the National Anthem with the Marine Corps band, you close your eyes and you think the band is there," Gulino said.
Standing inside the concession stand with a towel flung over his shoulder, Gulino said they had sold out of nearly everything through the opening weekend, including traditional ballpark fair like hotdogs and hamburgers and the more exotic offerings such as linguica and tripe. The concession stand also offered Italian grinders, a Milford staple, and breakfast sandwiches for the early games.
As was the case in 2005 and 2017, when Milford advanced to the state final, Post 59 re- warded the home crowd with a deep tournament run, finishing in the final four.
The success of this year's event left both Gulino and Paster open to the idea of another trip to Milford for the final eight sometime in the near future.
"They tell is we do it the best," Gulino said. "They are happy with us."




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