Friday, April 17, 2015

ToC Bound


The  2015 Mustangs won their 65s AAA division with the minimum games, playing just three on Saturday and a mere one on Sunday to win the SSUSA Spring Nationals at the Winter Haven DiamondPlex.  Congratulations Guys.  This tournament qualifies them for next February's Tournament of Champions.  For us geezers that's the World Series!  We finished second in this year's ToC.  We'll win it in 2016!

Front Row left to right
Jose Rivera,  Regis Finnegan, Don Held, Ron Salyer, Gary DeFalco, Don Bobish, Chuck Duff

Back Row left to Right
Don Witmer, Ron Butler, Eric Johnson, Bill Gafney, Bob Zelazny, Matt Matson,Don Atkins, Don Erb

submitted by Ron Butler

Friday April 17.

Games are on. Be here @ 8:30. Play at 9:00.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gimme Shelter

The Rolling Stones are coming to Orlando, on tour, June 12th, at the Citrus Bowl. They will also be playing at Comerica Park, in Detroit, July 8th. I was able to score tickets to the Orlando event. Joe D’Herin was given birthday tickets, by his son, to the Detroit concert. I always enjoy it when I get to hear a rock’n roll legend perform. At Winter Haven, we had two teams that played a legendary game today; we had five lead changes and the game was tied twice, in nine innings. In honor of the Rolling Stones concert, today’s write up will center on the iconic band.

Team Steel Wheels, (1989, RS, album),Visitors: Rivera, Gazarek, Dampier, Hamilton, Shirer, Coffman, Witmer, D’Herin, Butler, Oesterreich, Vandenberg, Constantine and Wells.

Team Grrr, (2012, RS, album), Home: Essenmacher, Laffoon, Doerbaum, Toro, Parker, Gonzalez, Matta, Davis, Hill, Zelazny, Andrews, Reagan and Cappozzi.

Team Steel Wheels started out “Under My Thumb”, as the lyrics state, “down to me, the change has come, she is under my thumb.” The Visitors were down, through the first 3 innings, then change came. The very first inning was a good one for Team Grrr, they started off like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, we gave it the gas! Scoring four runs off of hits by Essenmacher, Laffoon, Doerbaum, Parker and a sacrifice fly by Matta. After 3 innings the score was Steel Wheels: 3 - Grrr: 7. In the 4th inning, the Steel Wheel squad started to Rock and Roll. They scored four runs that inning. As they rounded the bases you could almost hear them sing, “I know, it’s only rock and roll, but I like it.” One thing is for sure; Shirer, Coffman, Witmer, D’Herin and Butler rocked the ball that inning and rolled around the bases. The Steel Wheels had tied the game, temporarily, at 7 up, in the top of the 4th. The Grrr team came back in the bottom of the 4th and took a 1 run lead. Doerbaum shouted out “grrr”, and hit a gorilla shot over the left field fence, to swing his team back in front. After 4 innings the score was Steel Wheels: 7-Grrr: 8.

The Visitors sang “Start Me Up”, in the 5th inning, as they ran hot and produced three more runs off of hits by Rivera, Gazarek, Hamilton and Shirer. Team Steel Wheels took the lead, it was almost enough to “make a grown man cry”, if you were on the Home team.  Instead of wasting tears, Team Grrr, answered back immediately with a run; Hill, Zelazny and Andrews all added hits, to push the run across the plate. The score, Steel Wheels: 10- Grrr: 9, after five innings.

In the 6th inning the Visitors had an open door to extend their lead, but it was “painted black” (“I see a red door and I want it painted black, No colors anymore, I want them to turn black. I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes. I have to turn my head until my darkness goes”, Paint It Black, RS, 1966). The Steel Wheels team was blacked out in the 6th. That left an open door for the Grrr team to snatch back the lead. Gonzalez, Hill, Davis, Zelazny, Andrews and Reagan did just that, they added some “Brown Sugar”, that produced 4 runs, to lift their team back in front. The Grrr team then sang out, “hey, you, get off of my cloud. Don’t hang around boy because two’s a crowd”. After six innings the score was Steel Wheels: 10- Grrr: 13.

In the 7th and 8th the Steel Wheels put up a pair of three run innings. (Their three runs in the 7th, tied the game, for a 2nd time.) The Grrr team answered back resoundingly, by adding three runs in the bottom of the 7th , (off another Doerbaum homerun), and four runs in the bottom of the 8th, to go back on top. Try as they might, the Steel Wheels team could not keep the lead. “You Can’t Always get What You Want”. The score was Steel Wheels: 16- Grrr: 20.  But, in the ninth inning, team Steel Wheels found out that ”if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need”. The Visitors needed four runs to tie the game. The Steel Wheels went out and had their biggest inning, adding seven runs to their total. They were not going to be anyone’s “Beast Of Burden”. Wells, Rivera, Dampier, Hamilton, Shirer, Coffman, Witmer and Butler all reached base safely. D’Herin added a sacrifice fly to the cause. The score going into the bottom of the ninth was Steel Wheels: 23-Grrr: 20.

The Grrr team needed three runs to tie the game and four runs, to get “Satisfaction”. Well, you know how the song goes;“ I can't get no, satisfaction, I can't get no, satisfaction. 'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try. I can't get no, I can't get no.” Mick Jagger could not get any satisfaction, neither could team Grrr. We only scored one run. Team Steel Wheels won the game, 23-21. “Hey. hey hey, that’s what I say.”

It’s not all “Doom And Gloom” though, we ballplayers will take the field again, later this week, and will try for a win. Maybe then, we will get some shelter, as in “Gimme Shelter”.

Solid gold performers for the Steel Wheels:

Rivera: 4/5

Dampier 3/5, with a triple.

Hamilton: 3 / 4 with a double and a SF.

Shirer: 4/5 with a double.

Witmer: 4/5 with a triple.

D’Herin: 3/ 4 with a SF.

Butler: 3/ 4 with a triple.

Vanderberg: 2/ 3 and a walk.

WP: Wells.

Jose Rivera for a brilliant over the shoulder catch in deep center field on a Jimmy Laffoon shot.

Grrr, solid gold performers:  

Essenmacher: 5/5.

Doerbaum: 5/5 with two HRs and a double.

Gonzalez: 3/5.

Hill: 4/4.

Zelazny: 4/4 with a triple.

Andrews: 3/4.

Tuesday games.

Games are on. Be here at 8:30. Play at 9:00.
Sent frogm my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Monday, April 13, 2015


Tomorrow is the beginning of the summertime start schedule. Sign in no later than 8:30 AM and games shall begin as soon as possible after the teams have been assigned.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Pete Ostojic, Cappy and Larry Frink are forming a new 74 and Over team to play in Florida Half Century tournaments, and they are looking for players.

If you are interested, please see Pete, Cappy or Larry at the fields at Southwest Complex on Monday or Thursday mornings, or Don Witmer at the Winter Haven fields on Tuesday or Friday mornings.

You can also call Don Witmer @ 863.860.5381 and he will take you information and give it to one of the guys forming the team.



A board meeting was held after the games Tuesday and there are several changes that are forthcoming that everyone needs to know about. Below is the summary of the changes.
  • Fees for the 2016 season that begins October 15, 2015 have been raised to $40.00. There will be a late fee of $10.00 for any application that is received after October 15, 2015.
  • There will be no ball games that will end in a tie. The Board adopted the International Tie Breaker rule as used in the ISA rulebook. The new rule can be found on our website under "Rules".
  • Starting time for the summer season will be changed effective Tuesday, April 14th. Sign in no later than 8:30 AM and games shall begin as soon as possible after the teams have been assigned.
  • Batting practice before the games shall be limited to six (6) swings per player. If you carry 3 or 4 bats up to the plate, this does not mean that you get six swings per bat. Be reasonable.
  • The Player Opinion Survey is over and we received 63 surveys. There was a lot of great comments and all of the board members will have an opportunity to read the comments. One thing for certain is that ya'll did not like the three team game format. The Board will do everything possible to make sure we do not have a three team format for next season. We will still use the three team format for the summertime due to limited number of players and the extreme temperatures. The survey will be used to help the Board make decisions for the 2016 season when we have our board meetings in October/November. A great big THANKS for all of you who returned your surveys.
As usual, if you have any questions, please talk to me or a board member.

Don Witmer, Commissioner


SSUSA has scheduled games for the Winter Haven DiamondPlex on Friday, April 10th. This means we will not be able to use the fields in Winter Haven tomorrow.
See you next week.
Don Witmer

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Opening Day

Well, close enough to MLB's opening day anyway.  I'm glad baseball season is here.  There's finally something to watch besides basketball and hockey. (apologies to my Canadian friends.)

Anyway, two 13 man rosters squared off on Field C and I can't say it came out very even.  It looked good on paper though.  Tom Hamilton led the visitors; Rivera, Hamilton, Steir, Doerbaum, Gazarek, Pepin, Matta, D'Herin, Andrews, Gonzalez, Zelazny, Butler and Oesterreich; against JD's irregulars, Dampier, Toro, Witmer, Seguin, Giordano, Drouillard, Lafoon, Gonzalez, Essenmacher, Coffman, Davis, Reagan and Vanderberg.  See?? pretty good match up ... on paper.

Good on paper sometimes doesn't translate to run production though, just ask me, I know. I had a great team on paper this past season but it turned out to be a paper tiger.

The visitors cranked out an early lead and posted 20 runs in the first 4 innings before they backed off a bit.  Meanwhile the Home team only managed 5 runs total over the same span and 4 of those came in the 4th inning.

Dave Doerbaum's two long bombs and Jeff Steir's inside the park job made the visitor's offensive highlight reel. 

For the home squad, Fred Dampier had his wheaties (or a donut) this morning and came to play, contributing an inside the park homer and a double as part of his 5 for 6 day.  Bob Reagan also delivered an inside the park round tripper to complete their offensive showing. 

Defensively the visitor's Tom Hamilton and Jose Rivera turned in some great plays.  Juan Toro and Bob Reagan made stellar contributions for the home team defense.

Final Score Visitors 28 Home 14.

Winning Pitcher Nick Matta

Best of the Batting:


  • Rivera  5 for 5
  • Steir  4 for 5 HR 3B
  • Doerbaum 4 for 4 2-HR 2B, SAC
  • Gazarek 4 for 5 2B
  • Matta 2 for 3 2-BB
  • Andrews 3 for 4
  • Butler 4 for 4


  • Dampier 5 for 6 HR 2B
  • Toro 3 for 5 2B 3B
  • M. Gonzalez 3 for 4 2B
  • Davis 3 for 4

submitted by Ron Butler

Les is a new GrandPa

Les Jacobson is a proud 1st time grandfather of baby boy. Certainly a happy occasion however while the baby was full term, he only weighed 4lbs and unfortunately requires surgery. Please keep Les and his family in your thoughts and prayers and especially that tiny infant.  Let's hope everything works out for them.