Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Emba All-Star Classic Is Set Tonight at St. Paul

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Emba All-Star Classic Is Set Tonight at St. Paul

Article excerpt

The atmosphere at the annual East Missouri Baseball Association All-Star Classic is generally light-hearted and friendly.

Then the game begins.

"It's a fun game, a chance to bring the league's best players together and give them a chance to show what they can do," said East League manager Harold Orf of Cottleville-Harvester. "But it's also a game that both teams want to win. Most of the guys in the league know each other pretty well and there's a certain amount of pride that goes along with a game like this.

"If we weren't going to play to win, there really wouldn't be any reason to play the game."

The 49th East Missouri Baseball Association All-Star Classic will be held tonight at St. Paul. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

"We're going to do everything we can to make it a special night," St. Paul player/manager A.J. Koenig said. "We'll be working on the field all week, trying to get everything ready for a great night of baseball."

The West League won 9-2 last year at C-H Park, but the East League holds a 23-18 edge since the EMBA adopted the East League versus West League format in 1955. From 1948 through 1954, the all-star game pitted teams from St. Charles County against those of Lincoln County. Each team won three games under the old format, with the 1951 game ending in a 1-1 tie.

"There's a rivalry, no doubt about it," Orf said. "I know the guys from the East League want to beat the West League and vice versa. Any time you bring together a bunch of ballplayers, there's bound to be some compet itive feelings. At the same time, though, it's not nearly as intense as a regular-season game; the players are a little more relaxed because there's not as much at stake.

"But the bottom line is that both teams are playing to win."

With the addition of Boo Champagne, who switched from East League power C-H to West League power Old Monroe this season, the West League team would seem to have an early edge in this year's game. Other West League pitchers include Neil Feldewerth (Wentzville), Ed Moore (St. Paul) and Chris Bailey (Wentzville).

"At this point, I'd have to say that we have an edge in pitching," said Koenig, who'll serve as a coach in tonight's game. …

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