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Discussion: Fifth Place in the Land of the Sun

Posted Discussion
Oct. 25, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Fifth Place in the Land of the Sun
The 50 major plus in Desert West
was a very competitive 10 team bracket.
We, at 5 Spot, were seeded first
and finished in 5th place.
The Mavericks and East Bay Oldies,
2 California teams(who'd a thunk)
were in the finals when we left
the field.
The balls were very good in the
15 to 20 degree less temperature
that we experienced from last weekend.
The are in fact very sensitive
to the heat.
I saw Fran for a moment
from a distance which was enough
to ground good feelings for the directors of the tournament.
Fran is SSUSA's best ambassador,
sorry Dave but somehow I don't think
he minds.
The complaints came in 3's.
- Not enough new balls being used
in the tournament.
- The lights were so bad at twilight
on Friday that 2 teams walked off
refusing to finish the game
for safety concerns.
- directors would not move us
to another field on Sunday morning
when the sun was dangerously in the pitcher's eyes for at least 3 innings
when they could have.

The competition was great
with many terrific players in attendance.
Wally, Jack, Carl, Mark and Stick from Lansing,
Crunk, Big Arms, Neil and Verne
for OKI,
The usual Maverick cast of characters
and celebrities
just to name a few.
A sad note.
Mike Vaughn a great hitter for East Bay Oldies went down after making a put out
at first but snapped the heel of his right foot requiring surgery
tomorrow in Phoenix.
He's the best of guys
for any of you who don't know him
and a monster with a bat
having a great tournament.
That was a great play he turned
for the 3rd out of the inning
against a great Maverick team.
Best to Mike and his family
and for a speedy recovery.
Way to go Mike.
You made all of us proud
of you, your stellar effort and courage.

The highlight for me
was watching Joe Lecak at bat
for LAF against Mike Burbank pitching
for Fangrabbers.
They are both very good friends of mine
but had never met before
on the field of honor.
Mike threw a waste/fast ball
knee high and inside to Joe
figuring it would just throw him off
his sight line
and Joe with great quickness
and great wrists
ripped a screamer, 375 +
way out to left.
Mike is as gracious a competitor as he is a great player and laughed and played along with his unintended
The best moment of the tournament for me.

Change is in the air for next year
I've heard from SSUSA given the rules
adjustments that should be made
to help us enjoy our game
and there's more than a hint of a
some good things for all seniors
coming just around the corner
you'll all be hearing about shortly.

Big Mike Macenko was there
and as I've said before
it would be hard to have a better
ambassador relating to senior ball
than Mike.
He's gracious and generous with comments and advice and huge
in many positive ways.
I've spoken with a couple of guys
who played with him in his day
and all of them said
he was T-H-E best.
Whenever you guys see him at a tourney
drop by and say hello.
You won't be disappointed.
Oct. 26, 2009
Men's 55
102 posts

Had to know the Mavericks would be in the finals. East Bay Oldies would be a suprise to some, but us Nor Cal players know what we see almost every weekend. Congrats to the East Bay Oldies regardless of first/second finish. Hell of a accomplishment.

I thought the balls were fine. Those that should have hit 'em far, did. Those that shouldn't hit 'em far, didn't. I know the previous weekend the temperatures were higher but we all play under the same conditions on any given weekend. Maybe in certain locations where high temperature and humdity are common we should use the Micro-Cell ball.

As for Desert West, having played there in "08" I had fore warned our team about the lighting. Still, they were suprised as to how bad. Having teams walk of the field regarding safety sents a strong message to SSUSA.

As the season ends and rumors fly we'll see where teams and players end up.
Oct. 26, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Brian,

The balls WERE fine in that temperature
but weren't in the 15 to 20 degree
higher temperatures
the week before.
It's already started...
the jockeying for next year.

I'm with you.
"When all is said and done,
more is said than done."
Oct. 26, 2009
Men's 70
291 posts
We are so happy to hear that the balls this weekend in Phoenix passed inspection!!!
Oct. 26, 2009
Men's 50
1375 posts
You mean you don't have first-hand experience with Mike from back in his prime? And here I thought you have been everywhere and done everything.

Okay now, return to your compulsive ball crusade.
Oct. 26, 2009
Men's 50
6 posts
Yes, the light were bad and this should not happen for such a big tournment. For a softball complex to have only 2 rows of light on 3 of the 4 diamonds is unheard of. The 4 diamond has 3 rows of lights. Also the sun was bad on 3 of the 4 diamonds at different time of the day. Playing for LAF is hard enough, to compete with the big boys but to play under unfavorable conditions is a lousy way to set up a tournament.
Oct. 27, 2009
1583 posts
Yes the lighting was horrid on those fields at Desert West. It was tough enough for me playing the outfield looking into a bright sun against the strong hitting Mavericks team. Then our next game against a very strong MTC team started in the twilight and as darkness came in seeing the ball became nearly impossible. I'm not sure which condition was worse but for sure the brightness of the sun can't be changed so you do your best to shade it with your glove. The staff can sure increase the watts in the bulbs of those lights however. I felt like I was in some kind of cave.
Oct. 27, 2009
Men's 50
117 posts
It was an honor playing with you this last weekend Joe. You are an awesome player and a true ambassador of the game.
Only wish we could have performed up to our potential. Overall I had a great time and I look forward to next year. Any results from the finals? I can't find anywhere that has posted the finals yet.
What are some of these "Changes" you speak of?

Oct. 27, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Hey Ron,
You're a monster with a bat and a great teammate.
I think the same that we under-achieved
and that never feels good.
I don't know still who won
50 major plus
and I'm bound to secrecy on "the changes"
till its broken by the source.
Hopefully, we'll all hear soon enough
but I'll email you on it shortly.
Oct. 27, 2009
Gekle BUilders
Men's 50
204 posts
Joe,nice to see you again this past week end.We didn't have our best week end.Doing a little re-tooling for 2010,trying to put something together for FT. Meyers Nov. 13-15.With some new blood.Waiting to hear if there are any M+ teams going.Keep up the good fight,I don't see many of your critics at the big tourneys playing at the highest level but I haven't been to a single M+ 50's World or National this year without seeing you there competeing on a compititive M+ team that says a lot.

See Ya Soon
Oct. 27, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
Thanks for the comments Ray
and I look forward to seeing you soon.
I just learned that the Mavericks
(big surprise) beat the East Bay Oldies
for the prize.
Congrats Mavs for a great year
and way to go, East Bay for a great
effort and tournament.
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