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Don't Go Soft, Play Hardball!

2019 MSBL Team Profile: Germantown Generals, Greater Philadelphia MABL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The Germantown Generals were founded and established in 2016 by Manager/Coach Sal Ruggieri and assistant coaches/players Matt Kalos, Tyler Groff and Albert “Joe” Statts. It is a combination of two former Greater Philadelphia Men’s Adult Baseball League teams the Brawlers and Angels. “We started this team because we were tired of losing and we wanted to turn things around,” stated Ruggieri. “What we got were friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Since becoming the Generals they have collected two division titles and two championship appearances in four short years, with a win/loss record of 46-44. In 2017 they had their best run, 15-8, getting to the championship and just coming up short. 2018 had been their worst year to date finishing second in the division and an early exit from the playoffs.  In 2019 they were determined to make it back to the championship.

“We decided early on in the season that winning the division is great, but we want the commissioner cup,” said the team manager. “We are blessed to have a wonderful pitching staff with starters Tyler Groff, Steve David, veteran and former league Cy Young award winner Matt Kalos, and rookie Matt “Blue Cheese” Bellucci.”

This year they finished with a 12-11 season and faced off against our league rival Kensington Royals, whom the Generals were 1-7 against this season going into the playoffs. While on vacation catcher Sal Ruggieri’s Grandfather, who had been sick this year and is a very special person to ‘Coach Sal’, had passed away during week one of the playoffs. The team’s prayers were with “Pop” all season and the team knew how important this man was to Sal because Pop was the first person to show him how to play the game.

After week one’s devastating 8-1 loss in the playoffs it looked like the Generals playoff run was all about done, but pitcher Tyler Groff saw that the season was far from over, pitching seven innings in game two in the playoffs and squeaking out a 5-3 win.  

It was down to game three and Generals pitcher Steve David to send the Generals to the ship and he did not disappoint, holding the Royals to only four runs! The Generals offense woke up as well, gathering 14 runs to send them into the Championship.

The team shared a moment with Sal after the game expressing that this was for Pop, which brought the 10-year veteran catcher to tears. Although the Red Sox swept the Generals out of the Championship it was a very accomplishing season. “We can’t wait to get another run at the cup next year,” said Ruggieri.  “This season was dedicated to the memory of Natale ‘Leggett’ Branca.” 

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