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MSBL League Spotlight: Bay Area Men’s Senior Baseball League, League President Jim Frenn

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The Bay Area MSBL began right along with the initial emergence of the Men’s Senior Baseball League in 1988.  Side by side they began play in the San Francisco area as a traditional 30-over league headed up by original league commissioner and MSBL Hall of Fame member Kurt Knop.  Kurt was also Steve Sigler’s first MSBL World Series tournament director, a position he held from 1988 to 1997.

The BAMSBL consists of 18+, 35+ and 50+ divisions, with teams located throughout the Bay Area including the East Bay, the Peninsula, San Francisco and Marin. There are approximately 24 teams in the league and almost 400 players.  The league is now managed by Jim Frenn, longtime league member, MSBL Honor Roll inductee and World Series veteran.  Jim joined the league in 1991 and became the league president in 2013.

“When I joined back in 1991 we had a dozen teams and two divisions.  Doubling our size and giving nearly 400 players a place to keep playing ball is very special to me,” Frenn explained.  “I am happy to be able to provide that experience.  We are trying to form a 65-over division but our numbers are a little weak right now.  Maybe we can form one team and enroll them in Tri-Valley or somewhere to represent our league.  That would be fun.  We also added the 18-over league to attract the high school players who need somewhere to keep playing.  They are the future of our league as they get older.”

Along with playing for and managing the Cubs in his 50-over division, the 67 year-old Frenn is also a member of the neighboring Tri-Valley MSBL, where he plays for Donny DeCordova’s Vets in the 65-over division.  He also takes his league’s Giants team to regional tournaments and can be found roaming the fields in Arizona at the MSBL World Series every year.

“We don’t have a World Series ring yet but have made the quarter finals many times and the semi’s once. Maybe that will change this year.”  The modest Frenn, who deflects the spotlight and concentrates on his league or the teams he manages, won his first tournament championship at a San Jose regional tournament in 2005 and recently won the 2019 Desert Classic crown.

What is the reason for the continued success of the Bay Area MSBL?  “After 32 years we are a well-oiled machine passed from year to year from president to president.  We are consistent and we don’t deviate from the model,” said Frenn.  “We are big on communication and strive to maintain good relations with our managers.  They are the conduit that keeps the league humming.

Our managers run the league and if they have a special request for a rule based on that day’s circumstances, go ahead and do it,” continued Frenn.  “Our managers run the league.  We don’t dictate what goes on, we just supply the framework and it’s theirs to do with what they wish.”

In 2019, the Bay Area Men’s Senior Baseball League recognizes four members who have played in the league for all 32 seasons.  They are Ray Allen, Steven Bustin, Pat Carroll and Reggie Vance. “We look forward to many more years of their involvement,” said Frenn.

“We also started a fall ball league back in 2004 to allow guys to get ready for the World Series or just keep playing ball in the beautiful fall California weather,” said Frenn.  “There are no uniforms or standings, we just play.  New players can come in, too, and get picked up for next season or just have a good time.  There are six to eight teams playing a ten-game schedule.  It’s the perfect way to get ready for the World Series.  About a third of our players go to Arizona to play.”

With all of the success comes a few challenges as well.  “Finding quality fields is always a challenge.  The better fields cost more and with that comes increased fees, which isn’t always warmly embraced.  It’s a fine line and quite a balancing act.”

Whatever the problems of making it all come together, what warrants the greatest satisfaction in running the league?  “Finishing a season without a lot of controversy,” continued Frenn.  “Like any league we have had our share over the years but finishing a season without a major issue is always great.  As a non-profit we also try extremely hard to avoid any losses.  When we experience a steady and predictable year, then it has been a success.  We also pray for no rain-outs!

I love the leadership role this position requires and making things work.  I design the format and let the board and the managers implement it.  Our league is giving players an opportunity to keep chasing their baseball dreams as I strive to let people know we aren’t a beer league and are a professional organization whos mission statement it to provide a baseball experience like they remember.  Ever since the very first game in 1988 the League has provided the best in facilities, officials and equipment. Even more importantly, the league has made sure it maintains the true meaning of baseball: Enjoyment!  I think we’ve done that.”

“I may not always agree with everything that comes my way from MSBL but that’s the way successful relationships are built,” concluded Frenn.  “MSBL provides tournaments, insurance, baseballs, advertising and they are always there to help when things pop up.  Our relationship with MSBL, and giving our players a place to play in the league and in MSBL tournaments, is the reason we are the leader in this area.  I am happy about us hitching our wagon to MSBL the past 32 years.”

Below is a collage of the 2018 Bay Area MSBL League Champions!

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MSBL Regional Labor Day Tournament Calendar

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Seven Labor Day tournaments will take place beginning August 31st and you can still get your team involved.  Here is a list of what is coming up:

Rosie Shootout, Atlanta, GA

Texas Cup, Houston, TX

Rocket City Classic, Huntsville, AL

Indiana Labor Day Classic, Indianapolis, IN

Best of the West Labor Day Tournament, Woodland Davis, CA

Charlottesville Labor Day Classic, Richmond, VA

Willamette Valley (OR) Labor Day Tournament

For additional information and all brackets and contact details HERE is the link to our website tournament page.  Good luck!

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MSBL League Spotlight: New Orleans Adult Baseball League, League President James Brossette

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinct music, Creole cuisine, unique dialect, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street.  But there is a little-known tenant in the heart of New Orleans that deserves some recognition, right along with LSU football.  Welcome to the New Orleans Adult Baseball League, headed up by League President James Brossette.

“We are now in our 28th year down here and I have been in charge for the last ten years,” said Brossette.  “Al Thibodeax was the original president.  I came aboard as a player in 2001 after being coaxed away from softball and it just evolved into being president.  I love the challenges.”

The NOLA Adult Baseball League is an 18-over league comprised of eight teams, most of which have been part of the league for many years.  “We had eight teams when I took over ten years ago and we have the same number now.  Our group of managers are terrific and great guys and we are like a family here.  We are hopeful to expand by a couple of teams in 2020 if things work properly, which would take us to a new level.”

The league website promotes ’18-over’ but there is a largely diverse age within the ranks.  “We have players from 18 to 73 years old,” Brossette explained.  “Richard Miller is our oldest player.  We call him ‘Papa Smurf’.  He is a great guy to be around and we all love him.”

Some elements in Louisiana make it a little difficult at times to simply get a season of ball in.  James said that you may experience all four seasons in one day.  “May through September represents a 40% chance of rain every single day.  The rain can come in unexpectedly and cause a lake on the field.  We don’t have any turfed fields so we can get washed out quickly.  Last year we didn’t play for the whole month of June!”

I asked James about the reasons why his league has remained so successful.  “I run a pretty tight ship and players know what to expect.  I will get out there and prep the fields, groom the mounds and batter’s boxes and spend my Saturday evenings getting them ready to play Sunday.  I’ll work my butt off for them and they see that, so I think we all have a mutual respect so there are very few issues that have to be dealt with.  If I hear any ‘F-Bombs’ or disrespect I’ll send them packing.  I have gone into the stands and told people to leave.  Players and their families don’t need to listen to that stuff.”

Sometimes running a league seems like a job and a passion that goes unnoticed, but not for James.  “It makes me feel so good to see everyone being able to escape life for a few hours per week and leave their troubles behind.  They get to keep playing ball.  It’s a great reward.”

This special eight team league plays on Sundays on two venues, so it works out nicely for scheduling purposes.  Two games on each field and four total umpires working in pairs at the fields.  “I’ve known these umpires for 20 years and they do a great job.  Everybody knows everybody.  It makes things very comfortable and life-long relationships have been formed.”

Like other MSBL leagues across the country there are problems that continually loom.  One of those issues is finding fields.  “Nobody wants to rent fields to adults, for some reason.  We are lucky to have two high school fields that we use but it is extremely hard to find stadiums or college fields.  I have a line on something else hopefully next year but we’ll see how that plays out.”

James isn’t playing this year but hopes to return to the field in 2020.  He will sub if someone is short but he and his vice president and treasurer wife, Michelle, tend to league business and make sure everything purrs as it should.  “Steve Sigler has been great over the years.  I have occasionally spoken with Steve about some important issues and he is always there.  I appreciate the relationship with MSBL because it makes it easy for me.  He is always just a text away.”

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Marucci August 2019 Monthly Bat Special Exclusively for MSBL Players

 

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Here is the Marucci August 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 August 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.  Be sure to visit the Marucci tent on the Tempe Diablo Stadium concourse at this year’s MSBL World Series in Arizona this October!

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North Texas Amateur Baseball League to Hold Annual Charity All-Star Game to Benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Gerry Mecca, past president of the North Texas Amateur Baseball League, is the Chairman of the North Texas Amateur Baseball Foundation.  The league is holding their annual Charity All-Star Game on August 4th at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, just north of Dallas, to benefit the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.  Gerry wanted to reach out to everyone in the MSBL family and present the opportunity to help the children.

“Due to the hospital’s specialties, the TSRHC serves the entire nation,” stated Mecca.  “We want to get the message to people who have been touched as well as to the league presidents in our surrounding states, such as those in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.  The children and their families would of course benefit from any contributions, wherever they may come from.”

The donation portal will remain open through September 19th, which coincides with North Texas Giving Day.  To learn more about how you can pledge to help the kids click HERE.

Here is a video of a recent television interview by Gerry Mecca outlining the efforts and the events of the All-Star game and what it represents: Gerry Mecca from the North Texas Amateur Baseball Foundation on their Charity All Star Game

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2019 Bombers Capture 30+ Spring Championship in San Antonio Men’s Senior Baseball League

San Antonio MSBL, 30+ Spring Division

Bombers 7, Reds 5

Front Row L-R: Derrick Hardemann, Sean (I am the greatest of all time) Miller, JR Broils, Jack Held, Bryan Wyatt, Randy Mendoza, Steve Woodward. Back Row L-R: Tom Keyser, Bob Gurchalk, Fred Douglas, John Lerette, Jerry Spencer, Miguel Tena, Dave Oliver, Roy Branch, Dustin Beaudoin. Missing: Casey Shattuck, Pat Pulliam, Alex Mann, Chris Werner, Mike Smith

Submitted by Jack Held, Bombers manager

The San Antonio Bombers captured the 30 + San Antonio Texas MSBL Spring Championship session.  The Bomber Team had an extremely deep quality team, as 19 players suited up for the spring campaign.   Many games we had 16 players while batting everyone.  It was truly a solid team with depth at every position. We had players in age from 30 to 70 that contributed in many ways.

The Championship game was against the San Antonio Reds, coached by Phil Galloway.  The Red’s and Bombers have had many close championship game battles.  This game was no different as the Bombers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and by the top of the ninth it was only a Bomber 6-5 lead.  The Bombers squeezed out a run in the top of ninth and then managed to hang on for a 7-5 championship victory.

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MSBL Tournament Player Pool Update

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

The MSBL Player Pool has become a vital element in assisting managers in filling out their rosters for the MSBL World Series and Fall Classic, as well as Puerto Rico and additional regional tournaments.  The Player Pool is also an integral part of the January Desert Classic in Palm Springs and the Las Vegas Kickoff Classic and Las Vegas Open in March and May.

To better assist managers find players as these tournaments approach, we have inserted both the date of the last update as well as the time of the update on the Player Pool page of the website, in case managers are wondering if there has been any movement that day since they last checked.  We occasionally have multiple updates during the same day.  New additions are warmly embraced and we want to not only assist the managers but help the players find a spot somewhere so that they are able to take part in these great tourneys.

In that vein, since updates are so critical, I will once again urge managers to let us know at info@msblnational.com if you have picked someone up so that we can remove them and stay current.

To visit the Player Pool page simply click on the highlighted link.  You can also click the ‘Player Pool’ link on the website menu bar to be redirected.  We hope this adjustment makes it easier for you to monitor the activity.  Thank you for your cooperation and we’ll see you soon! 

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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

info@msblnational.com

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

North Texas: $500…Kirk Pruitt

Bay Area: $100…Jim Frenn

Buxmont: $150…Nick Chichilitti

Westchester: $100…Jim Bianco

Buffalo MUNY: $360…Ralph Proulx

Savannah: $250…Drew Richardson

Central Ohio: $600…Charles McCroskey

Chicago Midwest: $500…Jin Kim

Northwest Arkansas: $300…Keith Wheeler

West Metro Atlanta: $250…Ron Huck

Austin: $200…Mike Lucas

Antelope Valley: $500…Bob Donaldson

Sacramento: $1,000…Alan Van Ness

Saint Clair Shores: $200…Matt Sherock

Twin City MSBL/MABL: $100…Ryan Lutzka

Redwood Empire: $200…Rick Cantor

Santa Barbara: $100…Blake Burgard

Rochester: $150…Vern Van Skiver

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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Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League Relocates to New Army Depot Park

Submitted by Alan Van Ness, League President

(Photos by Jane Burkitt) The Sacramento MSBL opened the Sacramento Army Depot Park, our new home, on July 17th, 2019.  The city of Sacramento donated land to replace McAuliffe Park, the long-time home of SMSBL and Sacramento Babe Ruth. More than 10 million dollars was spent by Sacramento State University to replace McAuliffe Baseball Complex. We now have two Triple A equivalent fields with LED lighting and 20 acres of land to develop into a beautiful park for the next many generations to play baseball.

The 50+ Division Sacramento Dragons and the Sacramento Athletics were on Field one as I was honored to throw out the first pitch. On Field two, the Sacramento Royals played the Nationals. There are many complex issues to work through and finish developing, but the fields are playable. The Night League broke it in and the following morning our Golden League played.  The Sunday League then had a full day of four games at our new home. In the first week all three leagues played at the new complex.

The SMSBL will hold a “Thank You Ceremony” on August 17th from 10-11 am followed by an open house from 10-2 pm. We will include city officials, Sacramento State officials as well as extend an invitation to the public to come view our new home.  I hope to see many long-time players, both current and former, show up to see what they have a part of.

It took many SMSBL volunteers in the mid 90’s to help build our original home. It is because of the foundation they laid as to why the city has decided to replace the two-field McAuliffe Baseball Complex. Sacramento State University will build new high-rise dorms where McAuliffe once was. I am very blessed to lead such an outstanding baseball league that continues to grow.  (additional pictures below)

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Dave Reynolds, Puget Sound Senior Baseball League: ‘A Baseball Miracle’

The story below was written by Puget Sound Senior Baseball League president Tom Evans Krause and posted on the Puget Sound website for all to read.  We obtained permission from Tom to reprint this article about long-time league member Dave Reynolds, who faced some serious health issues in 2018, lost 55 pounds from his 6′ 5″, 230 pound frame yet at the age of 68 vowed to make it all the way back and play again.  This story is Dave’s ‘Baseball Miracle’ as written by Tom Evans Krause.

By Tom Evans Krause

This is a story of love, faith, determination and, yes, add in a bit of miracle power.  Pitcher/First Baseman Dave Reynolds has played in the MSBL-affiliate Puget Sound Senior Baseball League for fourteen seasons.  He’s been a mainstay for the Tacoma Tugs, who have competed in several different PSSBL age brackets over the years.  Dave has also played for the 3n2 Rangers for a number of seasons in other PSSBL divisions.

A 5-time divisional champion who has also won multiple national championship rings, Dave Reynolds has more than 140 career wins while sporting a .360+ batting average.  He was inducted into the Puget Sound Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame in June, 2018.

Just four months later Reynolds experienced what he initially thought was a reaction to a flu shot.  In reality, he had experienced a gall-stone attack on his pancreas which led to pancreatitis.

He developed pseudo cysts which grew from walnut to grapefruit size….and got infected. This led to “walled-off” pancreatic necrosis—his blocked pancreatic enzymes had eaten two-thirds of his pancreas which, unfortunately does not regenerate itself. Nearly two liters of fluid—the remains of what was once two-thirds of his pancreas—was removed the day after Christmas and a tube was inserted to drain the remaining “necrotic debris” for nearly 3 months.

Throughout this health crisis Reynolds had to flush the tube 3 times a day and could not stand or walk without having light-headedness, dizziness and shortness of breath.  He was wheelchair-bound and couldn’t exert himself in any way.

After doctors were able to save one-third of Dave’s pancreas, his appetite returned and he was able to eat 3500-4000 calories a day for a week in early February, 2019.  Despite the high calorie intake, he still lost 10 more pounds for a total of 55 pounds dropped since October.  Doctors instituted new treatments to help him overcome pancreatic enzyme insufficiency and on March 13, 2019 he awoke after the best sleep he’d had in 5 months and all symptoms appeared to be gone.

Dave Reynolds was cleared to start working out a week later assisted by team mates and a sports therapist.  It was the answer to many prayers.  Reynolds’ wife, Helena, who was by his side (or behind pushing his wheelchair) for the entire ordeal, wrote to family, friends, team mates and players throughout the league that “it would take a miracle for Dave to get back on the field this season.”

The 68-year old Reynolds’ began an arduous training regimen guided by a sports therapist and assisted by Tugs team mates.  Over the next four months he gained back 30 pounds of muscle mass with an eye toward rejoining his teams for the remainder of the 2019 campaign.

The love for baseball can be an incredibly strong motivator and Miracles Do Happen!

Reynolds rejoined the Tacoma Tugs for his 15th PSSBL season on Sunday, July 14th, taking the mound as the starting pitcher against the rival defending champion Rainier Division (60 & over) Mariners.  He threw three strong innings facing 16 batters while only giving up two runs – one of which was unearned.  In his first at bat Dave singled and scored while the Tugs built a 9-2 lead.  Despite a furious comeback by the Mariners against his bullpen, Reynolds and the Tugs persevered 9-7.

The next night, July 15th, Dave pitched 48 more pitches in 4 stellar innings, went 2 for 3 with a walk and left the game with a 3-2 lead.  Although the Tugs didn’t win that game, Dave is winning his health back.

Love, faith, determination, miracles – the inspirational Dave Reynolds story, which continues to unfold each day!