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A Tournament of Their Own?






By Jim Teeter, North County MSBL and Steve LaMontia, MSBL National

San Diego played host to its 4th annual senior (60+) wood bat baseball tournament May 24-26, 2014. Sixteen teams competed,predominantly from western locations (Arizona, New Mexico, Northern and Southern California,Utah and Washington). A popular regional tournament, this year's event made some interesting history.

It was Sunday, May 25th, at Coronado High School's field on the island, just across the bay from downtown San Diego. A beautiful afternoon for baseball at2:00 in the afternoon, mostly sunny in the high 60’s or low 70’s for the second consecutive day, and the second game of a doubleheader (Ernie Banks would be proud of us).Jim Realini's Flying Squirrels from San Francisco would face a new, late entrant, the Makeshift Mudcats, also known as the Mudcats Express, managed by Terry McFadden. Yours truly was behind the plate for the first time in 54 years, but only in my mind was that the historic moment.

MLB San Francisco Giants former owner Horace Stoneham's grand-daughter, Kim Rupert, strode to the plate. Actually it was more like floating to the plate. A wisp of a young lady, she could be the female answer to the proverbial 98-pound weakling. Kim is a many year member of the MSBL San Francisco Giants (in our ‘Fun Tournament’ now known as "the Flying Squirrels"). In 2013, while I was watching from the sidelines mending from a badly broken ankle, I had seen Kim get two base hits at Grossmont College. And they weren't cheap. They were line shots to the outfield. I knew what she could do and I wasn't about to call for a fastball down the pipe.

Kim would be facing by far the most effective pitcher on the Mudcats Express. Someone who could throw strikes, but also knew how to paint the corners. And who would that be? Charlene Wright,the first of two young ladies who were co-inducted into the National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame back in 1999. Mano a mano? Er, would that be womano?

The first pitch missed the corner and was taken for ball one. History had been made: it was the first time we know of where a female pitcher has pitched to a female batter in a Men's Senior Baseball League tournament. Somewhere we lost track of the count. But Kim didn't lose track of the next pitch, a curve ball on the outside corner, lining it down the first base line for a base hit. She had won round one. Of course, she recalled it as a weak line drive and said she was lucky, with all the admiration for Charlene. But I believe she went 3-for-3 that day. If they meet again, who will win next time? You've gotta come to our tournament to find out.

By the way, the Flying Squirrels beat the Mudcats Express 16-14. But who will remember that?

There was also a tournament to be played. The winners in each division are listed below.

The San Diego Memorial Day Weekend Fun Tournament (www.sdseniorbaseball.com) is a wood bat, 60+ tournament held every Memorial Day weekend on San Diego's finest fields. Founded by John Ihrig and Joe Maiden, the first tournament was held in 2011 with 4 teams playing on UCSD's stadium. Growing to 8 teams in 2012, the tourney added SDSU's Tony Gwynn stadium,and 16 teams competed in 2013. In 2014 tournament also hosted 16 teams, run by current tournament director Jim Teeter.



























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