POWDER BLUE MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW
The Royals defeated the Rays 10-2 in Game 2 to win the inaugural National League final series and capture their second straight Executive League championship.
Powder Blue may have boasted the best player in the post-season, but they also proved they were the better team. The Royals dressed 14 players for the final game – batting all of them – and received contributions from top to bottom. After scoring a run in each of the first three innings to build a 3-0 lead, the bottom of Blue’s order broke the game wide open with a five-run mercy inning in the fourth. Key RBI hits that inning from Mike Wolfman, Randy Weinstein, Nathan Jack and Stephen Goldsmith gave the team some much needed breathing room from the Rays.
The defence was flawless too; Weinstein made a superb diving catch on a shallow fly to left, while Wolfie made a terrific scoop and then a tag play at first on two slick plays by third baseman Steve Bleiwas. Fittingly, Dan Berlin snagged a sharp grounder at second off the bat of Robbie Cooper to end the game and seal the championship. Royals MVP Johnny Marshall capped off his Ruthian season with a complete game and some stellar defensive plays of his own. He finished the playoffs with a perfect 4-0 record.
Marshall’s performance on the mound and with the bat all season was the stuff of legend. You’d be hard pressed to recollect a better single-season in the league’s history. He hit mammoth home runs with regularity and ease, and stymied opposing hitters time and time again. Perhaps the best part, though, was watching Johnny take the field this season with his dad, Frank. Frank made his Executive League debut this season at the age of 78, and his pitching and hitting exploits were no less inspiring. The consummate teammate and pro, Frank made his mark by walking the walk each and every time he took the field. On a team of Royals, they were truly the King and Prince.
While the pitching and defence were top notch, Powder Blue’s bats were lethal all season long, powering the team to a first place finish in the regular season standings. Colin Halpern, Paul Silverstein, David Goldstein, Larry Herscovitch, Adam Altberg, Lorne Swartz and Gavin Ziv helped comprise a lineup that was a throwback to “Murderer’s Row,” the famed Yankees order of the ‘30s. Twelve of the team’s rostered players had played in a Maccabi Games at one point, with six having represented Canada in Israel this past summer.
Of course, a special shout-out goes to the team’s fearless leader and manager, Irwin Tobias. He was playing chess while everyone else was playing checkers.
Congratulations to the Powder Blue Royals – National League champions for 2017!
Silver wins game 3 to get to final
It was a superhuman battle on the mound between Les Silverstein for Silver and Michael Goldberg for Double Blue. Neither buckled in the 113 degree humidex. Blue scored in the top of the 1st, Mike McLeave driving in Warren Morris with a single. Goldberg got out of a bases loaded no out situation in the 1st, then a 2nd and 3rd one out in the 2nd. Silver tied it with a sac fly in the 3rd. Umpire Bruce then called a 10 minute cooling off delay. Les got out of a bases loaded jam in the 4th. Goldberg appeared to get out of another jam in the 5th, getting his 5th and 6th K’s, until Ron Bar Yoseph hit a 2-out, 2-strike pitch for a 3 run homerun that trickled over the top of the fence. Blue scored one in the 7th when Rick Kotick blooped a 2-out single to score Nate Jack. After Tracy Karbelnick beat out his 2nd straight infield hit to put the tying run on, the next batter tapped back to the mound to end the game. 4-2 final.
Silver and Black play the finals starting Wednesday, continuing Thursday, and Sunday if necessary.