MSBL World Series Team Profile: Connecticut Navigators, managed by Greg Schienda

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

Greg Schienda isn’t about World Series championships being the measuring stick of success.  He should know.  The league president of the Connecticut North MSBL has been going to Arizona for the World Series since 1991 as a member of the Connecticut North team.  In 1994 he started the Farmington Savings Bank.  From there the Connecticut Navigators were born a few short years later.

“I just played at first,” explained Greg.  “Then I sort of helped him recruit some players and we entered the 30+ division.  We teamed up with some players from Alaska. Then in 1995 the Alaska players put their own team together so I went with them.  In 1996 I started running the Farmington team and changed the name to the Navigators, which was the name of a Yankee minor league affiliate in Norwich.  We have had a Navigator team entered every year since.”

Greg and the Navigators stayed in the 30-over division until 2002 and then put a second team together to test the competition in the 38+ division.  From there the Navigators moved to the 38+ division until 2007 when they entered the 45+ as the guys got older.

In 2013 Greg merged with the local team Jorels and created a 50+ Navigators team and 55+ Jorels team.  Greg ran these two teams through 2018.

“Since 2019 we have had three teams, the 50+ Connecticut Navigators, 55+ Connecticut Jorels, and the 60+ AZ/CT United. In 2022 Rob Kandro took over the 50+ CT Navigators and Greg is now running the 55+ and 60+ teams.  Shaun Wyman has created a 35+ Connecticut Navigators younger team and they will soon be merged with the others as we all get older.”

Greg added, “We made the playoffs occasionally but hadn’t won until we teamed up with Michael Dimino from Arizona and fellow Arizona players in 2019 and in 2020 we won the 60+ Cactus championship.  That was the CT/AZ United team and we’re still out there competing.  Then in 2021 the 50+ Navigators won the Desert Division championship.  Previously our best finishes were getting beaten in the finals, reaching the final-four a couple of times, but we did make the playoffs a lot.”

I asked Greg if he had a favorite memory.

“The most memorable is the first year.  We were a bunch of naïve kids in 1991 but went 5-1 and lost in the first round of playoffs.  We were hooked.  I even hit .500 that year!”

Greg was quick to mention a journey like this is not achieved alone.

Dave Sacco has been my right-hand man since 1994 and John Bennett was essential in the early years.  John unfortunately has passed away.  Michael Dimino is our Arizona connection on the CT/AZ United team and also helps run things.  Also, I need to send a shout-out to some longtime players who have been going to Arizona as Navigators for many, many years: Dave Sacco, Paul Sciano, Steve Roberts, Jon Beady, Chris Loughlin, Matt Ryan, Jorge Torres, Michael Dimino, Greg Price, Glenn Klare, Steve Needleman, and Rob Kandro.  We wouldn’t be nearly as successful without these wonderful players and great friends.”