2022 73+ National

USA Volkers 10, Sacramento Antiques 0

‘USA Volkers Take Fourth National Division Title in Five Years’

The USA Volkers defeated the Sacramento Antiques 10-0 in the Championship Game behind the 4-hit shutout pitched by staff ace Howard Elson.  He was backed by outstanding defense and clutch hitting that helped the Volkers to their fourth National division championship over the past five World Series.  The Volkers took the 70+ National division championship in 2018 and 2019 before losing a one-run championship battle against the LA Athletics in the Covid-shrouded 2020 World Series.  The Volkers aged into the 73 division in 2021 and won the National division championship in their inaugural season.


The 2022 73+ USA Volkers relied heavily on their defense and for good reason.  Shortstop Sal Calcagno, third baseman Ray Starnes, and second baseman Charles Jeffers were outstanding the entire week and played errorless baseball in four of the six games.  The Volkers outfield was equally superlative as left fielder Fred Krause, center fielder Marse McNaughton, and right fielder Larry Weaver played errorless baseball the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT!  The combined catching of Tom Keyser and Bill Ehrhardt also contributed error-free performances.

Player/Manager Billy Jacobs credited the Volkers offense with being tremendously “opportunistic” as they scored over 70% of their runs with two outs.  Outstanding hitting from the Volkers 2-3-4 hitters Charles Jeffers, Fred Krause, and Geno Baratta were key but also key were the numerous two-out clutch hits by Dave Weaver.  Ace pitcher Howard Elson started and won three games and also recorded one save.  Staff closer Ray Starnes also had a key save in the only time he was called on to do so.  The Volkers pitching staff also received excellent pitching from Bruce Butterfield, Gary Sovey, Jerry Encoe, Gerry Noack, and Eddie Harmon.

Billy Jacobs also mentioned the Volkers “speed game” on the bases as a big asset to the team’s overall success.  Despite the 73+ rules that prohibit stealing and advancing on passes balls (rules that the Volkers hope will be reconsidered in the National division in years to come), the Volkers took numerous liberties on the base paths thanks to the still impressive speed of Marse McNaughton, Fred Krause, and Larry Weaver.  (Note: Special mention must be made of Jeff Blatt, who extended his infamous MSBL record of “missed signs” to 14 consecutive years; once again missing the most signs on the team.)  The entire USA Volkers family is forever grateful to Steve Sigler and the entire MSBL staff for once again providing us with another wonderful tournament experience on the best fields we ever play on.

The USA Volkers will move into the 75+ Division in 2023 as 18 players on their 2022 squad will be anywhere from 75-80 years old next season.  It will be their FINAL division move before they get put out to pasture but for the moment they most assuredly are looking forward to next year’s MSBL WORLD SERIES!