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MSBL San Diego Memorial Day 'Weekend Fun' Tournament Results

Contributed by Jim Teeter, Tournament Director

The 6th annual MSBL San Diego Memorial Day Weekend Fun Tournament is a 60+ wood bat tournament. Playing doubleheaders over the 3-day weekend with pool play Saturday-Sunday and single elimination playoffs on Monday, we played on four immaculate college diamonds: Grossmont College’s Noel Mickelsen field, San Diego State University’s Tony Gwynn Stadium, Southwestern College and UCSD’s Triton Field. We got excellent feedback from our players and managers, many of whom say it's their favorite tournament in the US.

Teams come mostly from the southwest, including Arizona (1), Northern California (3), Los Angeles (1), New Mexico (2), Utah (1), Washington (1) and San Diego (6).

Our 2016 Winners were:

National Division: North County Storm (San Diego), John Naslund, mgr.








Central Division: Tri Valley Antiques, Angelo Crudale/Denny Brown, mgr.








American Division: Tortuga Solons, Gerhardt "G-String” Horstman, mgr.










65+ Division: San Diego Mudcats, Mike Mallow/Buzz Mann, mgr. 









Each team awards a Crystal Baseball Tournament MVP award, and this year’s winners were:

Buzz and Colleen Mann (San Diego Mudcats)

Jake Stohler (San Diego Padres)

Rankin Lyman (Tri Valley Giants)

Rick Jamroz (Arizona Pirates/Tribe)

Pat Carroll (Greenwood Ridge Dragons)

Mark Schneiderman (Los Angeles Dodgers)

John Naslund (North County Storm)

Robb Steel (San Diego Heat)

Tom Lopez (Tri Valley Antiques)

Glenn Vann (Paladin USA)

Manny Pacheco (Salt Lake Dodgers)

Mark Freeman (San Diego Shaggers)

Charlene Wright (San Diego Patriots)

Randy May (Seattle Silver Foxes)

Steve Goggans and Dan Wukmir (Tortuga Solons)

The 6thannual MSBL regional tournament is noted as much for its fine refreshments as it is high-scoring playing playoff games when Monday comes, the third consecutive day of doubleheaders, making a premium on pitching and catching. That didn’t happen in 2016. Could it have been the success of battery mates running to our new tournament certified athletic trainer, Rhonda Julian?

In the American Division round robin, the winless San Diego Patriots woke up in game 4 with a complete game 3-1 gem pitched by Charlene Wright, over New Mexico’s Tortuga Solons, then upset the defending champion San Diego Shaggers in game one of the playoffs 10-2. But in the championship game the Tortuga Solons got their revenge with a decisive 12-4 win. One distressed Tortuga batter, relentlessly teased by teammates after being struck out "by a girl,” felt no solace when he was informed he was the only player who had been struck out by a baseball hall-of-famer (class of 1999).

The Central Division, formed by the top two American teams and bottom two National teams, met in playoffs only. The former National division Tri Valley Antiques eeked out a 5-4 win over the former American division Seattle Silver Foxes pushing across two runs in the bottom of the final frame. In the second semi-final game, former American division Paladin USA team knocked off a tough National division Arizona Pirates team 8-3. The championship game was another well-played ball game, the Antiques scoring another dramatic win, 4-2 over Paladin USA.

The National Division featured four teams who were anyone’s pick, each making quick work of their opponents in round robin play. In the initial playoff round, the perennial runner-up Greenwood Ridge Dragons looked impressive in a 5-2 win over the San Diego Heat. Would this be their year to bring back their title that had eluded them since 2013? Game two was equally hard-fought with the North County Storm victorious in a 4-3 nail-biter. The stage was set for the championship game. And we had a new champion via an 8-4 win by San Diego’s North County Storm.

For the first time, the tournament included a 65+ Division. After a series of blowouts in pool play, the winless San Diego Padres edged the hard-hitting Tri Valley Giants in a tight 4-2 semi-final game. Their run was ended, however, by a dogged San Diego Mudcats team, who achieved an 11-4 victory and the first ever San Diego MDW 65+ championship.

Once again, players and their travel partners enjoyed the Rockin' Jenny's sandwiches and 900 killer homemade brownies made by a team of 65+ players’ wives, Ann McMillan and Bonnie Miller. Food at two of the stadiums (SDSU and UCSD) was supplemented by barbecuing Costco dogs by past tournament director John Ihrig’s daughter (and SDSU standout) Missy Knudsen and longstanding field director Ray Andre. How will we improve our tournament next year? Stay tuned.

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