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Leo Pinckney headed off Thursday night to watch the Auburn Doubledays play a double-header at the field that now bears his name.

In recognition of Pinckney's life-long commitment to baseball, Auburn, and Auburn baseball, the council unanimously passed a resolution at its Thursday evening meeting naming the baseball field at Falcon Park "Leo A. Pinckney Field."

"Down through the years, baseball has been very good to me. I've received a lot of honors, but this has got to be the greatest of them all. It is really an honor," Pinckney said, his voice shaking a little when he was told that the resolution had passed.

Pinckney and the baseball field that now bears his name go way back.

"I have a lot of great memories there. I was there in 1937, as the official scorer in the Canadian-American League, and I've been there ever since (laughs). The Border League, the NY-P League. I'm so pleased."

Pinckney, a former sports editor and now a columnist with The Citizen, was instrumental in bringing minor league baseball to Auburn 45 years ago. His many accomplishments include serving

e League and Babe Ruth League programs, president of the baseball writers of the New York-Penn League and president of Auburn Community Baseball.

In 1993 the New York-Penn League named one of its division after him, and in 1998 he was awarded the title "King of Baseball" by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues

The community has also benefited from Pinckney's work as chairman of the Cayuga County March of Dimes, past commander of the Catholic War Veterans, and commissioner of the State Bingo Control Commission.

The city will construct a plaque to honor Pinckney.

In other matters Thursday, the city council, voted to table a proposed ordinance that would raise water rates for both individual and bulk users.

The rates are to compensate a drop in revenue, mainly a result of bulk users being more aggressive in cutting costs through recycling.

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The proposed ordinance would increase the city's residential water rates from $1 to $1.10 per 100 cubic feet and the bulk rate from $.83 to $.98 per 100 cubic feet inside the city limits.

Rates for users outside the city limits are adjusted by 5 percent. The adjustment would raise rates from $1.05 to $1.155 and $.8715 to $1.029.

The new rates would be effective Nov. 1.

Several councilors said they needed more discussion and information about the rate increases, including what the alternative would be if it was not passed.

The council also met with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton to show her City Hall's geothermal energy system and talk with her about the city's plans to become a municipal power agency and its exploration of alternative energy projects, what Clinton said she likes to call "smart energy." Clinton congratulated Auburn for its forward thinking in terms of making the city a self-sustaining, energy independent city. "I don't know anyplace that's doing more in New York state," she said.

Staff writer Mary Bulkot can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 235 or mary.bulkot@lee.net

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