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Yankees' Winter Home Hosts Empire State's GOP Delegates

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The New York delegation to the Republican National Convention took a break from politics for a few moments on Tuesday for batting practice, at a locale that will probably make their friends back home jealous... unless they're Mets fans. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

The Yankees' winter home near the Tampa airport had an unusual player at baton Tuesday: Queens City Councilman and congressional candidate Dan Halloran. Watching him swing, one could say his skills in the political arena are better than those on the baseball diamond.

"It's great. It's a little warm," said the sweaty councilman.

State Senator John DeFrancisco, meanwhile, showed he still has the swing that made him captain of the Syracuse baseball team in 1968.

"This convention has been great, and the most important thing about it is to make sure that we win in November," said DeFrancisco.

Like any sport, getting there takes teamwork and good morale, helped along by Tuesday's excursion to the Yankees winter home near the tampa airport.

Between daily breakfasts, long bus rides and a shared mistrust of President Barack Obama, the delegates are building the camaraderie needed to get out the vote for Mitt Romney in November.

"We're talking politics, and women, lawyers, attorneys, senators, everybody just talking. We want to be able to make a change, a positive change," said delegate Shirley Davis.

For these New Yorkers, only one thing would make this trip better -- a chance to sit down with the candidate himself.

Tuesday, they made do with former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, who fired off an anti-Obama address that brought the audience to its feet.

Victoria Gartenberg, a young girl who attended with her mother, was star-struck elsewhere.

"I met Bucky," she said.

She meant former Yankees player and World Series champion Bucky Dent, who hoped both Romney and the Yankees go all the way this fall.

"I think his chances are really good. You know, a lot of energy. I felt a lot of energy here when I was signing autographs here form the group," Dent said.

The state GOP Committee says it paid for the event, which was arranged with the help of Yankees President Randy Levine, who is also a convention delegate. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP