By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
56-year-old Dave Mumaw is a pitcher and Angelo Palladino is a catcher. They met in 1985 back in college and now in 2022, they are still battery-mates in the Columbus MSBL. These two are no casual buddies, however, who play pickup baseball just for fun. They both possess a pedigree for perfection.
“I began my baseball career at the University of Miami in the early 80s and played in a summer league in Ohio, similar to the Cape Cod League,” explained Mumaw. “I met Angelo in 1985 when I transferred to Ohio State. We knew that neither of us was going to get drafted but we continued to play during the summers in a pretty competitive league.”
They continued to play for about seven years before they came into the Columbus MSBL.
“I was a year older than Angelo so when I turned 30, which was the age requirement back then, I joined Jim Durham’s Dodger team, and the next year Angelo came along.”
“Dave is a year older than I am,” added Angelo. “We pitched and caught for Ohio State, which is where we initially met. We played in different places in the summer while in college, though. I played in Cleveland in the summer and Dave stayed in Columbus. We both got plenty of ball between OSU spring seasons. There were no age requirements in these summer leagues so it worked perfectly until we were both 30.”
MSBL Hall of Fame member Jim Durham wasn’t able to keep the boys on his Dodgers for long but he was instrumental in providing the guys a platform to play as they got a bit older.
“The following year we played on the Dodgers but some of our friends turned 30 so we decided to play with our friends,” said Dave. “We were called the Cards because the Cardinals were already taken. We were kind of thin but eventually morphed into the A’s and stayed with that name for over a dozen years. We never won the championship but we were always in the thick of it. A couple of years back we combined with another team and became the Brewers.”
Angelo recalls one very interesting summer tournament he played in while in college.
“After my junior year, I was playing on a team from Illinois who went to Florida for a big tournament involving some of the elite college players of the time. The Cape Cod all-star team we played included Frank Thomas, Mo Vaughn, Chuck Knoblauch, Jeff Bagwell, and Tim Salmon, while six of their eight pitchers made the big leagues. You may never see a team that stacked again!”
Angelo’s prowess and professionalism aren’t wasted on his battery-mate.
“Angelo catches everybody,” said Dave. “He had some surgery but he will still catch every game. He has caught five games in two days at tournaments. He is truly amazing at 55 years old. He is a complete student of the game. The nicest thing is that he caught me so much he knows what’s best for the situation. I have gone entire seasons without shaking him off. Being Italian, however, he is most importantly the team chef when we travel to tournaments.”
Speaking of tournaments, their travels used to take them to Arizona for the MSBL World Series but they now make it to Florida, primarily because of easier travel from Ohio.
“We went to Arizona in 1997 and continued to for about ten years, explained Angelo. “Florida is closer and it has just evolved. By and large, we continue to play in the 35-over divisions but most of us are over 50. We’ve been going for 15 years or so and love it.”
The Brewers are currently undefeated in the 35+ division of the Columbus MSBL. Between 2000 and 2009 they won a championship every year except one. They have compiled an astonishing 153-10 record over those years. It is pretty clear to see that Dave and Angelo haven’t missed many a step these past years.
Note: Below is a screenshot from the Columbus MSBL website showing the statistics from the Brewers pitching staff. They are currently 3-0 in this young season and their combined ERA is 0.00! Not bad…
“Dave maybe didn’t and doesn’t throw the hardest on the planet but has impeccable control, to this day,” elaborated Angelo. “He has dominated the league for a long, long time. The Brewers mesh well and there are no chinks in the armor. We are very solid and it starts on the bump. Dave can also pitch 18 innings in a day. He’s a horse.
Back in the day he would start on a Sunday in a tournament and throw a complete game. Then he’d throw 18 on a Thursday and then on Saturday again. That continued until four or five years ago.”
Dave admitted to me that Angelo is the storyteller of the two so he lets his catcher do most of the reminiscing. “Angelo knows all the stories and will be a lot more entertaining to talk to!”
“Dave has thrown a couple of no-hitters, the last one last year. He is such a tremendous pitcher that I am used to seeing him being so good for so long that I become complacent. I expect him to pitch well every time he goes out.”
By the way, Dave and Angelo also join Jim Durham in the fraternity of the Columbus Men’s Baseball League Hall of Fame (Below)
What are some of the biggest thrills Angelo has experienced while catching Dave?
“I remember that he threw a no-hitter against Indiana while at Ohio State, which was a pretty big deal. And a while ago we were playing in Phoenix at the MSBL World Series and the team we were playing was from LA and Jose Canseco played for them and Dave struck him out. So, I was coaching my son’s team of ten-year-olds and we were talking about home runs and I told them I played against Canseco and I was instantly elevated to god status!”
Any final thoughts?
“We’ve been blessed that we have a wonderful place to play,” said Angelo. “It’s an organized non-softball league. I’ve heard stories about other leagues having fights, umpires won’t work there anymore, and the field conditions are horrible. The Columbus MSBL is courteous to both players and the people who maintain the facilities, which is why they have lasted so long. We’re pretty low-key because we see the same people all the time. Rick (Fryman) and Jim (Durham) have done a great job organizing the league and making it THE place to play adult baseball.”