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Atwater baseball tourney turns 50

ATWATER -- The year 1959 can be remembered for many reasons.

It was the year Barbie dolls were introduced at the Toy Fair in New York City.

Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states.

It was the year shows like "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone" premiered on television.

The year 1959 was also the year former Atwater baseball coach Fran Oneto started the Atwater High/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Baseball Tournament.

The tournament turns 50 tonight.

There will be a ceremony at 6:30 p.m. as past Atwater coaches, MVPs, Larry Silva Award winners and tournament queens will be honored at Memorial Ballpark.

The ceremony proceeds the Atwater-Livingston game, which is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"One of the Lions members pitched the idea of playing Livingston since they have been in the tournament the longest," Atwater coach Jarrod Pimentel said. "I thought it was a great idea."

The tournament opens at 10 a.m. with Linden facing Central Catholic.

Waterford will face Patterson at 1 p.m. with Carson squaring off against Moreau at 4 p.m.

"I know there will be a big crowd for the ceremony," Pimentel said. "I know a lot of people are coming back for that.

"It should be a good atmosphere and a lot of fun."