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Play ball!

The field is ready. The stands are up.

All that's left is for an umpire to shout, Play ball.

The 2006 Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series starts Friday at Clifton Common with 10 teams " including host town Clifton Park " vying for the title.

"Obviously, we're all excited for the tournament to start," said pitcher Jeff Carter. "Maybe a little bit nervous, but I hope everyone's ready to play."

"I cannot wait for all the people to be here," added shortstop/pitcher Josh Lewyckyj. "I've got a lot of family and friends coming, so it will be fun playing in front of all the people. You don't get very many chances to do that unless you make it to college or the pros."

All of the games will be played on the Common's new primary Babe Ruth field " diagonally across from the old field used for prior World Series in 1997, 1999 and 2002. The playing surface was reconstructed over the last six weeks, while new fencing and new dugouts were built around it.

During that time, nobody was allowed to use the facility, meaning that Clifton Park's players are as unfamiliar with it as the nine teams traveling to the tournament.

"My boys have had no familiarity with being on the field because of the re-building of the field. They've had no more play-ing time than anyone else," said Clifton Park manager Bruce Cramer, whose eldest son Bruce designed the new field. "So in that respect, there is no home field advantage. In the respect that we're in our own community, we have confidence because we're in our own community, and we have the support of our own community coming to the games. That will help."

Though the field has been redesigned, it will have one old characteristic intact " it should still be a hitter's field.

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