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The Beacon Chronicle

4-min read

 Saving Community Baseball  

It takes a determined ex-minor league catcher — and our easy-up Phantom Batting Cage.

Special to Beacon Athletics It’s no exaggeration to say that Dutchess is one baseball-crazy county. Only about 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York City, it offers easy access to major league baseball at its best. Yankees or Mets? Fans from 9 to 90 are constantly debating the merits of each. But it doesn’t stop there: the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League also get their share of discussion.

Al Hammell grew up here, before heading off on a baseball odyssey that included 5 years as a catcher in the New York Mets farm system after attending Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. He became an elementary teacher and a baseball coach at Arlington High School, and has spent the past five years coaching at Dutchess Community College, the local junior college.

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