Since David Van Sleet, General Manager of the MSBL sponsored Louisville Slugger Warriors National Amputee Baseball Team, Inc. reached out to Tony Castro and Bob Pfeffer of the MSBL SWFL (Southwest Florida) League in February 2022, the idea was hatched to create the ‘Battle at The Ballpark’ in Naples, Florida over Memorial Day Weekend.
Tony is a retired NYPD Officer of 21 years and had played MSBL baseball since the late 1980s in Long Island, New York before relocating to Naples, Florida. Bob is a former pitcher in the Cleveland Indians system. Van Sleet was informed there was a four-team second-year league playing in Naples, Florida so Van Sleet agreed to have his team travel to Florida to help promote the MSBL SWFL League and play a double header at the City of Naples Fleischmann Park against an all-star team selected from the four-team league. Two local news channels plus two local newspapers helped promote the event.
The doubleheader was played on Saturday, May 28th in 90-degree heat and humid weather. The Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 lead while facing hard-throwing SWFL All-Star pitcher Mason Mayberry. The SWFL All-Stars scored four runs in the sixth inning to go up 5-3 before the Warriors loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning but were unable to score and the game ended 5-3. The Warriors pitched one-handed Josh Miller before he was relieved by below-knee amputee Michael Came.
The Warriors, frustrated by the outcome of the first game score, came back big time in the second game, winning 15-4 in a game shortened by the run rule after six innings. The Warriors were led by pitcher and below-knee amputee Rocky Lorenzo and below-knee amputees Michael Came and Matt Kinsey, who both went 3 for 4 batting plus both hitters hitting the left-centerfield fence
Once again, the Warriors were led and coached by former MLB Players Curtis Pride and Len Whitehouse.
Below is the YouTube video promo compiled by the local News4 television station: