2021 55+ Wood
Boston Wolfpack 11, Sacramento Blue Jays 1
‘Championship Dedicated to Fallen Teammate Jeff Fox‘
Submitted By Sterling Endicott
The Boston Wolfpack won the 2021 MSBL Las Vegas Kickoff Classic 55+ Division but it was with a heavy heart. Four days before the tournament, one of their brothers and teammate, Jeff Fox passed away from Covid-19 that he had contracted in Viera, FL while the club competed in the Holiday Classic. Foxie played for 20+ years in the MSBL with the Fedlock Falcons and the Wolfpack as well as many other teams. He was a tremendous player and gentleman and had a long and remarkable career serving our country in various capacities including the Secret Service, CIA, and US Department of Defense. Some more details about Jeff can be found here.
The Pack went 2-0-1 in round robin with wins over the Cal Vets and Diamond Dream Mustangs while battling to an 8-8 tie with the 3N2 Rangers. The Rangers game featured the Rangers battling back to tie the game twice including a 4-run inside the park homerun by Jon Thorton (the park was almost the size of Henderson, NV).
In the semi-final, Boston faced off with the Rangers again in what was the third game of the day. 3N2 jumped to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first on eight hits including a home run by Steve Roberts but the Wolfpack countered right back with seven runs on 13 hits in the bottom of the first. Jose Delgado came in to pitch for Boston and settled things down in the second inning however Boston’s offensive onslaught continued, scoring 10 runs in the second and 10 more runs in the third in route to a 29-7 victory. Delgado also contributed three hits with Efrain Nieves going 5-5 with a walk. Mike Smith, Mark Whiten, Russ Ward and Carmelo Bastian had three hits apiece.
Smith then got the complete game win in the final against the Sacramento Blue Jays, 11-1. Tied 1-1 after 3 ½ innings, Delgado (4-5, 2R) kicked off the rally with a leadoff single. Nieves doubled and then Larry See, Ward and Dave Benedict had three straight hits capped off by Jack Held’s single to put the Wolfpack in the lead, 4-1, that they would not relinquish.
After the game, the team named Jeff Fox the MVP, as he was watching us and giving us inspiration all weekend.
“We love to compete in these MSBL tournaments and sometimes lose sight how fortunate we are to be able to do this and how fast things can change,” said Ward after the game. “It makes you cherish even more the friendships and memories that we’ve picked up through baseball and the MSBL. Jeff, RIP, my friend.”