Friday, August 29, 2014

Baseball Legends

Thought some of you Yankee fans might enjoy reading this.

The Labor Day Weekend Show


What better way to start off the Labor Day weekend then with a softball game. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. In Canada, they celebrate the same holiday, only it’s celebrated as Labour Day.  Both holidays take place on the first Monday, in September. Labor Day is generally celebrated with parades, picnics and vacation trips. It’s the unofficial end of summer and prelude to fall, holiday.
 Our games today were no picnic; every run had to be earned, a fitting tribute to Labor Day.
The Hitting team (Herb O, T. Smith, Bobby Z, Edwards, D. Hill, Wells, Moots, Ayala, and Gibson) struggled throughout the game, scoring only 8 runs. They had a golden chance for a big inning, in the 2nd inning. With the end of the line-up batting, they loaded the bases, with no outs. However, the next three batters went down quietly, the hitting team only earned one run that inning. A theme that was repeated through the next few innings, as they only scored one run, each inning, in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings.
The Sitting team, (Dampier, Coffman, Laffoon, Scarbrough, DeRidder, Thompson, Lopez, Marino, Mohan and L. Baker), jumped out to an early lead, scoring 2 runs every inning, in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd innings. Lee Baker provided the defensive play of the game catching a pop fly behind the plate without the ball touching his glove.
 The Fielding team, ( S. Hill, Reagan, Alumbaugh, Jacobs, Giordano, Hite, Matta, Farinas, Chrest, Bess and G. Baker), tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The big hits came from the top of the lineup, as the team scored 4 runs.
After 3 innings of play the score was Hitting team 4 – Sitting team 6 – Fielding team 6.
The Sitting team and the Fielding team looked like they would make it a two horse race, as they jockeyed for the lead in the 4th inning. The sitting team scored 5 runs, off of hits by Dampier, Coffman, Laffoon, Scarbrough, Thompson, Lopez and Marino. The Fielding team did their best to keep pace, producing 4 runs, off of hits by Chrest, Bess, Hill, Reagan, Alumbaugh and Giordano.
After 4 innings the score was Hitting team 5- Sitting team 11- Hitting team 10.
That was as close as the three teams would get. The Sitting team opened up a big lead with a four run inning, in the 5th. The Hitting team's line-up proved to be formidable. They smacked the ball hard and paraded around the bases. The other two teams could not answer with enough offense.
 The Final Score: Hitting team 8 – Sitting team 16 – Fielding team 10.
WP: Thompson
Leading Hitters:
Hitting team:
  • Herb O: 4/5.
  • Wells: 3/4.
  • Moots: 2/3 and a walk.


Sitting team:
  • Dampier: 4/ 5 with a HR.
  • Coffman: 4/ 5.
  • Laffoon: 3/ 4 and a sac.
  • Thompson: 3/4.
  • Lopez: 4/4.



Fielding team:
  • S. Hill: 3 / 4.
  • Reagan: 3/ 4.
  • Alumbaugh: 3/ 4 with a double.
  • Giordano: 3/ 4.
  • Matta: 1/ 2 and a walk.
submitted by Nick Matta

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Missed Birthdays

The weather wasn’t quite as hot today, just 92, but a strong breeze made it quite comfortable, unless you were unlucky enough to be playing in the outfield.  Every fly ball became an adventure, with easy outs becoming home runs and sure hits staying aloft until the ball found a waiting glove. Just an FYI, Ron Thompson found a “dental appliance” on the field, just in case you misplaced one.

With just 36 players we played with 4 teams of 9 each which kept everyone busy between fielding, umpiring, base running, score keeping, and coaching.  Oh yeah, the missed birthdays.  Neither JD Davis or Don Witmer (technically yesterday's child) showed up today so we'll have to celebrate 'in absentia'. By the way, they also missed out on the left over beer from pizza day.

On one field we had the Angels, managed by Freddy Gonzales(Torres, Gonzales, Rivera, Toro, Herbie O., Steve Hill, Wells, Marino and Lee Baker) taking on the fielding team led by Freddy Dampier(Constantine, Dampier, Laffoon, Duff, Jacobs, DeRidder, Giordano, Thompson and Gene Baker).  We’ll call this game the Freddy vs Freddy.  

Freddy’s team came out of the gate fast getting 8 hits in a row over 2 innings to jump to a 9 to 0 lead.  In the 3rd thru 7th innings Freddy’s team came storming back scoring 17 runs while yielding just 2.  

The final score was Freddy’s team 21 to Freddy’s team 13.  Well it looks like everyone is a winner today.  For those not keeping track of the Freddy’s, the fielding team led by Freddy Dampier were the victors.

Top Hitters:

Rivera 5 for 6
Toro 5 for 6
Herbie O. 4 for 6
Constantine 4 for 6, HR
Dampier 3 for 5, BB
Laffoon 4 for 6, 2B
Jacobs 5 for 6, 2 2B
Gene Baker 3 for 6

The other game wasn’t quite as confusing.  The visitors managed by Bob Hite(Reagan, Butler, Gonzalez, Schaepler, Hite, Mohan,  Chrest,  Merritt and Gibson) started slow with just 2 base runners and only 1 hit after 2 innings.  The fielding  team managed by Sammy Lopez(Coffman, King, Lopez, Duff Hill, Ayala, Moots, Bess, Barnes and Stract) didn’t fare much better getting the same 2 base runners and only 1 hit after 3 innings.  It really wasn’t the hitters having the problems, but good defense and pitching from both teams.  

The home team had King, Barnes, Hill and Lopez making both routine and great plays in the field and Sammy Lopez keeping hitters off balance with a good effort on the mound.  While the visitors showed they could play defense too, with Butler, Reagan, Chrest and Merritt all deserving of defensive MVP honors and Mickey Gonzalez pitched a heck of a game that produced all but 5 outs on grounders with three of those fly balls snagged by John Merritt.   But, in the end the visitors were able to string enough hits and runs together to win the game 16 to 7.

Top Hitters:
Lopez 4 for 5, 2-3B, 2B
Reagan 4 for 6
Butler 3 for 6, HR, 2-3B
Gonzalez  5 for 6, 2-HR
Hite 5 for 6, 3B, 2B
Mohan 4 for 6
Chrest 6 for 6, 2B


submitted by Bob Hite

Friday, August 22, 2014

Notes from the Commissioner

Yesterday the voting window closed for this years election and the results were announced at the Summer Pizza Party this morning. I want to congratulate Donnie Witmer who was elected to the position of Commissioner as well as Tom Hamilton and Bob Hite  who were elected to the Board of Directors. They will be replacing Al Andrews and Ron Butler. I also want to give a shout out to the other candidates that stepped up and ran for a position. This was the closest election in a number of years and speaks to the qualifications and commitment to the League of all the candidates.The installation of the Commissioner and newly elected Board Members will take effect 1 October.

As stated earlier, today was our summer pizza party. Hungry Howies provided the pizza and the cookies were once again provided by Bob Hites wife, Melanie. In addition to recognizing the newly elected officers, we recognized the ground crew with a cash donation for the outstanding support they continue to provide us every week. When you see them, please take a minute to personally thank them and let them know how much they are appreciated.

Today also kicked off our Sponsorship Program. It will run until the end of September.We need your support more than ever in acquiring new sponsors. As you know, sponsors, along with Enjoyment Book sales cover almost 60% of our annual budget. We currently have less than half the number of sponsors from this year so we are looking at a substantial deficit in the budget. This coming in the year when we have the additional cost associated with replacing everyone's hat and upgrading our uniforms to a dry wicking material. Without additional sponsors we are faced with reducing or eliminating services or increasing the annual membership dues. Something no one on the Board wants to see happen.

Please pick up or print out a sponsorship letter and take with you to a vendor or business that you frequent and ask them to support Senior Softball. The cost to the sponsor is $250 per year and the explanation of benefits are covered in the letter. Please put your contact information on the lines provided on the letter. If you recruit a sponsor for the year, your registration fees will be waived except for the $10 we must pay to the City of Winter Haven. That means a win-win-win situation.

Numbers Game

I like numbers, do you like numbers?  How about this list of numbers; 100+ degree heat index, 39 players, 3 teams, 4 fans (love the fans), 53 total runs, 2 players hitting for the cycle (Freddy Gonzales & Sammy Lopez), 12 pizzas, many cases of beer and soda, 120 chocolate chip cookies, 1 found bracelet (in case you are looking for your “silver” colored bracelet) and one heck of a good time for everyone.


The Hit Team, a great name for this team, managed by Bob Hite (Herbie O., Reagan, Scarborough, Smith, Zelazny, Lopez, Hite, King, Moots and Lee Baker) got off to a hot start (notice how I worked the weather into that comment) with 5 runs in both the 1st and 2nd, with the key hits being a triple from Lopez and a Home Run from Herbie O.  

Not to be outdone the Sit Team, managed by Steve Hill(Coffman, Chrest, Steve Hill, DeRidder, Jacobs, Butler, Bess, Matta, Ayala and Gene Baker) came out smoking getting 3 runs in the first, with the key blast being a fence denting shot from Gerry DeRidder.  

The Field Team or The Angels managed by Freddy Gonzales(Dampier, Gonzales, Constantine, Edwards, Duff Hill, Wells, Marino Merritt and Ms. Holder)  came out of the gate hot(again notice how I mentioned the weather) getting the first 4 men aboard, scoring 2 of them, before the brakes were applied.  

I must mention that Ms. Holder came as a guest of Richie Marino, most of us thought that Richie bought his lovely daughter to the game, and she came out onto the field and played her heart out.


The Hit Team didn’t slow down much today, getting 23 runs on 34 hits to run away with the gold medal today.  The real contest was for second with the outcome not being decided until the bottom of the 7thwhen the Angels came from 2 runs down to scorch (the weather one more time) the Sit Team to make their total 17 to 13. 

Top Hitters:
  • Reagan 4 for 5
  • Scarborough 3 for 4, Sac
  • Smith 2 for 3, HR, 2 Sacs
  • Zelazny 4 for 5
  • Lopez 4 for 5(hitting for the cycle)
  • Hite 5 for 5, 3 2B
  • King 5 for 5, 2 2B
  • Hill 3 for 5, HR
  • DeRidder 4 for 5, 2 2B
  • Jacobs 4 for 4, 2 2B, BB
  • Butler 3 for 5
  • Dampier 3 for 6, HR, 2B
  • Gonzales 5 for 5(hitting for the cycle) + 2B
  • Constantine 3 for 5
  • Edwards 2 for 4, BB
  • Marino 3 for 5, 3B
  • MS Holden 2 for 4
submitted by Bob Hite

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sponsor's Day

Here is a shout out to all our wonderful sponsors: AMERITY FINANCIAL, LLC, INGRAM FINANCIAL GROUP, THE ESTATES AT CARPENTERS, THE ENJOYMENT BOOK, GESSLER CLINIC, PA, LAKESIDE DERMATOLOGY, LLC; OPTICAL OUTLETS, KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN, AMERICAN LEGION POST 8.
This great group of benefactors help to make our league play possible. Get out and support these businesses and spread the word to others, to do the same. And don't forget to put a license plate frame on your vehicles.  It helps promote the ball club.
In honor of our sponsors, todays teams will be named after three of these honored hosts.
The hitting team will be dubbed the Optical Outlets team. This team produced the following line up: Herb O, Toro, Butler, Duff, Hite, Reagan, Wells, Mohan, Moots, Ayala and Strait.  
The sitting team wore the Amerity Financial, LLC; name. Torres, F. Gonzalez, Witmer, Giordano, M. Gonzalez, Ayers, Matta, Marino, L. Baker and Merritt, made up this set of investors.
The fielding team was given the Gessler Clinic title. The team consisted of these players: Coffman, Chrest, T. Smith, Schappler, Jacobs, Zelazny, Lopez, D. Hill, Bess, G. Baker and Powell.
This Friday we will have pizza, after the game.  When you make a pizza, you usually cook it in a piping hot oven.  Playing on the WHSS fields today, was like playing in an oven.  The heat was on; we almost melted, like mozzarella on a hot pizza pie.  If it stays this hot, Bobby Z, can just bring uncooked pizza dough and cheese to the ball park, we can cook our own pizzas on the sidewalk.
The hitting team must have had their Optical Outlets eye glasses on, for the start of this game.  They were hitting the ball well.  You know the old saying, hit what you see; see what you hit.  The Optical group scored four runs each, in both the first and second innings.  The extreme heat must have fogged up their glasses in the middle innings, as the Optical Outlets team failed to score a single run in those frames. Maybe it was the heat that affected the Optical team, or, maybe, it was the excellent fielding plays that Bess, Duff Hill, Coffman and Bobby Z turned in, for the Gessler Clinic defensive team, which shut them down. Those ballplayers brought the leather and widened everyone’s eyes with their defensive prowess.
The sitting team, Amerity Financial, LLC; must have invested in Miken bats. Their hitting stocks were off the chart.  After a slow, two run, first inning, the Amerity team went bullish in the 2nd inning.  Hits by Marino, L. Baker, Merritt, Torres, F. Gonzalez, Giordano and M. Gonzalez paid major dividends, as the Amerity Financial team scored six runs, to tie the game.  You can credit Ron Butler, (Gessler Clinic team), for a superb defensive play, in the first inning, or the financial team may have cashed in a few more runs that inning.
The fielding team, Gessler Clinic, needed to take their bats to the doctor’s office. Their sick bats only produced three runs through four innings.  However, the doctors who staff Gessler Clinic know how to make a patient well.  The bats came alive in the 5th inning, as the Gessler group put on a hitting clinic.  Coffman, Chrest, T. Smith, Schappler, Jacobs, Lopez and Bess acted as surgeons, they carved up the field using their bats, in place of a scalpel.  The Gessler squad scored five runs that inning.
After 5 innings the score was Optical Outlets  8 - Amerity Financial, LLC- 11 and Gessler Clinic 8.
In the 6th inning both the Optical Outlets team and the Amerity Financial, LLC team had a big, five run inning. The “eye on the prize” team focused on big hits from Mohan, Moots, Herb O, Toro, Butler and Duff, to score their runs. The “Wall Street wonders” had big hits from Merritt, Torres, F. Gonzalez, Witmer, Giordano, M. Gonzalez, Ayers and Matta, to cash in their five runs.  The Gessler Clinic team must have taken a sedative, their bats went to sleep, they were shut out in the 6th.
After 6 innings: Optical Outlets 13- Amerity Financial, LLC 16 - Gessler Clinic 8.
In the final inning, the Optical Outlets team could only come up with one run.  They left two runners on base, when their final out was recorded.  The Amerity Financial team was shut out in the 7th.  As the financial team took the field on defense, they had a healthy eight run lead over the Gessler Clinic. 
In their turn at bat, the Gessler Clinic got a shot in the arm when Bobby Z hit a HR. The rest of the team’s bats needed a transfusion.  Bobby’s run was the lone run scored that inning. Final Score: Optical Outlets 14- Amerity Financial, LLC 16 - Gessler Clinic 9.
 The winning pitcher in this game was Bobby Ayers.  Bobby made some nice defensive plays on the mound.  Defense was the name of the game for Witmer, Matta, Giordano, Barnes and Torres as they all made strong fielding plays during the course of the game to help their team win.
 So what lessons can be deduced from this game?
You need a healthy set of peepers, to see and hit the ball.   Go to Optical Outlets, if you need help with your vision.
A healthy body will help you play better ball; see our friends at Gessler Clinic for your health concerns.
If you want to end the game with lots of runs, you have to hit well.  If you want to invest well, see Amerity Financial, LLC.
It's better having hot pizza, after the game, than overheated ballplayers.
Leading Hitters:
  • Butler: 3/ 4.
  • Duff: 3/ 4.
  • Reagan: 4/ 4 with a double and a HR.
  • Moots: 2/2, and 2 walks.
  • Torres: 3 / 4 with a HR.
  • Giordano 3 / 4.
  • Ayers: 4/ 4.
  • Merritt: 3/ 4.
  • Jacobs: 3/ 4 with a HR and a triple.
  • Lopez: 2/ 3 and a walk.
  • Bess: 2/ 3.
  • Coffman: 2/3.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bob Reagan's Birthday

Not that we count them anymore but Happy Birthday to Bob Reagan! 

Voting for the Board of Directors ends next Tuesday so if you haven't voted yet, get-urr-done.

Help promote your WHSS Club by putting one of our license plate frames on your vehicles.  No reason you can't put one on all of your cars either.

NO GAMES THIS FRIDAY! The grounds crews are doing field maintenance this week. Our next game is Tuesday August 19.

WHSS updates are now also available on Facebook, look us up.

Today's game was a three team event.  

The hit team captain Wells had Torres, Coffman, M. Gonzalez, Lopez, Laffoon, Merritt, Mohan, Moots & Strait.  They managed only 3 runs through the first 3 innings.  

The sit team, managed by F. Gonzalez included King, Butler, Duff, Smith, Oesterreich, Powell, Marino, Ayala, Bess & L. Baker.  They scored five times in the first and third frames- powered by a Butler triple and a Duff round tripper. 

The field team managed by Simon included Rivera, Schappler, Hite, Matta, Scarborough, Reagan, D. Hill. Barnes & G. Baker. They scored four runs thru the third inning leaving the sit team held a healthy lead at that point.  

The hit team came alive in the fourth by putting up 6 runs with triples by Torres and Lopez.  The sit team  was held scoreless and the field team added only a single run to make the score after 4 innings 9-10-5.  

The hit team scored three times in the fifth frame featuring a Coffman triple.  The sit team scored twice and the field team didn't score.    

The hit team stayed hot and added three runs in the top  of  the sixth  with a Laffoon three bagger.  The  sit team continued a strong offensive performance with a run spurt highlighted by a King HR.  The field team only scored two runs and would need a miracle final frame to win.

The hit team scored three runs in the last inning to open up a two run lead.  The sit team was up to the challenge with five scores in the seventh inning to retake the lead by three.  The field team would need a miracle in the seventh and it almost happened.  They scored eight runs and their last out of the inning came with the bases loaded. 

The final score was 21-18-15 and the WP was Powell.  The other pitchers, Matta and Wells pitched superbly and kept their teams in contention.  

Once again L Baker had a key RBI in the last inning.  Also of note, Bob Hite re-injured a strained back and had to leave the field but still managed to hit a solid single in the seventh for the field team.

submitted by Jeff Simon

Friday, August 8, 2014

I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes

There are four things that will kill a team: bad base running, bad defense, bad pitching and bad hitting. We had three of the four killers on display, at times today, at WHSS. In honor of the dead bats, bad base running and dead gloves, I think it appropriate to name all three teams after deadly Florida animals / fish.
 The hitting team will be dubbed the Sharks. This Jaws team consisted of the following players: Dampier, Coffman, Schapler, Butler, Simon, D. Hill, Constantine, Moots, Wells and Gibson.
 There are many different sorts of sharks in the waters around Florida, including Bull Sharks, Mako Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks. There was even a Great White Shark caught 30 miles off the coast of Treasure Island, in the Gulf. There have been a few other Great White sightings in recent months.  A Great White Shark, shot past the Space Coast, near Daytona, in July of 2014.
 Florida had the most unprovoked shark attacks in the world in 2013, when there were 23. None of the 10 fatal attacks around the world, that year, occurred in Florida.
 Most sharks have 5 rows of teeth. This shark team must have visited the dentist before the game and had their teeth pulled, all five rows of them. There was no bite in their bats. They only scored seven runs in the game. They hit into two double plays and had a runner thrown out at the plate.  Jeff Simon did have a nice play on defense, for his shark team. Jeff fished in a sinking line drive while playing 2nd base. Josh Wells pitched a good game, but the sharks got tangled up in a net on defense, making too many errors.
 The sitting team will be called the Snakes. This venomous team had the following players: Reagan, T. Smith, Lopez, Zelazny, Bess, Marino, Powell, L. Baker and Ayala.
 There are 4 types of snakes in Florida which are dangers to humans: copperheads, cottonmouths (water moccasins), coral snakes, plus rattlesnakes. In the United States, only 5–6 deaths occur each year are due to a venomous snakebite. That is a tenth of the number of fatalities, around 50 / year, caused by hornet, bee, and wasp stings!
 This snake team was dangerous; they scored in 5 of the 7 innings in which they batted. For a snake, timing is everything, if you strike at the wrong time you will miss your prey. The fielding team missed opportunities at the plate. There were plenty of innings when they had men on base, but their batters could not drive the base runners in, to produce a big inning. They also had a few fielding errors that allowed the home team to stay in the game. Larry Powell had a nice game on the mound.
 The fielding team we will nickname the Spiders.  Juan Toro wore all black to one of the games, a few weeks back, Freddy Gonzalez and I have called him the Black Widow, ever since. Of course when it comes to his play, Juan’s bat, glove, arm and speed can be deadly. Like a Black Widow’s bite. Personality wise, Juan is no Black Widow; everyone knows he is a nice guy.
 There are two spiders in particular, found in Florida, which can potentially be dangerous. The brown recluse spider (also nicknamed the fiddleback spider, brown fiddler, or violin spider, because of its markings) is one of the most dangerous animals in Florida. It is only small but has a venomous bite that can put you in hospital or worse, and it tends to live in dark recesses.
Southern Black Widow spiders also are somewhat common in Florida and should be avoided. Widow spiders can be identified by the distinctive red hourglass marking on their black back.
 Spiders like to catch flies. Our team spiders caught their share of fly balls and grounders. Gene Baker had a nice catch behind the plate. Overall, we played good defense and Nick Matta pitched a solid game. A spider has eight legs. With all those legs you would think that our Spider team would run the bases well. You would be wrong. We tripped up in our own web, when Freddy Gonzalez was thrown out, trying to advance to third, on an infield out. We also had a problem delivering the fatal bite. We loaded the bases a few times and could not get a key hit to cash in the runners.
 The game came down to the last inning, between two teams. The Snakes, (sitting team), was tied with the Spiders, (home team), 13-13.
 During their at bat, in the 7th inning, the Snakes threatened to score the go ahead run. They had runners at 1st and 2nd with only one out. Lee Baker had a key hit that inning and also earlier in the game. However, they ran out of venom, when they hit into an inning ending double play.
It was all up to Spiders to trap their prey and win the game. We had the 3rd, 4th and 5th batters due up that inning. However, the Black Widows hour glass was empty. We could only produce one hit. The game ended in a tie.
 Final Score: Sharks 7 - Snakes 13 - Spiders 13.
 After talking about these deadly creatures, you might be surprised to learn that they are not close to being the world’s deadliest animal. That title goes to the tiny mosquito. What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.
  
Leading Hitters:
 Reagan : 4/5
  • T. Smith: 5/5 with a HR.
  • Lopez:  4/5 with a triple.
  • Powell: 4/5.
  • L. Baker: 3/5
  • Toro: 4/5 with 2 doubles.
  • Herb O: 4/ 5.


submitted by Nick Matta