The awards info has been posted here. Congratulations to all the winners and a big thanks to the Exec for another great season.
Powder Wins NL Championship.. and Banquet Info
Congratulations to Powder on winning the National Division championship!
American Division finals between Silver and Black start tonight at 7:15, continue tomorrow night, and then Sunday if necessary.
Please save the date for the banquet, which will be on Wednesday November 1st at Drums and Flats. Details to follow at a later date.
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.
The first series are in the books and the next round begins Sunday.
In the National, Powder had the only sweep, beating Orange 2 straight.
Grey edged Red 9-8 in 8 innings in Game 3, the 2nd consecutive walk-off in the series.
In the American, Double blue beat Purple in 3 games, 9-7 in Game 3, with the visitor winning every game.
Green, one inning from being eliminated in Game 2, came back to win in 8 innings, and beat Powder 2, 5-2 in Game 3 to advance.
Sunday’s schedule is as follows:
- Blue vs. Silver at 10
- Grey vs. Powder at 12
- Green vs. Black at 2
American Game 2s are Monday:
- Silver vs. Blue at 6:45
- Black vs. Green at 8:45
The following Sunday, there will be a Powder vs. Grey game. American game(s) will be determined after Monday’s results.
Times are TBA.
To remind teams of what was said before the playoffs started, the playoff schedule is a draft and other than 1st round game 1, no dates or times were set. Teams were advised to be prepared to play on any available day. Any games listed in an apparent slot were placeholders pending outcome of other games, rain, etc. Unfortunately, we had an ”etc.” , but should be able to get all the series done in time.
Good luck to all remaining teams and Shana Tova to all.
Cliff, on behalf of The board
Double Blue-Purple recap
In a battle of two very evenly matched teams, Double Blue prevailed over Purple 9-7 to take the series in 3 games… a series where the Away Team won each game. Michael Goldberg went the distance, keeping the meat of Purple’s order enough at bay in the bottom of the 7th, forcing an easy pop up with the tying run at the plate to secure the win. Rob Cogan showed the coaching staff that his old battered and beat up body still has some defensive wizardly left in it, knocking down what looked to be sure base hits and making a great over the shoulder grab to end a scoring threat in the 5th. Bench boss Warren Morris hit a late inning 2-out, 2-run shot over the left field fence that proved to be the difference. Kudos to the Purple team…Stephen Lidsky, who was a workhorse, pitching every game since Gary Tenenbaum was kidnapped mid-summer by what is believed to be Chechen Rebels, Bruce Dorland, a first team All-Star both in the field and at the plate and Jamie Grossman, who routinely puts un-hittable pitches out of the park. On to Round 2.
Purple – Double Blue: Playoff game 1 report
Playoff game 1 between #4 Purple and #5 Double Blue can hardly be called a classic, with Purple being plagued by numerous walks and hit batmen. Blue suffered from below par defence that included the dropping of at least 4 routine fly balls. Blue lead the game off with 5 straight walks but Purple managed to get out of the first inning down only 3-2. Blue put up 5 runs the second inning and never really looked back, maintaining at least a 4 run lead the rest of the way. A 3-run homer in the top of the 6th by Henry Morton made the score 15-4, and virtually put the game out of reach en route to a 17-10 victory.
August 30 game Black v. Silver
In almost any context the outcome of an Executive League (American Division) softball game is of no consequence. Most of us would be hard pressed to think of something that is of less importance. Yet for the 20 or so players of Black and Silver, the game seemed to have some unexpected significance. There was something these men seemed to value on the line, a first place finish. Black had occupied that position for most of the year but Silver in its August 24 win over Black had thundered up from the depths to knock Black off its number one high horse. So the Aug. 30 rematch was for all the marbles (well maybe just a marble, it wasn’t really more important than one marble).
Typical of these two teams the lead flipped flop back and forth, changing hands three times in the first few innings. There was actual intensity. Black Pitching and defence seemed ineffective against the top of the Silver lineup. Silver, however, gave up one more big inning than Black despite a great sliding catch in the outfield by Cliff Posel. Ergo, Black eked out a 10-7 victory. On a statistical note, Johnny Hyman took an insurmountable lead in the Black homerun competition with his second dinger of the year. On the year Johnny contributed 40% of all Black homeruns.
August 21 vs Green
In a game that featured bad hops and questionable umpiring, Purple Haze defeated Green 12-9. Purple was led by Bruce Dorland, who turned 3 double plays at short and continued to rake with his torrid hitting, including hitting his first Executive League home run to put the game out of reach. Bruce the umpire admitted after the game that perhaps he pulled a Trump and spent too much time staring at the eclipse without protective glasses. The game wasn’t without controversy, as Purple – learning from its past mistakes – refused to allow Larry (Goggles) Hershkovitz to play, once Green’s 9th player showed up. With Gary Tanenbaum out for an indefinite period, Stephen Lidsky threw a complete game for the victory. Purple wishes Gary a speedy recovery. Mark Goodman also pitched a complete game for Green, and deserved a better fate, as he was also victimized by some bad bounces.
August 24 vs Double Blue
With only 2 games to play in the regular season, this was an important game to determine home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, as the Haze and Double Blue had identical records and were tied for 4th entering the game. Combining timely hitting with stellar defence, Purple scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th to beat Double Blue 10-5. Stephen Lidsky was called on again to pitch 6 innings, before Mark Goodman, who was subbing, came in for the bottom of the 7th to get the save. Purple was held off balance for most of the night by Michael Goldberg, and scored 5 runs in each of the 2nd and 6th innings, with the majority of the runs scoring after two were out. The standout player in this game was Jonathan Kay, who played 3rd base because of an injury to Rich Stein. Jonny was a groundball magnet, making almost every play of the 12 groundballs hit to him. He also went 3-4 with 3 RBIs, hitting the ball hard each time. The ageless wonder, Bobby Tessis, continues to impress at 71 with his hustle, scoring from first on the game winning hit by Goodman, and making plays at second base.
Silver VS Black Aug 23
Down 8-2 after 4 innings
The silver bullets stormed back to take a 10 – 8 lead and hang on for a 10 -9 win .
Great HR BY Herczeg . Great D by Iggy
And Mark Lee brought out his girlfriend – she is good luck. Les and Mark combine for another win.
Silver beat an undermanned Green team 12-1 on Wednesday. The bottom of the order starred for Silver. 7th hitter Mark Lee had 3 hits and pitched four great innings, only being an error away from a shutout. 8th hitter Brad Worth lined a double off the wall and later lined one over the wall at the same spot for his 1st homer of the year. Together with 9th batter Cliff Posel, they went 8 for 8.
August 14th, Black v. Double blue 14-2 Black win
Early August is a struggle for a number of teams. Vacations, injuries and just the vagaries of day to day living draw players away from the diamond leaving teams wondering if they can fill the lineup. Both Double Blue and Black were therefore forced to put out calls and scramble to stitch together a team.
Black was fortunate that both its pitchers (Adam Hennick and Darren Levant) finally returned from their journeys to far off Greece and (we believe) Shangri-La to pitch outstanding games. Ashley Gordon (who reputedly was playing in his 87th game this year) unexpectedly rose from his sick bed to anchor the Black infield and record multiple hits. Despite the final score, the game was close for most of the contest. Double Blue called on the ageless Saul York to spin his Bhurle-esque offerings to hold Black to within 4 runs after five. But fatigue and open innings were the death knell of Double Blue. By the time Black’s Dan Cohen hit a grand slam homerun in the 7th, the game was out of reach and Black went on to a 14 to 2 win. Dan’s hit was only the 4th homerun for Black this year but it has resulted in the statistical anomaly that 50% of Black’s homeruns are slams. Go figure.
Purple vs. Green
Thursday night Purple Haze defeated Green 13-5, with contributions up and down the lineup. Jaimie Grossman finally hit his first two home runs of the season to catch up to his baby brother in the home run race. Jeremy Mandell hit his first Executive League homer, with a key 3-run shot to close out a 5-run second inning. Super-sub Ashley Gordon – who is trying to steal Harvey Hazan’s title from last season – also hit a home run for Purple, though it was only a solo shot rather than the grand slam he hit while subbing against Purple a couple of weeks ago. Purple received solid pitching from Stephen Lidsky (other than one inning when he got wild and hit a couple of former teammates with pitches accidentally), and Mark Lee, who pitched the final couple of innings. The win sends The Haze off to enjoy their bye week on a high note.
Double Blue vs. Red/Purple
The early game saw Double Blue Dodgers facing the Purple Rockies, both below .500 teams playing beneath their pre season rankings. The first inning saw the Dodgers put up 5 runs, taking advantage of some early game walks. For the rest of the game, pitchers Michael Goldberg and Stephen Lidsky held each other’s team to 2 runs each, one being a home run over the centre field fence by Stephen Lidsky. In the end Double Blue was victorious 7-2 behind some strong defence highlighted by Rick Kotick’s over-the-head “Willie Mays” catch, and a couple of sharp plays at the hot corner late in the game by Mike McCleave. The most puzzling play of the game was Stephen Lidsky’s flight out on a 3-0 count when his team was down by 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. During the post game interview, Lidsky said that the manager game him the green light to swing away. Wait a minute ….. he is the manager!
Silver win Monday
It did not look to be Silver’s night on Monday. They were facing the division’s top pitcher in Powder’s Kevin Green, and without their pitchers, turned to Brad Worth in his Exec League debut. Powder led 9-4 after 5. There was a double steal from Norm Nefsky and Irwin Tobias, with Irwin stealing home, the two setting a record for highest combined age in a double steal. After a 5 run 3rd, Harvey Hazan relieved Brad. Ted Rechtschaffen hit a 2 run shot in the 5th for Powder. Only the middle hitters of Harvey-Ron Herczeg-Evan Salofsky could muster anything against Kevin. Ron had hit his usual one homerun a game. At 10:23, Umpire Bruce called the 6th as last inning and the bottom of the order came up. Suddenly, guys got on base. Leadoff hitter Mike Schlesinger cleared the bases with a triple. Harvey got his 3rd hit. Evan had his 3rd extra base hit of the game. In the end, 8 runs were scored. However, only 3 minutes remained before curfew and the score would revert back to the 5th, making the rally for naught. Harvey got one quick out. Norm tried to kill the time by fouling off pitches: 1 broke the light standard, like in The Natural; one went foul off the 3B’s glove; and 2 hit the on-deck hitter. Finally, Harv got Norm to ground out and there were 30 seconds left. Rob Walsh, weakened from Norm’s foul balls, hit meekly to short to end the game just as the buzzer sounded. 12-9 Silver final.
Purple vs Black
It was a contrast of styles in this Black v. Purple matchup. Black was boringly consistent with a bunch of little hits (a run her or a run there), pitchers who were not overpowering but hit their spots, defence which was ok but not great. Purple on the other hand had pitching that ranged from untouchable to hitting the backstop over the umpires head, a defence that made a number of spectacular plays to get out of trouble and hitters who always posed an extra bases danger. If this was a children’s fable, Black would have played the role of the Tortoise and Purple, the Hare. Well the teams were true to form for 4.5 innings on Wednesday. When in the bottom of the 5th, Black’s Jack Benzacar hit a grand slam homerun to break a 6-6 tie in an uncharacteristically Hare like fashion (it was only Black’s third team homer of the year). After that, Black waddled on to a 12-7 win. It rained for an hour straight before the game and so both teams (and the umpires) deserve credit for waiting that out. On cue the rain stopped at 8:45 and it turned into a great night for baseball.
Purple Haze vs Silver
Purple Haze exacted a small amount of revenge against Silver on Monday night, after letting the game get away the previous week, winning 9-2. Purple was led offensively by Jeff Glaizel who doubled his career home run total of 2, with one inside-the-park homer and a more traditional version, which closed out a 5-run 6th inning to put the game out of reach. Stephen Lidsky also hit a home run for Purple, who received strong pitching from Gary Tanenbaum, who picked up the win and the save in the same game. Once again, Purple’s defense showed up, making play after play, with Jeremy Mandel and Bruce “JB” Dorland getting to everything on the left side of the infield.
Green v. Black
A sinkhole (of unknown size and proportions) threatened to swallow up the games on Monday night as the police cordoned off the intersection of Yorkmills and Bayview to stop cars from plunging into its murky depths. For some, avoiding the police to get to the park felt like an adventure, a real life “Grand Theft Auto”. For most of us it was just an annoyance, but for an unfortunate few, the police barricade represented a mountain too difficult to climb and they returned from whence they came. But the games must go on, and so they did, with a both teams fielding a full complement, a testament to the perseverance of old Jewish men. Black went out to an early 10 to 1 lead using the time honoured formula of a bunch of singles the odd walk and most importantly, infield errors. It is the new definition of station to station softball. Green stormed back in the 4th inning with a plethora of extra base hits, a home run and horrific play in center field by the Black substitute center fielder. Suddenly, it was 10-6, or as they say in executive baseball, a virtual tie. Well the hitting didn’t last or the pitching and defence settled down which allowed Black to hold on to register a 14 to 7 win. Both pitchers went the full game which is not easy in a high scoring affair, so good on them. Black again failed to hit a home run while Green hit two, which is equal to Black’s season total, go figure.