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Suffolk Raiders Pull Off Triple Play in Extras, Go on to Walk-Off Victory in Long Island MSBL


Compiled by Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The Suffolk Raiders defeated the New York Astros this past weekend in a 35+ Federal AAA match-up of the Long Island MSBL.  The BIG news is that the Raiders pulled off a triple play to stop a potential Astros game winning rally.  Here is how the play unfolded, as described by Raiders manager Pete Vardaro.

“In another hard fought, well-played game between these teams, the Suffolk Raiders topped the New York Astros at Newfield High School 5 to 4 in 10 innings.

In the top of the 10th, with the game tied, no outs and runners on first and second, there was a hard-hit grounder to Bill Patriss at shortstop, who charged in a few steps, fielded the grounder, tagged the runner trying to advance from second to third, then threw to Joe Ferrara at second.  Ferrara pivoted after the force out at second and threw to Jim Gross at first to complete the triple play.

Frank Buongervino, who got the win in relief, drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th for the walk-off win!”

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Why Playing Baseball Makes You a Better Person

By Jennifer Davies, Special to MSBL

Baseball is quite a popular sport, with about 15.64 million people in the United States taking part. We all know how beneficial playing baseball can be for us physically, but what about long-term benefits in regards to daily life away from the dugout? You’d be surprised to know just how much playing baseball can factor in when it comes to bettering ourselves and our lives. The core values of a baseball player, such as teamwork, time management, and responsibility, can be beneficial as they often develop into everyday life.

Responsibility, On and Off the Field

It makes sense that baseball teaches responsibility; you have to get to practice on time, remember to bring your uniform and equipment, and perform well. As a baseball player, you have responsibilities on and off the field, and being a part of the team is a major one. With the many responsibilities that you have on the field, it’s no surprise that they can carry into your day to day routine as well.

A baseball player’s routine is chock full of responsibility–one of them being time management. An athlete must embrace their responsibilities, as they have so many. Getting to practice on time because the whole team depends on you is necessary, so it’s only natural that this responsibility will more than likely develop into good time management skills. Time management is highly important in day to day life, as it’s a good habit to arrive on time to work, class, and meetings. Other responsibilities such as working well with the team and pulling weight leads to good camaraderie in a job setting. This is because in the working force, it’s important to get along well and be kind, courteous, and respectful to your peers, and baseball teaches just that as it’s highly focused on teamwork and getting along to achieve productivity.

Self-improvement Through Sport

Self-improvement is something that we all strive for, and baseball can play a major part in that. That being said, there are many ways that baseball players can self-improve in life just through playing the sport. Setting and meeting goals are something that happens in any sport, and in life. In baseball, players work towards goals such as keeping in shape, not striking out, pitching with precision and showing up on time to practice.

Self-improvement can sometimes be difficult, but baseball players are focused on it all the time. Because athletes are constantly trying to better themselves to perform their best, it’s not hard to imagine they’d be doing the same off the field. Learning from their mistakes is important and oftentimes necessary in the baseball world, but it works for life off the field as well. From jobs to social situations, we all make mistakes whether you’re an athlete or not. The important thing is to learn from them and try again, and baseball players are often taught that by their coaches. Not giving up is another asset to playing the game, and is a great personality trait to have throughout life as well, especially when things don’t turn out as expected.

The game of baseball can teach its players many things, and not just how to play the game. A baseball player learns core values and skills throughout their time playing the sport that will last a lifetime, from time management to setting and achieving their goals.

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Arizona MSBL Head Umpire Mark Hrako Begs the Question…SO, YOU WANT TO BE AN UMPIRE?

By Mark Hrako, Head Umpire Arizona MSBL

Many ballplayers have been around long enough to think they need only a few “pointers” to get going on an umpiring career.  However, the complexities and nuances of baseball are so infinite, that ballplayers don’t realize how complicated it may be to become an umpire.  If you want to know the path of becoming a professional umpire, read on.

Amateur umpire’s umpire for many reasons–love of the game, staying involved when their playing careers are over, and financial gain.  These are all commendable reasons to umpire at the amateur level.  However, for those aspiring to be a professional umpire, the road is far more detailed and complicated.  It requires financial and personal commitment, as well as much studying and dedication.  Age is an important factor to qualify for a career in professional baseball.  Physical fitness is paramount as well.  Frequently, marriages suffer, and divorce rates are high for young umpires on a path to professional umpiring.  Because of their dedication to umpiring, formal education in other spheres generally comes to a halt.  The surrounding temptations of life on the road compound the many obstacles a young umpire faces on the journey to professional umpiring.

The ideal candidate for a professional umpire is in his early 20s, physically fit, and mentally prepared to take on the rigors that are associated with a career in professional baseball.  The beginning candidate pays several thousands of dollars to attend one of the professional schools of umpiring that is affiliated with The Professional Baseball Umpires’ Association.  School commences in January, and is usually four to five weeks in duration.  Typically, over 100 students attend per session.  They begin their journey by studying, being tested, and learning the mechanics of plate work for six days a week, 10 hours a day.  Depending on the opportunities that exist, a small percentage (usually 10%) from each school is chosen for a two-week evaluation course in the hopes of qualifying for position in Rookie Ball at the professional level.

There are many levels of professional baseball in an umpire’s career path–Rookie Ball, Advanced Rookie Ball, low A, high A, AA, and Triple A.  Each has a retention period of only two to three years.  Umpires typically start out earning about $2000 a month before taxes.  Salaries increase, but the risk of being released always looms.  If the young umpire makes it to Triple A, he still has to be selected for the Arizona Fall League.  If selected, the candidate will be considered for Big League Spring.  But that’s still not the big leagues.  Those who are considered for the big leagues are given a number as potential fill-ins during the major-league season.  Even being called up as a fill in, does not ensure an MLB contract.  There has to be vacancy from retirement or permanent disability from within the 68 umpires who are under MLB contract.

And guess what?  If you have progressed up the professional umpire ladder, are in your mid-30s, possibly in debt and divorced, with only a high school education, it is still possible to be released suddenly.

Still want to be a professional big-league umpire?  Lots of luck.

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MSBL Long Island Black Sox Full of Baseball Hopefuls and Lifers Who Just Love the Game

Compiled by Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The following article written about Jimmy Rose and the Long Island Black Sox of the Long Island MSBL was published on April 27, 2019 by Jordan Lauterbach, journalist for Newsday newspaper, Long Island’s and New York City’s news source.  We are re-printing this article with permission from Newsday.

Jimmy Rose plays every position. After all, he has to. Such is life for the 61-year old manager/player/organizer/every-man of the Long Island Black Sox, a men’s club team that features a conglomerate of players of various ages and baseball experience that is sewed together by one thing – their undying devotion to the baseball diamond.

“If we show up at a field and we’re short guys, I’ll play,” said Rose, of Selden. “ . . . When you manage a team, you learn to play every position because whenever you show up with nine guys, if you don’t have a catcher, you’re catching. If you don’t have a center fielder, you’re playing center field.”

Rose, who started the team 34 years ago, didn’t have to worry about a player shortage last week. The Black Sox, who play in men’s leagues around Long Island and Brooklyn as well as various tournaments, pulled together their usual haul of hopefuls and lifers for their annual spring training series with the Long Island Ducks at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip. The Ducks play in the Atlantic League, widely considered the best independent league in professional baseball.

Monday’s Black Sox roster featured six players who had spent time with the Ducks in past seasons, including former major-leaguer Reid Gorecki, who played 31 games with the Braves in 2009 and suited up for the Ducks in 2012. Gorecki, who hadn’t played competitively in four years, was convinced by friends to play again.

“Baseball’s in my blood,” said Gorecki, 38, of South Hempstead. “My father was a baseball player, my brother was a baseball player, I’m teaching this game now. It’s part of me. I love being around the baseball diamond. I love being around these guys that I’m playing with. Everyone just wants to compete and have fun while they’re doing it.”

The series, which featured three games this time around – all Ducks wins — has been played every year since 2010, Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff said. This year, the Ducks sent major-league hurlers Tim Melville and John Niese to the hill in the first two games, giving many on the Black Sox a chance to hit against pitchers they’d watched on TV only a few years earlier.

“I know a lot of people go to games and always say they can play with certain guys,” said first baseman Chris Viscuso, 34, of Central Islip. “Most don’t get the chance, but thanks to Jimmy [Rose] and all the things he does, we actually get that opportunity to get hits off Major League Baseball players. It’s a good feeling . . . When you’re playing against Major League Baseball players, you can’t really beat that.”

Viscuso, who lives one block away from Bethpage Ballpark, played his college baseball at Adelphi and has been playing with the Black Sox for five years. Despite staring down a major-league pitcher, he wasn’t intimidated. Ever the competitor, Viscuso just wanted to produce.

“You don’t think about it at the time,” Viscuso said. “In the dugout or before the game, your like ‘Oh yeah, he played on this team or that team.’ But, in the box, you’re just trying to get a hit. But, after you do get a hit, it’s good to know that you can do it.”

Viscuso continued: “There’s a lot of people that haven’t played professional baseball or even minor-league baseball that could. It’s good knowing that you could compete against these guys. Only two years ago, [Melville] was in the major leagues. So, it’s not like the guy’s 45 and washed up. He’s still pretty good.”

But, perhaps the best example to the Black Sox’s undeniable fountain of youth came Wednesday, when 57-year old Steven Dennis stepped into the box against former Yankee Brett Marshall. Dennis, who is recovering from a knee injury, made solid contact twice in his second at-bat, fouling a ball past the first-base coaching box before lining out to shallow right field.

“I want to show people that it’s never too late,” said Dennis, of Head of the Harbor. “Never give up. No matter how bad your life is, you fight. All those guys on the Ducks know that, and even the kids on [the Black Sox] know that…It’s a great experience.”

Dennis started playing again two years ago after nearly 15 years away from the game and hasn’t lost his passion for it.

“To be honest with you, batter up,” he said, oozing the enthusiasm of a young draft pick.

Following Wednesday’s game, Ducks pitching coach and former Met Ed Lynch walked up to Dennis. Lynch, 63, who last pitched professionally in 1988, has spent decades working in the upper echelon of the baseball business, including a long stint as Cubs’ general manager from 1994-2000.  But even he was amazed by Dennis – a guy who loves the game and sees no reason to stop playing.

“Ed Lynch hugged me and said, ‘Steven, you’re my idol,’” Dennis said with a laugh.

Clearly, hero worship goes both ways.

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Why Bats Break

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Charlie LaDuca is a member of the MSBL National Hall of Fame, inducted in 2018.  Charlie is also the owner and resident bat expert of Pro Bats, headquartered in Fredonia, New York.  Charlie has an article displayed on his website at examining why bats break.  With the implementation of wood over metal bats in most nationwide leagues and tournaments, this discussion becomes very prevalent.  Below is the an excerpt from the article, as outlined by Charlie.

The Grading of Wood for Baseball Bats

“Most bat manufacturers rely on sawmills to process their wood.  Processing involves harvesting logs, sawing logs to produce billets, and kiln drying billets to an appropriate moisture content level.  Most sawmills do a very good job of processing billets according to “lumber” standards (no knots, checks, splits, etc.).  However, bat manufacturers always request baseball bat billets that have exceptionally straight grain, which is stricter than most “lumber” standards.

The importance of straight grain is critical, because the wood property that has an overwhelming effect on the strength of the final baseball bat is slope-of-grain.  Slope-of-grain is how close to parallel a piece of wood is cut with respect to the longitudinal axis of wood cells in the tree.   When a piece of wood is cut perfectly parallel to the grain direction of the tree, it will have the highest strength.   When wood is cut at an angle to the grain direction of the tree, the strength quickly diminishes.”

To read the remainder of ‘Why Bats Break’ please click on the lead picture.  Good luck!

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Louisville Slugger Warrior/MSBL 2019 Charitable Contributions

Louisville Slugger Warrior/MSBL 2019 Contributions

To make a contribution:

MSBL National Office

One Huntington Quad, Suite 3NO7

Melville, NY 11747

Phone: 631-753-6725  Fax: 631-753-4031

To read more about the Louisville Slugger Warriors Amputee Baseball Team click HERE 

2019 Contributions

Syracuse: $150…Rob Allen

Hudson Valley MSBL: $500…Rick Stockfield

Central North Carolina: $315…Rob Isbell

Columbia (SC): $150…Trevor Woodlief

Pennsylvania Mid-State: $125…Harry Hitz

Jacksonville MABL: $200…Joe Hellett

Central Alabama: $150…Richard Merkel

Columbus: $500…Rick Fryman

Puget Sound: $250…Tom Krause

Below are the 2018 Contributions per League

Columbus MSBL: $500…Rick Fryman
Detroit MSBL: $640…Mike Juliano
Greater Philadelphia: $150…Brett Mandel
NE Ohio MSBL: $300…Skip Riser/Joe Sidor
Savannah MSBL: $250…Drew Richardson/Kevin Fitzmaurice
Syracuse MSBL: $150…Robert Allen
John A. Debenedictis: $200…Pat Fynes
West Metro Atlanta: $250…Ron Huck
Long Island MSBL: $6,000…Steve Sigler
Southern Wisconsin MABL: $250…Dave Bayer/Dan Hendrickson
Antelope Valley: $1,000…Wayne Munney
Charlottesville: $100…David Hash
St. Clair Shores: $250…Matt Sherock
Fresno: $200…Bob Schiotis
Hudson Valley: $400…Rick Stockfield
Chicago North: $250…Max Reising
Pennsylvania Mid-State: $125…John Martz/Harry Hitz
Bux/Mont: $150…Nick Chichilitti
Arizona: $150…John Silingo
Jacksonville: $200…Joe Hellett/Norm D’Accardi
Puget Sound: $250…Tom Krause
Woodland/Davis: $100…Chad Carrington
Bay Area (CA): $100…Jim Frenn
Chicago LaGrange MABL: $100…Chuck Mally
MUNY Buffalo: $250…Ralph Proulx
Westchester/Putnam: $100…Jim Bianco
Indiana MSBL: $151…Todd Schrenk
Central Alabama: $150…Rich Merkel
Central North Carolina: $500…Rob Isbell
Central Ohio MABL: $500…Charles McCroskey
Santa Barbara MSBL: $100…Blake Burgard
Austin MSBL: $200…Mike Lucas
North Texas (Dallas): $500…Kirk Pruitt
San Diego North: $250…Doug Johnson
Kansas City: $200…Tom Prendergast
Central Arkansas: $100…James Snyder
Twin Cities: $100…Ryan Lutzka
Fort Worth: $200…Kevin Herd
Sacramento: $1,000…Alan Van Ness
Long Island Midweek: $3,500…Tim Hott
Mid-Iowa: $525…John Linden
Chesapeake: $513…Jason Torres
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Helping Your Body Keep Up with The Game

Submitted by Jennifer Davies, special to MSBL

Baseball is conducted in fits and starts of activity, and that can be tremendously taxing on the human body. Injury is disproportionately high in the sport, with Forbes finding that 507 players at on the disabled list compared to just 476 for the ultra-physical NFL. Looking into how injuries occur and taking steps to prevent them is big business and will ultimately help players to keep enjoying themselves on the field for longer.

Fundamental procedure – staying hydrated

Hydration is the first and most crucial step to maintaining your physical performance. All sports require good hydration, but baseball, with its sudden transitions from little to high intensity activity, is particularly intensive on hydration and its effect on muscles coming from a standing start. Specifically, water, potassium, and other salts like keto electrolytes will provide your muscles with the balancing act they need to perform at a high level and not become injured. As NPR note, such drinks can also provide useful energy boosts when taken at key times.

Preparing the body properly

Every sport has injuries more common than others, and baseball is no different. In baseball, the most common injuries affect the most common motions, with the pitching-related ulnar collaterial ligament injury widespread at all ages of the sport. The key here is understanding which parts of the body will be under most pressure and preparing accordingly. For instance, Top Velocity recommend developing your forearm mass with your pitching arm to strengthen your muscles in that area, and adjusting your pitch angle to reduce strain on the ligament.

Looking to the future

What if you could use data to prevent injuries long before they flare up? This is the approach taken by many MLB teams, who have lost $7bn in wages to the disability list over the past 15 years. Using big data and comparing it to existing sets and trying to find patterns between injuries and data is producing promising results. This can be conducted by players on an individual level, using subjective measures of post-match soreness, and comparing it to performance and measured vital signs like the heartbeat and oxygen levels at the interval.

Ultimately, it may be that injuries can be completely predicted one day in the future. Even then, it’s likely the preparations needed to avoid injury will be exercises and nutrition similar to what is used today. Like all success in sport, staying injury free is a case of self discipline and hydration.

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Past and Present Major League Players in the MSBL…Take Two!

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

A year ago we had a fun time asking you to send us the names of any ex-major league ball players that you know of who have played, or are currently playing, in MSBL leagues or tournaments.  The results were astonishing as we published the complete list in the article reprinted below.  If you can think of anyone else who should be added to the list please shoot me an email at  I’ll publish an updated list in a couple of weeks.

Thanks everyone and play safe in your leagues and tournaments this year! (Original article below appeared on April 6, 2018)

Thanks to everyone who contributed the names of ex-major leaguers over the past week as we attempted to compile a list of players who have worn an MSBL uniform in either league or tournament play.  The results were overwhelming and we had a lot of fun doing this!  Thank you all for sending me emails, Facebook posts and phone calls.

These players obviously share the same passion we all do in our attempt to hold on to this wonderful game through the MSBL experience.  We came up with a total of 120 players!  That’s amazing.  I have the complete list displayed below.  I apologize for not alphabetizing the list but I don’t think it really matters.  I hope we all continue to sit in the dugouts with these guys or stare down a major league fastball for many years to come as the next batch of major leaguers find MSBL.  If you think of anyone else that should be added to this list please let me know at  Take care and play safe, everyone!

Dave Cripe, Frankie Rodriguez, Mark Whiten, Kevin Seitzer, Mel Hall, Ted Lilly, Simon Pond, Rico Carty, Jay Witasick, Carl Everett, Woody Williams, Ray Chadwick, German Rivera, Larry See, Jeff Montgomery, Rick DeHart, Randy Hundley, Brian Tollberg, Esteban Yan, Vic Darensbourg, Mickey Mahler, Jared Fernandez, Robin Jennings, Bob Stinson, Jeff Cirillo, Jaime Cerda, Brian Kingman, Roy Smith, Chris Cumberland, Rusty Meachem, Casey Candale, Rey Sanchez, Butch Metzger, Ken Ryan, Mike Draper, Mike Smith, Craig Hansen, John Stefero, Ken Dixon, Jerry Kutzler, Donn Pall, Jim Bouton, Mike Felder, Steve Brye, Terry Whitfield, Rich Murray, Danny Jackson, Steve Ontiveros, Jim Corsi, Jeff Juden, Victor Rodriguez, Kevin McGlinchy, Jerry Hairston, Ken Rudolph, Bob Dernier, Todd Hollandsworth, Steve Trout, Mark Eichorn, Pat Hentgen, Ron Brand, Danny  Boone, Bob Owchinko, Jim Willoughby, Don Carrithers, Rudy Law, Ray Burris, Willie Wilson, Rich Nye, Dennis Kinney, Jay Johnstone,  Greg Pryor, Reggie Ritter, Glen Sutko, Tim Hyers, Vincent McGrath, Todd Parrott, David Elder, Luke Allen, Chuck Hensley, Steve Avery, Jeff Hamilton, Eric Milton, Edgardo Alfonso, Dustin Mosley, Ike Blessit, Greg Harris, Pete Schourek, Pete LaCock, Scott Bailes, Doug Bair, Tom Ragland, Dan Boone, Jason Conti, Jack Howell, Chris Jones, Howard Johnson, Frank Wells, Rodney Scott, Jose Canseco, Jose Cardenal, Dante Bichette, Bill Lee, Bombo Rivera, Bart Zeller, Oil Can Boyd, Roger Clemens, Ron LeFlore, Luis Tiant, Mike Marshall, Bert Campeneris, Bret Saberhagen, Mark Davis, Steve Kemp, J.R. Richard, Jerry Reuss, Jose Contreras, Jim Barr, Juan Eichelberger, Jim Umbarger, Dave Hamilton, Steve Chitren, Mark Brown, Bobby O’Brien, Tim Layana, Ken Ford, Travis Baptiste, Frankie Fagundes, Nathan Lee, Chris Lagow, Ruben Fernandez, Jr., Tim Fujioka, Joe Grahe, George Arias, Anthony Chavez, Colin Porter, Tony Phillips, Orlando Merced, Kip Gross, Steve Grilli, Frank Ricelli, Bobby Nandin, Dave Von Ohlen, Bud Anderson, Mike Smith, Dave Lemanczyk, Dion James, Bill ‘Soup’ Campbell, Keith McWorter, Mike Farmer and Nelson Simmons.

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Marucci May 2019 Monthly Bat Special Exclusively for MSBL Players


By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Here is the Marucci May 2019 special bat of the month.  Part of that agreement is to provide special pricing monthly and promotions exclusively for MSBL players.  Just click on the image above, which will take you to the Marucci website.  To check out the special member only Marucci deals for May just click here and then type in the special MSBL code MSBLMABL.

This is a special opportunity to obtain arguably the most utilized bat in all of the major leagues.  Let us know what you think!