Saturday, November 22, 2014

Two well matched teams of mostly National Leaguers (the old timers) played a game on the old Fred White field.  The visiting team managed by Simon with Marino, Butler, Harlan, Thompson, Mohan, Ayala, Zakrowski, McPartlan, Ducham, Witter, Walton and Yarletts.  Marino led off with a long drive to left center but was out on a good running catch.  Simon lined one up the middle and Butler hit one in the hole with Simon being forced out at second and Butler safe at first.  Harlan singled to right, Thompson drove one to right also scoring a run.  Mohan looped one over third base driving in the second run of the game.  Ayala lined one to third for the final out of the inning.

The home team managed by Bloom with Burns, Crowe, D. Hill, Moots, F. Miller, Podbielski, Lopiccolo, Merritt, Bess, L. Baker, Gibson and Holder.  Burns led off with a line drive to right field for a double, Crowe singled to left and Hill drove in Burns for the only run of the inning. 

The visitors came out swinging with the second half of the lineup.  Zakrowski singled as did McPartlan after a force out at second singles by Witter, Walton, Yarletts, Marino and Simon drove in the 5th run of the inning.  Home team now batting.  Singles by Merritt, Bloom,  Bess reached on an infield error with a run scoring and Gibson smashed a liner to left to drive in the final run of the inning.

Score after 2 was Visitors 7 Home team 3.  Butler led off with a double to deep left center field and Harlan singled in Butler and Thompson’s single drove in Harlan.  After two good fielding plays set down the next two batters Zakrowski singled and McPartlan  walked.  Ducham hit one to left center fielder who made a good catch for the final out of the inning.  Home team came alive in the 3rd scoring 5 to make the score 9 to 5 in favor of the Visitors.  Burns started the inning with a double, Crowe singled, Hill singled, Miller doubled, and Podbielski as did Merritt and Bloom drive in the fifth and final run of the inning.

No scoring in the 4th inning.  In the 5th Visitors tallied 5 and Homers scored one.  In the 6th two runs were scored for the home team.  After the visitors scored two in the 7th Blooms team scored 5 to tie the game at 16 each.

Both pitchers knuckled down in the 8th inning without any runs scoring.  Marino led off the 9th with a single, Simon also singled.  After two outs Thompson lined one to right and Mohan drove one to left to score the second run of the inning and the final run of the game as the home team came up empty in the last half of the inning.

Final score Visitors 18  Home team 16.

Leading Hitters for Visitors:  Marino  3 for 5, Simon 6 for 6, Harlan 3 for 5, Thompson 4 for 4 with walk. And Zakrowski 4 for 4

Home team:  Burns 5 for 5 and the Cycle with 2 triples. Hill 4 for 4, Miller 3 for 4 and Merritt 3 for 4.                                    Submitted by Don LaMay

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The National League game was played on Field C today, Tuesday, Nov 18. It was played in cold conditions and passes as our version of the Ice Bowl.  Each team had 11 players so everyone kept moving to beat the frosty weather.  The home team was managed by Nic Burns and also included Marino, D. Hill, Mohan, McClelland, Simon, Leggett, Witter, Merritt, McPartlan and Holder.  The visitors were managed by Russ King and included Altamose, Jay, Thompson, Stan M., Art, Strait, Serge, Mohan, Smitty and Moots.  The story of this contest was in the first three innings.  The visitors failed to score in the first three frames while the home team scored nine times over the first three frames to build a substantial early lead.  In the fourth inning the visitors got on the board with a four run inning but were quickly matched by the home teams burst of four runs in the bottom half of the fourth.  The visitors tightened the score with a run in the sixth and a five run burst in the top of the seventh to make it a close game and only trailed by three runs.  In the bottom of the seventh inning, the home team scored three more to take a 6 run lead into the eighth.  The home team added three more scores to take a commanding 9 run lead into the final inning.  The visitors only managed a single run in the ninth and the final score had the home team up 19-11.  The WP was Jerry Witter.  Leading batters for the visitors were King 5-5 HR, Art 4-4 2B and BB.  The leading hitters for the home team were Simon 5-6, Marino 5-6 3B, Mohan 3-4 BB, McClellan 3-5 2B, Burns 3-5 2B, Merritt 4-5 2B.  Congrats to all players for participating in cold weather and showed true love of the game and camaraderie. 
Burrrrrrrr, baby, it's cold outside, for Florida.

The 20 AL, ballplayers, who braved the harsh weather conditions to play softball at the ball park today, were bundled up. We played ball for love of the game today. It was so cold that playing a hockey game, instead of a softball game, might have been the better choice of sport action. It was so cold today that the hitchhikers I passed, on the way to the ball park, were holding up pictures of thumbs. It was so cold outside Freddy Gonzalez rode a dog sled to the game.


In honor of the hockey like, winter weather, I dubbed the teams after two NHL franchises. The Visiting team was the Tampa Lightning: Rivera, Hartley, Witmer, Toro, Angel, Shaffer, Coffman, Vanderberg, Wells and LoPiccolo made up this frozen squad. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Home Team, had these chilly players: Gonzalez, Hill, Scarbrough, Wilshire, Constantine, Pepin, Matta, Benson, Leversque and Ambrosse.


The first three innings, or period 1, to use a hockey term, belonged to the Penguins. They scored 9 runs against the Lightning’s 3 runs. Gonzalez, Hill, Scarbrough, Wilshire, Constantine, Leversque and Ambrose all buried the puck in the back of the net during that time.


The wind, blowing from right to left field, was doing some strange things to the ball. The hard hit fly balls to right and center field, hung up for easy catches. Sporadically, a pop fly that would have been a routine fly out, would fall in for a hit because of the wind. Meanwhile, the pitchers were both battling the wind and using it as an aid, to get a wind-blown strike.


In the 2nd period, or the middle three innings, the Visiting team, Lightning, heated up their cold bats. They scored 5 runs, every inning, in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. Rivera, Witmer Angel, Vanderberg, Wells and LoPiccolo all had hat tricks. In this case, that means they were all 3/ 3 during those middle innings. Despite all the scoring by the Visiting team, they could not ice the game, the Home team refused to give up the lead. Freddy Gonzalez had a hat trick of his own, to help keep the Penguins team ahead. The players around him also added some slap shots for scores,  getting a few timely hits. After 6 innings the score was Lighting: 18- Penguins 20.


The final period, the last three innings, would decide the game. Although the weather warmed up a few degrees, by this point in the game, the bats cooled down. Neither team was able to mount much of an offensive charge. The Visitors put 2 on the scoreboard and the home team added 1 score. That one run, scored by Ron Pepin, off a Ray Leversque hit, in the 8th inning, proved to be the game winner for the Home team. Final Score: Lightning: 20- Penguins: 21.


After today's cold game we can all agree that ice is nice, but heat is sweet, when it comes to playing softball.


WP: Matta

Lightning hitting stars:

Rivera 5/6.

Witmer: 5/6.

Angel: 4/6

Shaffer: 5/6.

Vanderberg: 4/6.

Wells: 3/6.

LoPiccolo: 3/6.

Hartley: 3/6.

Toro: 3/6 with a double.

Penguins hitting stars:

Gonzalez: 4/5, with two triples.

Hill: 4/ 5.

Scarbrough: 4/5 with a triple.

Constantine: 3/5.

Pepin: 4/5.

Matta: 3 / 4 and a walk

Games are on. Its cold, windy and no sun. A good earmuff day. Wish i had mine.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Monday, November 17, 2014

Game time changes tomorrow. Be there no later than 9:00 AM. Games begin at 9:30 AM. Check website for weather report.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID
A Portrait Of The Artist At Work 
On this day, November 14, in 1840, Claude Monet, the brilliant French impressionist painter was born. Impressionism is characterized by both the subject matter and the technique. Typical Impressionistic art work includes scenic landscapes and depictions of urban and suburban life; which are painted in bright, bold, pure colors. Impressionists often began (and sometimes completed) their paintings outdoors rather than in a studio. Their rapidly applied their brushstrokes to the canvas and often you can see their brush strokes when you study their paintings. Monet would have been impressed with our game today and some of the artsy play that Joe D’Herin, Mike Wiltshire, Jerry DeRidder, Ron Pepin, Freddy Dampier, Don Witmer, Tommy Hamilton, Kirk Coffman, Les Jacobson, Donny Scarbrough and Angel turned in on defense. Although I am sure Monet may have wished for more sunlight to work with than we had available today. A heavy mist covered the ball field, however, the lack of bright sunshine and the presence of rain did not dampen spirits on the ball field. Good hitting and timely fielding made today’s game into a masterpiece.


In honor of art, Monet and the masterful work of all the ball players today, I will name all three teams after three of Monet’s paintings. All three team names will reflect their team’s performance.

The Hitting team will be known as the “House Among the Roses”. Dampier, D’Herin, Wiltshire, DeRidder, Heartly, Pepin, Matta, Torrez, McLellan and Fabian made up the rose squad. These guys hit sweet as a rose, Pete Rose, that is; they sprayed the field with base hits and bloomed like a well-kept garden.


The Sitting team modeled Monet’s ”Weeping Willow”: Coffman, Hamilton, Jacobs, Witmer, Thine, Benson, Constantine, Wells, Leversque and Burrelli made up this squad. A beautiful team to watch in regards to their defense and hitting. In today’s game they spread their branches out and achieved a high level of success, only to weep at the end of the game.


The Fielding team, “The Luncheon”: Gonzalez, T. Smith, Laffoon, Jacobson, Scarbrough, Angel, Poke, Vandenberg, Walsku and Wheeler. This team hit like they had an early lunch engagement, they took their cuts at the plate and then went back to the bench to sit and think about lunch.


Today’s game was a classic through 4 innings, all three teams painted using broad stokes with their bats and the score reflected the master artists work. After 4 innings the score was Hitting team: 14 – Sitting team: 10 – Fielding team 11.


That is as close as the game would get for all three teams. In the last three innings the Sitting team, or lunch squad, must have smelled a pie cooking. They played the rest of the game like they were ready to tie on the feed bag. They had six hits in those last three innings and only scored one run. Bon Appe’tit.

The Hitting team and Sitting team were locked in what the French would call ”Se Battre Royal”, a fight to the finish. The pièce de résistance, in this art war, came in the 7th and last inning. The Hitting team/Rose Squad, lead the Sitting team/ Weeping Willows, by a score of 18-16 after six innings of play. The final portrait was still to be painted; the game was up for grabs in the 7th.


The Hitting team came out of the 7th smelling like a rose. To begin the inning, the artists known as DeRidder, Pepin and Matta started things off with base hits.  Then McLlean, Dampier, D’Herin and Wilshire squeezed the paint tube dry, as they knocked in the runners in front of them with hits of their own. After the masters were through applying their strokes, and the canvas was revealed, it showed that the Hitting team had scored 5 runs and now lead 23-16, over the Sitting team. Oh, la, la.

It was time for the willows to spread their branches, or weep. They say if you listen closely you can hear the willow cry. In this case the willow cried for a lack of run support. The Sitting team could only manage two runs, in the 7th inning. Their art work was turned into paint by numbers scheme, when Mike Wiltshire, (Hitting team), fielded a ground ball and turned it into an inning ending double play.

Final Score: Hitting team: 23- Sitting team: 18- Fielding team: 12.


“But he who dares not grasp the thorn, should never crave the rose.” ― Anne Brontë.

"C'est la vie", that’s life.


WP: Matta

The undefeated, Ron Pepin has now won his first three games as a manager and has a perfect 3-0 record.


Hitting team, leading artists:

Dampier: 4 / 5 and a walk.

D’Herin: 4/6 with a double.

Wiltshire: 4/5 with a HR, two doubles and a SF.

DeRidder: 4/ 6 with a double and a triple.

Pepin: 4/4 and a SF.

Torrez: 3/ 5 with a triple.

McClellan: 4/5.


Sitting team, leading artists:

Coffman: 3/5.

Hamilton: 2/ 4 with a HR and SF.

Witmer: 3 / 4 with a SF.

Jacobs: 4/5 with a double.

Thine: 3/5.

Benson: 3/5 with a triple and a double.

Constantine: 3/ 4 and a walk.

Leversque: 4/ 5 with a triple.

Burelli: 4/5 with a double.


Fielding team, leading artists:

F. Gonzalez: 4/4 with a double.

T. Smith 3 / 4.

Jacobson: 3 / 4 with a HR.

Scarbrough 2/ 4 with a HR.

Vanderberg: 3 / 4.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


The board of directors met today after the game and voted to change the starting times for the games from 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM. This will be effective on Tuesday, November 18th. This means you are to be there no later than 9:00 AM beginning on Tuesday, November 18th. Games will try to start promptly at 9:30 AM. If you cannot be there by 9:00 AM, please call me and let me know. If you show up late, you may not get to play.

Don Witmer, Commissioner
After the memorial services for Dick Sessink on Saturday, Erika asked Ron Thompson if he knew of anyone who had any of the old Red, White and Blue jackets from the American Legion Post 8 Team. Ron said the jackets were given to the team members about 15 years ago. Dick was a part of that Post 8 team and Erika and her family would like to have several of those jackets. Is there anyone out there who would like to donate their old Post 8 jacket to Erika and her family. If so, please let me or Ron Thompson know.


Don Witmer - 863.860.5381
Ron Thompson - 863.221.6724

Saturday, November 8, 2014

On Friday, November 7, the game played in the National League had two teams.  The visitors, managed by Jeff Simon, had 12 players. They included F. Miller, Scarbrough, Hartley, Altemose, Moots, Lopicolo, Bess, Levesque, Long, L. Baker and Holder.  The home squad managed by Floyd Welton included Kline, B. Mohan, D. Hill, Reagan, Marino, Harlan, Witter, Barnes, Bloom, Strait, M. Mohan and G. Baker.  This was a close game throughout and wasn't decided until the ninth inning. The visitors scored three runs in the first inning and the home team scored 4 in the second inning.  In the third inning the visitors posted three runs on a Hartley round tripper.  The home team responded quickly with a 4 run burst led by doubles from Marino and Reagan.  After three innings the home team led 8-6.  The fourth inning was slow with only a single run scored by the home boys.  The visitors scored twice in the fifth and the home team added one on a Harlan double.  After 5 innings the home team held a slim 10-8 lead.  The sixth and seventh frames saw the visitors add only one run each frame while the home team added 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh. Neither team scored in the eighth inning and the home team led 13-10 after eight innings of play.  The visitors had the top of their lineup due in the ninth and their first five batters all came in to score.  The visitors took a two run lead as the home  team came to bat in the bottom of the ninth.  Lopicolo was up to the challenge and allowed only one runner to reach base and the visitors came out on top 15-13.  Lopicolo was the WP.  Leading hitters for the visitors were: F. Miller 4-5, Simon 4-5, Scarbrough 4-5 2B, Hartley 5-5 HR, Altemose 3-5, Levesque 3-5.  Leading hitters for the home team were: D. Hill 3-4, Marino 3-4, Barnes 4-4, Strait 3-4.  Both teams agreed this was a fun, close and spirited contest.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's Better, To Bring The Leather! 
Usually after the ball game on Friday, a few American League players lounge around after the game and have a beverage of choice. Occasionally, we break out a few cigars, lite them up and look back on the game. If you look into the cigar smoke close enough, you can see images of the game replayed. Staring through the mist, I can see Ron Pepin running full speed in left field, to make a brilliant over the shoulder catch on a deep fly.  I can see Herb O making fantastic catches in both deep right field and shallow right field, to rob players of hits. I can see Mike Wiltshire going into the hole at shortstop to track down a ground ball that should have gone through for a hit, but instead lands in his mitt. I can see Kirk Coffman making a shoe string catch, on a line drive in left field. Those are some good cigars, aren’t they? Unfortunately, I can see a few other images that are not as pleasing, images of bobbled balls, missed throws and bad base running.

In the American league action today we had the Jokers vs the Pokers. One team poked out hits and surgically played the field, while the other team played the fool. I say that with a certain amount of respect, because there were solid ball players on that Joker team, including yours truly. To explain things further, think of the beat and try and focus on the lyrics from the Main Ingredient’s song, from 1972, “Everybody Plays The Fool”. There is a measure of truth in that music.

“Ok, so your heart is broken.

You're sitting around mopin', cryin', cryin'

You say you even think about dying

Well, before you do anything rash, baby, dig this

Everybody plays the fool, sometime

There's no exception to the rule, listen baby

It may be factual, it may be cruel, I ain't lying

Everybody plays the fool.”

The Jokers, Visiting team: Dampier, Laffoon, Toro, Giordano, T. Smith, Matta, Coffman, Kallister, Ambrosia, Poke and Burns.

The Pokers, Home team: Herb O, Wiltshire, Jacobs, DeRidder, Jacobson, Pepin, Gallagher, Vandenberg, Wells, Borrelli and Fabian.

The Jokers, or fools, or comedians, or jesters, or whatever you want to call us, played second bananas to the Pokers, in this game. Both teams hit well. The difference in the game were the number of great fielding plays that the home team came up with, while the visitors sometimes played with butter fingers.

The Pokers took advantage of the errors and added on some timely hits, to take the lead in the 5th inning. Singles by Herb O, Jacobs, DeRidder and Pepin, along with a sacrifice fly by Jacobson, helped to drive in four runs. After 5 innings of play the score was Jokers: 9 – Pokers 11.

Despite the fact that the visiting team was busy playing jokes on themselves, by juggling and dropping balls, the game remained close. Neither team had a five run inning during the entire game. The Home team did manage to open up a lead as the game wound down. After eight innings of play the score was Jokers: 10- Pokers: 16. Herb O, Wiltshire, Jacobson, Wells, Vanderberg and Barella all had key hits to help their team down the stretch.  On defense, the Home team made play after play, to keep their lead. You could not get a ball past Herb O in right field, he had a gold glove game.

In the ninth inning, the Jokers stopped fooling around and made a run at the lead. Giordano, Smith, Matta and Coffman started off the inning with hits.  The next few players had force outs, with two outs, Poke came up to the plate and slammed a triple into deep center field. (Poke should have played for the Pokers, because he had an excellent game and his name fit better with the other team). The rally ended after the triple, as the Home team nailed down the final out.

Final Score: Jokers: 14- Pokers: 16.

The truth is that even the best player can make a mistake on a given day, everybody plays the fool sometimes, there is no exception to the rule. Rule #2, good fielding and hitting will beat bad fielding and hitting, most of the time.

WP: Wells.

Leading Hitters:

Dampier: 3/ 5.

Laffoon: 5/ 5.

Toro: 3/5.

Smith: 4/5.

Matta: 3/5.

Coffman: 3/5.

Poke: 4/5 with a triple.

Herb O: 4/5 with a triple.

Jacobson 1 / 2 with a SF and a walk.

Vanderburg: 3 / 4.

Wells: 2/3 and a SF.