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Minor baseball tourney renamed to honour Phillips

The newly-named Steve Phillips Classic, a minor baseball tournament for children in Grades 3 and 4, kicks off Wednesday at the Techniplex in St. John's.

Sixteen teams will compete this week in a minor baseball tournament newly-named for the late Steve Phillips, shown in this file photo. Phillips, a well-known player, coach, umpire and administrator in St. John’s baseball, died in 2015.

Formerly known as the Little League Classic, it’s now named after a long-time baseball player, coach, umpire and administrator who passed away a couple of years ago.

"Steve made a major contribution to baseball in this province," said St. John's minor baseball president Ken Curtis.

"During his 10-year term as president of St. John’s minor baseball, Steve introduced school tournaments, so the naming of this tournament in his memory is very fitting.”

Sixteen teams will compete in this year's tournament. It's the second year that the event will be held inside the Techniplex.

“For many of the participants, the Classic is their first exposure to the sport of baseball, so we want to make sure it is a positive experience. Our weather in early June is not the greatest for baseball, so we decided to move the tournament indoors,” noted executive director Mike Buist.

The Classic kicks off the Old Town Pizzeria School Series coordinated by St. John’s Minor Baseball with the cooperation of the Eastern School District.

The series also includes the Sgt. Geoff Walsh tourney for students in Grades 5 and 6 (involving 42 teams, June 1-4) and a senior high tourney (involving eight teams, May 31-June 4).

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