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2012 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Jim Tygrett-DeNuzzi, Sacramento MSBL

(Originally published online in 2012)  The pressure of taking over as President of the Sacramento MSBL isn’t unlike the pressure facing a relief pitcher that has been called upon to come into a game and protect a big lead. The mission is clear: “Don’t screw it up.”  After three years at the helm for the Sacramento MSBL Jim Tygrett-DeNuzzi can confidently look back and say “mission accomplished.”

Sacramento is a model MSBL league. It was formed by some baseball-hungry 40-somethings in 1984 – two years prior to the creation of the National MSBL and joined the National MSBL in 1988.  In the intervening 27 years five men, including Jim, served full terms as presidents and they transformed it from a fledgling, four-team league into a model of ambition and success with 550 players, its own lighted field complex, a hall of fame, and 45 MSBL World Series titles – believed to be the most by any MSBL league.

Jim, who has also served as a league commissioner, secretary, treasurer and vice president of the league, took over in 2009 and not only did he not screw it up, he saved it quite a bit of money.  The league was not, as it previously thought, operating as a 501c3 not for profit organization – something it realized only after some investigative work by Jim. “We thought we were, but we weren’t,”.

Jim got the phone book out, found an attorney who would do some pro-bono work for the league, and in October 2010 the league started a sort of bureaucratic do-over. “We had to reapply for nonprofit status,” “We had to revise some bylaws. It took until July 2011 to finish the job. The league is actually a 501 c4 organization now. It puts a stamp on us as an organization,” he said. “We’re more than just a local baseball league. We’re a social organization.”  Jim’s work also saved the league from potential IRS penalties. “We got it all straightened out,” he said. “It was a matter of tying up a few loose ends.”

Under Jim the league was able to pay off the loan for the lights at its McAuliffe Field complex. It added LED lights in the parking lot there too.  Jim is proud of the league, citing the league’s colossal trophy case from the MSBL World Series.  “You want to maintain that level of how people think about you and what it’s like to play in the Sacramento League.”

Jim is a long way from where he started. He was born on Staten Island NY, grew up in New Jersey worshipping Yankee third baseman Clete Boyer. He would often take the train, bus and subway to Yankee Stadium. He also saw games at the Polo Grounds and at Connie Mack Stadium. After High School, Jim played baseball at Missouri Valley College.  He moved to California in 1978 and recently retired as the jail’s program services coordinator in Placer County’s alternative sentencing program.

In 2011 Jim was given membership in the Sacramento MSBL Hall of Fame.  He is quick to praise the 10-member board whose members handle various duties from pictures to advertising and marketing. “We owe a lot to the current group but we also owe a lot to the founders of our league for what they established here.  There is a responsibility you have to take on,” he said. “Every President has made an improvement.”

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2018 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Tim Lukowski, Omaha MSBL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

44 year old Tim Lukowski lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife Amanda and son Tanner (18) and daughters Emma (14) and Morgan (11) and is the league president of the 12 team, long standing Omaha MSBL.  The Omaha MSBL began in 1989 under the direction of MSBL Hall of Famer Bobby Suggs.  “Bobby Suggs was our real forefather,” said Lukowski.  “Bobby and my dad were Veterans and in the American Legion together.  After coaching high school baseball Bobby invited me to play then to help him with the younger division.  When he retired to Florida I was handed the League.  Make no mistake, without Bobby the league would have never happened.”

For his leadership and picking up the reins from Bobby to keep the heart beating in Omaha, MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler has inducted Tim into the MSBL Honor Roll. “I’m a blessed man.  I get to do some things I really love.  And I have a great father who worked his butt off to let his sons play this great game.  We all need to be stewards of what we do, not where we work.  I have a blast playing Jack Buck and doing PA at my son’s Varsity games.  Find the small joys and blessing and cherish them.  It all ends way too quickly.  I loved being a coach, changing young men’s lives in baseball, football, etc.  I see them now and feel old, but we have that bond.”

Tim’s credentials as a ball player have earned him the right to pass along his knowledge both to players and as a league president.  “I was a decent enough pitcher and had some call backs with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres and had my shot in college at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, but I now take great joy in being on my side of the fence,” explained Lukowski.  “It sure seems like a long time ago.  My greatest joy now is watching my kids.  I’m not a “Glory Days” type of guy.  I love seeing my kids being stewards of the game and treating it with respect.”

Tim continues to pitch with the 40+ Dodgers and Cowboys in the league and makes the occasional trip to Arizona for the MSBL World Series but he makes it very clear that helping his kids and being there for them far outweigh him having to be on the field.  “I’ll make a cameo between select volleyball, varsity baseball and girls softball.  I do it to show the guys that I can still wing it once in a while.”

As you might expect, when asked about Tim’s greatest moment either on or off the field he deflected the spotlight from himself.  “It goes back to my kids.  Watching them work hard and sacrificing “free time” for the love of the game. I’ve tried to teach them never to get too high or low, be stoic and carry an inner pride.

My son has a gift, but he’s an even more amazing young man.  The “Lukowski Cool” moment was this last season.  On a guy trip, Tanner caught a foul ball at a White Sox game.  A month later, after a 6-4-3 double play, Matt Carpenter flipped the ball to my daughter Emma, and then Morgan and Emma caught balls in a Diamond Back/Giants game. THAT was a pretty cool three months.  Of course, I kept and framed the balls!  That and winning a High School State Championship as a kid was pretty cool.”

Tim is a huge Cardinals fan and was actually named after Cardinal catcher and broadcaster Tim McCarver.  “My Dad named me after Tim McCarver, so I’ve been drawn to catchers.  I met Mr. McCarver at a dinner and told him my father named me after him.  He said, “Now why would he do that?” and laughed.  I still have the picture.”

Final thoughts?  “Omaha has an AMAZING amateur history.  We host the College World Series and some of the men who grew up in Omaha/Lincoln/Council Bluffs went on to play pro ball or manage at very high levels.  Our league continues to donate to the MSBL charities and help with various charities on a small scale in Omaha.  Be it scholarship, Wounded Warriors or First Responders, it’s amazing to give back.”

Lukowski concluded, “In this day and age people take so much so seriously.  This game is our common thread.  We need to get out of the house, walk away from Twitter, Google, and all of the other distractions and get outside, compete, play or watch.  Camaraderie is so rare.  We’re all so quick to judge but so scared to take risk.  The batter’s box, mound and middle infield is a risk. TAKE IT!  You’ll make yourself happy.

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2018 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Rick Stockfield, Hudson Valley (NY) MSBL

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Rick Stockfield is the League President of the Hudson Valley MSBL located in New York.  Rick is an established MSBL veteran and has played in MSBL leagues beginning in 1996 in Atlanta and Los Angeles before settling into the New York leadership role.  He also has several Fall Classic championship rings to his credit as player and manager. You can read more about our most recent MSBL Honor Roll club inductee below.

Biographical Information:

Your name: Rick Stockfield

City or town of residence:  Patterson, New York

Age: 47

League name: Hudson Valley MSBL, www.hvmsbl.com

Town where league is based:  Fishkill, New York (Hudson Valley area of New York – Dutchess, Orange, Northern Westchester, western-Fairfield, Putnam counties).

Where did you grow up? Lagrangeville, New York, though I moved to and played 12 seasons in the Atlanta MSBL and 3 other seasons as part of the Los Angeles MSBL

What do you do for a living? I own an executive search firm; I run a non-profit charitable organization, I parent my three boys, and I’m a poker aficionado

Family information (if you wish to share this):  Married (Mindy) for 20 years this August and have three boys, Shane (13), Evan (9) and Cal (7)

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.): Played varsity ball at Arlington High School (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), club ball at Syracuse University, in the Hudson Valley Rookie & Twilight Leagues, then MSBL since 1996 (Georgia Cherokees) and in Los Angeles (Malibu Mustangs) and in the Hudson Valley MSBL since 2009 (Kent Cubs, Pirates, Renegades).

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing?  Throwing my first and only no-hitter at age 42 in our 18+ division; to date our 29-year old league’s only 9-inning no hitter.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it?  In 1996.  I’d moved down to Atlanta and asked around and quickly found Steve Rosenberg who connected me with the Georgia Cherokees, a team I’d play for and eventually manage for 10 years going to and winning multiple national tournaments.

Do you still play?  They’ll have to rip the uniform off of me.  So, yes.

What team and age bracket?  I play and manage an 18+ team (Kent Cubs), and play on a 35+ team (Kent Pirates) and 45+ squad (Dutchess Renegades).

What is the best thing about your league?  We have grown from 17 teams in 2015 to 32 teams today.  We are a non-profit and officially a 501(c)3 organization so one of our main goals outside of just playing ball is to give back to the community. Our charitable arm (The 3 Up 3 Down Organization www.3u3d.org) supports and promotes youth baseball in and around the area while also supporting those with developmental disabilities.  In 2017, we gave away charitable grants totaling more than $14,000.  We should eclipse that mark in 2018 as we continue to give back to the community. We will have more than 2,000 fans in attendance at our All Star Game in July being held at Dutchess Stadium where the New York Penn League Hudson Valley Renegades play (A-Tampa).  We’ll have fireworks, festivities while giving away our grants.  I encourage all MSBL affiliates to give back if they can.  Though there’s the opportunity for a league president to profit off his league, I personally elect not.  I’d rather see the sport flourish and put the best product onto the field. This is a thankless position, but knowing what we are doing makes it possible for the sport to continue being played well locally, that’s thanks enough.

Do you participate in any MSBL national tournaments?  Yes.  I’ve gone to every Fall Classic in Florida since 1996 except two, having gone to the World Series in Arizona one year instead and having rotator cuff surgery one year also.  But I’ve also sent teams to the Orlando/Disney Classic, Las Vegas Classic, and gone to Palm Springs, and several regional tournaments.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why?  I feel odd saying this since I’m a Yankees fan, but Cal Ripken, due to his work ethic, desire and love for the game.  Named by 3rd son after him.

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far?  I’ve had the good fortune to have played this game for as long as I have and still have a passion for it.  As much as I’d have loved to have gone pro, I’d not change anything.  I play the game because it’s fun, it’s a diversion from life and because it’s pure.  My ability in the role I’m in now affords me the opportunity to get as many people playing the sport still as I can.  We’ve grown from 17 teams to 32 at a time when the game is down.  As long as guys still want to play and appreciate my efforts, I’m fine donating my time.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share?  I’ve had a really good relationship with the MSBL since my days in Atlanta with MSBL HOF’er Steve Rosenburg, always seeing Brian Sigler annually at the Fall Classic and catching up with him and watching both our families expand; and of recent in working with Steve Sigler in strategizing on growth and competition. I’m grateful to the MSBL for bringing a brand of baseball filled with integrity and structure in a time when many companies aren’t that way.  I’m happy to support this brand and continue to watch it grow.

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2018 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Tom Evans Krause, Puget Sound Senior Baseball League

Biographical Information:

Your name:  Tom Evans Krause

City or town of residence:  Lynnwood, Washington

Age: 66

League name:  Puget Sound Senior Baseball League (PSSBL)

Town where league is based:  Seattle-Tacoma

Where did you grow up?  Twin Cities/Omaha/Southern Illinois/Twin Cities

What do you do for a living?  Director of Broadcast Operations-Green River College (KGRG-AM & FM GM/broadcasting department chair/instructor) – following a 21-year career in professional broadcasting (radio DJ/program Director/operations manager/consultant).

Family information: Married to my best friend Nicole (30thanniversary in August, 2018); son Andrew; daughter Allison

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: Varsity/Lettered all 4 years in high school.  College walk-on (and walk-off – too many significant injuries).  24 Divisional & National Championship Title Games; 12 PSSBL Division Titles; 3 National World Series Rings; 44 Consecutive Regular Season Game Errorless Streak 2002-2003; Longest Serving PSSBL Board Member – 19 Years; PSSBL President 2006-Present; PSSBL Hall of Fame – 2017; MSBL National Hall of Fame – 2012; MSBL National Lifetime Achievement Award – 2016;

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing?  Growing up principally in the Twin Cities, I’ve been a huge Minnesota Twins fan since 1961, their inaugural season.  I attended Games 1 & 2 of both the 1987 and 1991 World Series, and the Twins won all four on their way to two titles.  The other greatest moment was when the final out was recorded and our Puget Sound Gators won the MSBL Central World Series championship in 2007 – my first ring.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it?  I saw a small ad in the sports section of the Seattle Times.  A friend and I tried out in 1995 and were drafted to a PSSBL expansion team.  We played together on the same team – the Sierra Division Beavers – for 16 seasons.

Do you still play?  Yes.  Three teams in 2018 (50+, 60+ and a 35+ Rec division team).  Potentially a 60-game regular season schedule

What team and age bracket?  Crawfords (35+ Rec), Everest Division Mariners (50+ Advanced), Rainier Division Mariners (60+ Advanced)

What is the best thing about your league? The friendships we develop are first and foremost the best thing about our league.  Also, the incredible dedication of very talented board members and the GM’s, who are the backbone of our non-profit organization – huge!

Do you participate in any MSBL national tournaments?  Yes. I’ve organized and managed a MSBL World Series team since 2005.  After winning the 35+ Cactus title with the Puget Sound Twins in 2016, I took a year off as a GM and played in the 60+ World Series last fall.  I will return as a GM in 2018 with a 45+ version of the Puget Sound Twins.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why?  Harmon Killebrew – This humble nice guy from Payette, Idaho was the core of the Minnesota Twins I grew up with.  My parents, brother and I were privileged to attend the game at the old Metropolitan Stadium when this Hall-of-Famer hit his 500th homerun.  I loved the fact he played 14 of his MLB seasons as a relatively short, righthanded first baseman with power.  I’ve worn #3 (Killebrew’s number) since high school as a relatively short, righthanded first baseman with no power.  (Other favorite player:  #34 Kirby Puckett!!!)

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far?  God has truly blessed me.  I love my family and thank them for allowing me to be a part of this game for 24 years.  In the words of Joe Walsh, ‘Life’s been good to me so far.”

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share?  When I was still in professional radio in Florida, I distinctly remember reading a 1988 “Sports Illustrated” story about a guy – Steve Sigler – putting together a league for adult players to get back to playing hardball.  Having played the only game in town – softball – for years, I was both intrigued and jealous.  I wanted to get back to playing baseball.  Fortunately, after moving to Seattle I found the PSSBL which is celebrating its 30th season in 2018 as a MSBL affiliate.  Now in my 24thseason, I thank our original PSSBL organizers Ben Low, Dick Fitzgerald, Craig Hogan and many more.  Ultimately, we all have Steve Sigler to thank for his vision and dedication as well as other MSBL luminaries such as Tom Prendergast, Brian Sigler, Steve LaMontia, the unforgettable Dan Piro, and so many others.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Bob Schiotis, Fresno Men’s Baseball League

Robert ‘Bob’ Schiotis is a retired law enforcement professional who just happens to be the league president of the MSBL affiliated Fresno Men’s Baseball League. Though retirement age, Bob still plays in the 50+ division in league play and manages the perennial powerhouse Fresno Grizzlies at the MSBL World Series in Arizona. Bob has been a part of the MSBL nation since 1994 when he decided it was time to become a 44 year old rookie.  MSBL president and founder Steve Sigler has cited Bob for his efforts the past twenty-four years with MSBL as the most recent member of the MSBL Honor Roll. Bob was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Biographical Information:

Your name:

Robert “Bob” Schiotis

City or town of residence:

Fresno, CA

League name:

Fresno Men’s Baseball League (FMBL)

Town where league is based:

Fresno, CA

Where did you grow up:

Born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Fresno when I was 2 years old.

High school and college, if applicable:

Fresno High School and Fresno City College

What do you do for a living:

I retired 12-31-2011 after 35 years in law enforcement.

Family information (if you wish to share this):

Married 44 years, 3 Daughters and 5 grandchildren

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.)

I played Babe Ruth League ages 13-15. Played Twilight League (College level teams playing double headers on Sundays during a summer league) from the age of 17 to 21. Assisted and coached Babe Ruth and Little League teams from the age of 16 to 29, due to job hours, I had to stop coaching.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing:

When I was 18, I pitched a complete game, 1-0 shutout win, 1 hit, with a dozen strikeouts, against the undefeated first place team in the Twilight League and was named to that years All Star Team.

I feel blessed to have been invited to pitch in the FMBL in 1994 at the age of 44. Had a good season and received the league’s Cy Young award.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it:

I started playing in the MSBL league at the age of 44 in 1994 after a friend, Joe Nichols, called me and asked me to pitch on the 30+ FMBL team he played on the prior year..

Do you still play:

Still play in the 50+ Division of the FMBL and play tournaments in the MSBL 65+ division.

I held numerous positions on the FMBL Board before being elected President of the league and currently serving my ninth year as President. I have managed a 30+ and 45+ and currently a 50+ team in the FMBL. Managed a 50+, 60+ and 65+ tournament teams in the Arizona World Series and Las Vegas National tournament.

What team and age bracket:

Manage and play for the Fresno Grizzlies 50+ team in the FMBL and the Fresno Grizzlies 65+ tournament team.

What is the best thing about your league:

It gives youngsters, 18+ a place to play ball if not going to college and/or did not have a chance to play high school or college baseball. FMBL has ten 18+ teams and five 30+ teams. It also gives us older players, some in their 70’s, a chance to play baseball. We have eight 50+ teams. We play on the best high school varsity fields/stadiums in Fresno and Madera Counties. We are able to donate money to their high school baseball programs each year besides paying the Districts for the field use.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field:

Nothing stands out as the funniest but there have been many funny stories and many laughs along with serious competition.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why:

Never have narrowed it down to one. Too many great players.

Who is the best player in the majors right now:

Clayton Kershaw is one of the many.

 Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why:

Sandy Koufax is one of the many great ones. His record speaks for itself and is the one pitcher everyone compares all left handers too in today’s game.

 Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share:

Great Job MSBL National – thank you for all you do for the leagues.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Tom Carlson, Lakeshore (WI) MSBL

By Steve LaMontia, MSBL National

Tom Carlson resides in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and has been an MSBL staple since the early 90’s. He is also a diehard Cubbie fan, with apologies to the Brewers. He is the residing commissioner of the newly formed Lakeshore MSBL League, which is a marriage of the six year old Kenosha MSBL and the long-standing Hector Espino League. They are also looking to expand the league to include Racine and Lake Geneva and become as big an MSBL force in Wisconsin as Milwaukee. MSBL founder and president Steve Sigler wishes to distinguish Tom as a new member of the MSBL Honor Roll and recognize Tom’s hard work. Tom was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Biographical Information:

Your name:

Tom Carlson

City or town of residence:

Kenosha, WI

League name:

Lakeshore MSBL, formerly Kenosha MSBL

Town where league is based:

Kenosha, WI

Where did you grow up:

Skokie, IL

High school and college, if applicable:

St Patrick HS, Chicago, IL

CBC, Memphis, TN

What do you do for a living:

Work at Abbvie in Lake County Illinois

Family information:

I have a daughter who is a high school senior. She is involved in volleyball, softball, band and choir while maintaining her status on National Honors Society. I coached her in recreational, competitive and middle school softball programs. I’m very proud of her hard work as an athlete and scholar.

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.)

I played baseball from Little League into college. Unfortunately there were no adult baseball leagues so I played and coached 12” slow and fastpitch softball for about 10 years. I also played a couple years of 16” softball but gave that up after too many broken fingers.

In the early 90’s I joined Milwaukee MSBL playing for the Dukes, Rattlers and Senators playing for about 10 years.

In 2001 I started coaching my daughter in T-Ball and co-ed softball. This quickly progressed to me becoming known as coach by many of the kids in town. Over the years I continued coaching recreational, competitive and middle school fast pitch softball. By freshman year my daughter determined that dad’s spot needed to be behind the backstop – I had to agree.

In 2006 Ched Ballard formed Kenosha MSBL starting with four teams. I joined the league the year it was created and became the league secretary. In 2011, I took over as league president. During the fall of 2012 work started to merge the Hector Espino Baseball league into Kenosha MSBL. Paul Settecase from the Hector Espino Baseball League and Steve Mancusi from Kenosha MSBL worked with me to create a semi smooth transition forming Lakeshore MSBL.

In 2006 Kenosha MSBL helped create the Kenosha Simmons Baseball Organization which is the group chartered with the preservation of historic Simmons Field in Kenosha. Built in 1920, Simmons Field is one of the only original ballparks of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, home to the Kenosha Comets as well as the former home to the Kenosha Twins and many other historical teams. I was responsible for managing field and park operations until 2012.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing:

Playing baseball – I will always remember my Dad at the backstop of every game critiquing my stance at bat or calling out the play while I was a first baseman. Even as an adult I still hear his voice telling me ”keep my head on the ball” or “keep the runner honest”.

Watching a game – May 12, 1970, as Ernie Banks hit number 500 in the “Friendly Confines”. I was home from school and lucked out being able to watch the game that Banks boomed number 500. His dynamic personality on and off the field always impressed me and helped keep me a Cubs fan for life.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it:

I started playing in 1995 with the fledgling Milwaukee MSBL. I ran into Ed Heinzelman from the Milwaukee Dukes at a batting cage in Milwaukee. Ed proceeded to recruit me, the rest is history!

Do you still play:

Yes, I play in the Kenosha division on the Pirates. I’m a first baseman plus pitch my one inning a year to keep the batters honest. I love the competitive nature of the game and proving my mettle against the younger guys in the league. I’ve always said as long as I can walk, I will play the game.

What team and age bracket:

Lakeshore MSBL, Kenosha Division, Pirates – 18+

What is the best thing about your league:

Kenosha is a small tight knit community. Growing up in the Chicago area I have come to appreciate the bonds I’ve built in Kenosha. The guys in our league do a great job keeping it real and letting us know what works and what does not. Even in the toughest of times we walk away as friends looking forward to that next game or cold one to celebrate the victory/discuss the strategy of how the game could have been won.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field:

As a kid in Little League our team was up to bat, down two runs, two outs, runners on second and third. For some reason the batter decided to bunt with two outs, the catcher promptly picked up the bunt stepped on home then jumping up and down in celebration of the victory carried the ball back to the dugout and tossed it into the equipment bag. As the opposing team exited the field thinking this was a victory as our runners proceeded to clear the bases bringing the game to an end with a victory. Probably the more colorful part was watching the coaches and umpires having a very adult conversation on the rules governing a situation like this. Right or wrong the umpire considered the ball in play since the bag was outside the dugout and the player intentionally threw the ball into the bag. A true bad news bears moment.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why:

Two players – When I was a young kid my Uncle introduced me to Gabby Hartnett one of the all-time great Cubs catchers. My uncle and Gabby’s son were best friends in school. He had interesting stories about the Cubs and baseball. A little on the gruff side but a nice old guy. Ernie Banks was by far my favorite player. As a kid he was the rare breed who went out of his way to spend time before and after games with fans. Ernie was the player you could always count on to put 110% into the game.

Who is the best player in the majors right now:

Miguel Cabrera is one of the best and has a bright future. Too bad he is not with the Cubs!

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why:

Satchel Paige. He was one of the all-time great pitchers. Unfortunately for most of his career he was restricted to the Negro League. Paige was able to competitively pitching until his 50s’. Just imagine the records he would have set if allowed to play in MLB in his 20s’!

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far:

Baseball has and always will be a part of my life. It has taught me to be competitive but realize that the end result is not always a mark in the W column. My goals in life are much like that where I follow my heart and dreams while striving to be the best I can on and off the field.

Are there any MSBL comments you wish to share:

I would like to thank Steve Sigler for developing MSBL from a group of friends playing baseball to a national program.

Ched Ballard was instrumental in bringing adult baseball to Kenosha a city with deep softball roots. His hard work to develop MSBL in Kenosha helped get our league to where it is today.

Most of all I would like to thank everyone from our players, wives, significant others and fans – without your commitment our league would not exist.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Robert Schiotis, Fresno Men’s Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director

Robert ‘Spongebob’ Schiotis is a retired law enforcement professional who just happens to be the league president of the MSBL affiliated Fresno Men’s Baseball League. Though retirement age, Bob still plays in the 45+ division in league play and manages the perennial powerhouse Fresno Grizzlies at the MSBL World Series in Arizona.Bob has been a part of the MSBL nation since 1994 when he decided it was time to become a 44 year old rookie.  MSBL president and founder Steve Sigler has cited Bob for his efforts the past nineteen years with MSBL as the most recent member of the MSBL Honor Roll. Bob was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Biographical Information:

Your name:

Robert “Bob” Schiotis

City or town of residence:

Fresno, CA

League name:

Fresno Men’s Baseball League (FMBL)

Town where league is based:

Fresno, CA

Where did you grow up:

Born in Brooklyn, New York, but moved to Fresno when I was 2 years old.

High school and college, if applicable:

Fresno High School and Fresno City College

What do you do for a living:

I retired last year after 35 years in law enforcement.

Family information (if you wish to share this):

Married 39 years, 3 Daughters and 4 grandchildren (#5 is due in September)

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.)

I played Babe Ruth League ages 13-15. Played Twilight League (College level teams playing double headers on Sundays during a summer league) from the age of 17 to 21. Assisted and coached Babe Ruth and Little League teams from the age of 16 to 29, due to job hours, I had to stop coaching.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing:

When I was 18, I pitched a complete game, 1-0 shutout win, 1 hit, with a dozen strikeouts, against the undefeated first place team in the Twilight League and was named to that years All Star Team.

I feel blessed to have been invited to pitch in the FMBL in 1994 at the age of 44. Had a good season and received the leagues Cy Young award.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it:

I started playing in the MSBL league at the age of 44 in 1994 after a friend called me and asked me to pitch for his 30+ team after they had lost all their games the year before.

Do you still play:

Still play in the 45+ Division of the FMBL and play tournaments in the 60+ division.

I held numerous positions on the FMBL Board before being elected President of the league and currently serving my fourth year as President. I have managed a 30+ and 45+ team in the FMBL. Managed a 50+, 60+ and 65+ tournament team in the Arizona World Series and Las Vegas National tournament.

What team and age bracket:

Fresno Grizzlies 45+ in FMBL and the Fresno Grizzlies 60+ and 65+ tournament team.

What is the best thing about your league:

It gives youngsters, 18+ a place to play ball if not going to college and/or did not have a chance to play high school or college baseball. FMBL has ten 18+ teams and six 25+ teams. It also gives us older players a chance again to play baseball. We have ten 45+ teams and are looking into splitting into some 52+ teams for next season. We play on the best high school varsity fields/stadiums in Fresno County and we are able to donate money to their high school baseball programs.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field:

Nothing stands out as the funniest but there have been many funny stories and many laughs along with serious competition.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why:

Never have narrowed it down to one. Too many great players.

Who is the best player in the majors right now:

Clayton Kershaw is one of the many.

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why:

Sandy Koufax is one of the many great ones. His record speaks for itself and is the one pitcher everyone compares all left handers too in today’s game.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share:

Great Job MSBL National – thank you for all you do for the leagues.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Kirk Pruitt, North Texas Amateur Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, MSBL Executive Regional Director

Kirk Pruitt is the newly elected president of the 24-team North Texas Amateur Baseball League located in Dallas, Texas. Hovering in the mid-40’s, Kirk has been playing with and managing MSBL teams since 2001 when he got hooked on the organization. MSBL president and founder Steve Sigler wishes to recognize Kirk for his hard work and dedication in heading up one of the premier MSBL leagues in the country and has selected Kirk as one of the newest members of the MSBL Honor Roll. Kirk has agreed to share his story with us.

Biographical Information:

Your name:

Kirk Pruitt

City or town of residence:

Bedford, Texas

League name:

North Texas Amateur Baseball League (Dallas MSBL)

Town where league is based:

Dallas, Texas

Where did you grow up:

North Richland Hills, Texas (Suburb of Ft. Worth)

High school and college, if applicable:

Richland High School graduate, 1983

(Some night school at Tarrant County College, but not worth mentioning.)

What do you do for a living:

Porsche parts sales. Vintage models from the 1950’s to current model year. I’ve worked for the same place since high school (with a small detour along the way). I’ve been here 30 years.

Zims Autotechnik www.allzim.com

Family information:

Married 24 years to my wife, Suzanne. 1 daughter, Molly, age 17.

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume:

Played up through Pony league and quit playing because I wanted a car and working did not leave time for baseball. One of my few regrets, but I think I enjoy baseball more as an adult than I would had I never stopped playing. I played amateur soccer competitively until I was 30 when injuries forced me out. I played softball for a bit and found out about adult baseball from a newspaper article.Went to a tryout for a local league and was placed on a team of “leftovers”. We lost every game but I was hooked! That was in 1998 and I’ve played pretty much non-stop since then.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing:

Watching – I’m a lifetime Texas Rangers fan and after 40 years of misery, they finally made it to the World Series. When they beat the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS to advance to the World Series.

Playing – Whatever my most recent good play or hit was.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it:

I was playing in “another league” and heard about MSBL in 2000 from some of the other players on my fall team. I switched over for the 2001 season.

Do you still play:

Yes!

What team and age bracket:

I manage a 35+ team in the NTABL, the Hurricanes.

I primarily play first base, but fill in at catcher sometimes.

What is the best thing about your league:

Our members. Without them, we don’t have a league. Our fund raiser last year is a great example. We were hoping to raise $5,000. Our members raised a little over $12,000 for the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Those guys are “clutch”. They choose NTABL baseball over some very stiff competition locally, which can be very humbling sometimes.

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why:

Pudge Rodriguez – he was a great player and had fun doing it. I still remember him catching a foul ball near the rail, then leaning over and stealing a nacho from a fan.

Who is the best player in the majors right now:

Offensively, Miguel Cabrera. That guy is having a career year.

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why:

I have no idea.

 

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far:I’m one of those guy who feels like – every time I step on the field – I am the luckiest guy on the face of the earth. I love the game, the camaraderie and plan to play until they have to hide my glove from me.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share:

This is my first year as our league president.Steve Sigler and the other folks at the National office have been very helpful to me personally. I also feel that their past years of hard work have made the MSBL brand the gold standard for adult baseball. This helps immensely when I approach a new facility, or have a potential recruit inquire about the league, they do not have to look very far or long to verify they are dealing with the best organization in the country.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Chuck Mally, LaGrange, (IL) Men’s Adult Baseball League

Chuck Mally began his MSBL career in 1996 as a 56 year old rookie in the LaGrange Men’s Adult Baseball League based in Illinois. Chuck retired in 2008 from active ball playing at the young age of 68 but stays close to the game. MSBL president and founder Steve Sigler has chosen Chuck to become a member of the 2013 class of the MSBL Honor Roll and be recognized for his contribution and passion for the game. As current player David Sopczynski from the LaGrange Whooligans so aptly stated, “This is long overdue. We appreciate everything Chuck does for us and he makes it so easy for us to play in this league. Everything is always so organized and it is thanks to Chuck. Congrats on the award. He truly deserves it!!!”

By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director

Biographical Information:

Your name: Chuck Mally

City or town of residence: Countryside, IL

League name: LaGrange Men’s Adult Baseball League

Town where league is based: LaGrange, IL

Where did you grow up: Brookfield, IL

High school and college, if applicable:Riverside-Brookfield, Lyons Township Junior College

What do you do for a living: Retired Chemist from Ingredion, Incorporated

Family information: Married 44 years Karen Mally, two sons played baseball at Rockford College and Golf at North Central College both in IL.

General Questions:

Describe your baseball resume: (list levels played, any major accomplishments, etc.) Played High School 1954-1958 and Jr. College 1959-60. Then played in the LaGrange over 30 league back in the late 1980s. Started the current league back in 1996 and played part time until 2008.

Also am still involved with Babe Ruth Baseball since 1985 and currently as Northern IL State Commissioner since 2008.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing: In HS throwing a 1-hitter against a great Lyons Township Team. Then a no-hitter in Jr College against the Elgin Jr College team.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it: When my son needed a close-by league we started this up in 1996.

Do you still play: Stopped at the age of 68 in 2008.

What is the best thing about your league:It gives local men the opportunity to keep their love of the game active.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field: An umpire in dark clothes trying to do a game with his pants ripped. Of course white underwear! All I remember is his name was John!

Questions just for fun:

Who is your favorite player of all time and why: Ernie Banks for his ability and attitude.

Who is the best player in the majors right now: Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why: Nolan Ryan!

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far: Without baseball, life would be rather dull. I simply love the game!

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share: The organization gives our local guys the opportunity to play a fairly competitive game while understanding it’s the thrill and enjoyment of the game that counts.

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2013 MSBL Honor Roll Inductee: Homa Shafii, Monterey (CA) Adult Baseball League

Homa Shafii was born in Iran and has worked herself up to commissioner of the Monterey Men’s 18+ Adult Baseball League within the MSBL umbrella.A firefighter by profession, she is a catcher by choice. Homa has an exceptional softball and baseball resume to go along with her MSBL commissioner duties. MSBL president and founder Steve Sigler has cited Homa for her hard work and dedication by honoring her as the newest member of the MSBL Honor Roll class of 2013.Homa was kind enough to share parts of her journey with us.

By Steve LaMontia, Executive Regional Director

Your Name: Homa Shafii

City or town of residence: Monterey, CA

League name: Monterey Men’s 18+ Adult Baseball League

Town where league is based: Monterey, CA

Where did you grow up: Iran Tehran and Santa Clara, CA

High school and college, if applicable:Santa Clara High School and California State University Monterey Bay

What do you do for a living:Firefighter

Family information: Daughter of Ahmad and Mitra, sister of Farah and Elizabeth and Aunt of two little munchkins, Tala and Hanna.

General Questions

Describe your baseball resume: Played high school at SCHS from 1999-2003. Played at West Valley College being ranked number one in the state of California with a record of 48-2. Finished my degree at California State University Monterey Bay. Earned player of the week opening week in CCAA conference. First team All-Conference player, All-Championship team, All-Region player and Female Athlete of the Year. Will be trying out for the Women’s USA Baseball Team in June 2014.

What is your greatest baseball moment, either watching or playing: Hitting a three-run jack against the number one pitcher in the nation my senior year at CSUMB to eliminate their team from the conference championships.

When did you start playing for MSBL and how did you hear about it: In 2008 after I was done with my college softball career but I wasn’t done playing ball. I decided to try out for the Monterey MSBL 18+ League and was picked up by the Stars.The next year I decided to manage my own team, the Monterey Legends. After two years as manager I became commissioner.

Do you still play: Yes, I still play for my team the Monterey Legends and will till I can’t pick up the ball any longer!

What is the best thing about your league: Gives an opportunity for anyone who loves baseball to play and we also keep the league very competitive with some exceptional players throughout our teams.

What is the funniest thing you have ever witnessed on a ball field: A game playing for CSUMB. I was in right field and I watched a pop-up in foul territory behind home plate…my catcher goes back to catch it, trips on her hands and knees and the ball lands right between her calves, just sitting there. We are all just staring in awe and cracking up over her trip, she doesn’t move and is yelling for someone to come pick the ball off her legs. Finally the pitcher ran over, picked it up, and we got the out!

Questions just for fun

Who is your favorite player of all time and why: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his respect for the game.

Who is the best player on the majors right now: That’s a loaded question!

Who is the greatest pitcher of all time and why: Nolan Ryan of course!

Are there any additional personal comments you wish to add about your playing or life thus far: Baseball has allowed me to build so much character and really played a huge role in who I am today, teaching me that failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

Are there any comments about MSBL you wish to share: There is nothing more to say but to thank the organization that gives everyone the privilege to keep playing this perfect game.