Belleville’s American Legion sponsors youth baseball team

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BELLEVILLE, NJ — For the first time in more than 20 years, American Legion Post 105 and Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105 are sponsoring a youth baseball team in Belleville. The ball team, a high school–level traveling team, plays as part of its division other North Jersey teams from places such as Cedar Grove, Long Valley, Chatham and Montclair, among others.

Post and Squadron 105 have made it a goal to support a youth team over the past year. An opportunity presented itself when Belleville Recreation Director Tom Agosta let the Legion know that he was looking for a sponsor for the new Belleville traveling team. As part of the United States Amateur Baseball League’s 14-and-under division, the Belleville Jr. Bucs join a huge league with some pretty stiff competition. Agosta himself played on the American Legion Post 105 team in the American Legion League in the early 1980s, and now is proud his nephew plays for the Belleville Legion travel team 40 years later.

“I’m so happy we’re doing this, because we used to do it for a long time, and it’s happening again now,” Post Commander Joe Cobianchi said.

The membership is incredibly happy with the decision to sponsor and support the team. As Second Vice Commander Scott Higgins said, “The American Legion is always for supporting our community.”

The 105 Legionnaires and the SAL Squadron each donated $1,200 for uniforms — $2,400 in total — so the players don’t need to pay anything for uniforms. Above and beyond that, through the generosity of a donation from SAL member Al Rossi, SAL 105 purchased numbered team practice uniforms so each player could have two practice shirts, which have identical printing to that of their game uniforms.

All of the uniforms and shirts were printed at National Sportswear on Cortland Street in Belleville. The four Tartaglia brothers and owners — Marc, Mike, Peter and Daniel — are also SAL 105 members, through their father’s World War II service. All of the uniforms, with the Belleville “B” on the front, have the American Legion logo on one sleeve and the Sons of the American Legion logo on the other.

SAL 105 also purchased six-dozen “Post 105 Belleville Baseball” T-shirts for members, parents and supporters of the team to wear. The proceeds from the shirts, being sold both at the Post and at games, will go to holding an end-of-the-season barbecue for players and their families at Post 105.

SAL 105 Commander Steve Sangemino said, “We, the American Legion Post 105 in Belleville, need to take care of our youth in Belleville.”

Photos Courtesy of SAL Squadron 105