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TAYLOR MADE: RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY (2021-07-09)

I can't recall the last time I've covered a sporting event that has seen as many weather delays as this year's Owego Little League 10U / 12U Tournament has had to endure.

As of this writing, there have been at least four days where weather has halted or postponed games — not to mention a fire-related stoppage.

Mother Nature has been doing her best to disrupt the event, which started June 26 and was scheduled to end this Sunday. It appears the tournament will now last until Tuesday, however, the forecast for the next few days could present a challenge.

Kudos to the grounds crew which has been taking care of the Hyde Park baseball fields during the current tourney. A few torrential downpours have kept them on their toes and they've responded well.

Hat's off to the concession stand workers, umpires and tournament officials for their efforts as well. Keeping things running smoothly for the players on these 29 teams and their fans is no small venture.

Notably, the seven Tioga County teams participating went 12-5-4 in pool play and placed first, second (twice) and third in the five divisions. They are currently 5-2 in the double elimination brackets.

It has been a crazy time to say the least, given the recent weather and the past 16 months of the COVID pandemic, but in my 34 years as journalist I have never seen a sporting event stopped due to a fire. Well, it happened last week at the Owego tournament.

A garage behind the left field fence on Field 1 at caught fire. It didn't take long for the steel building to be fully engulfed and several vehicles had to be moved out of the parking lot to make access easier for fire crews. The fire crews received a rousing round of cheers from several of the young players. Unfortunately, tournament officials had to call the games.

I was informed recently this is not the first time a fire has caused a stoppage in a baseball game at Hyde Park. Apparently, many years ago, a house caught fire on Talcott Street. The house next door to the fire belonged to an umpire who was calling a game at Hyde and he had to stop the game to go check on his residence.

Finally, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to David Alliger, Danielle Banks, Cathy Doane, Lisa Houston Kalpokas, Cristina Rossi and Cari Shiel, as well as TCSR website owner Tim Birney, for providing photo coverage during the 2020-21 school year. Hopefully, I didn't forget anyone.

By the way, I am always looking for help with photography, especially with youth sports as the high school seasons consume a great deal of my time. You don't have to be a professional, but if you can take quality photographs and are interested in sharing them, contact me at timtaylor2661@gmail.com, timtaylor@tiogacountysportsreport.com or text / call me at 570-867-2767.

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