TCBA Yearbook

1983

  INDEX

Seasons
1902  1903 
1904
1905  1906  1907 1908  1909  1910

1911  1912  1913
1914  1915  1916 1917  1918  1919

1920

1921  1922  1923
1924  1925  1926 1927  1928  1929

1930  1931  1932
1933  1934  1935 1936  1937  1938
1939

1940  1941  1942
1943  1944  1945 1946  1947  1948
1949

1950  1951  1952
1953  1954  1955 1956  1957  1958
1959

1960  1961  1962
1963  1964  1965 1966  1967  1968
1969

1970  1971  1972
1973  1974  1975 1976  1977  1978
1979

1980  1981  1982
1983  1984  1985 1986  1987  1988
 1989 

1990  1991  1992
1993  1994  1995 1996  1997  1998
1999

2000  2001  2002
2003  2004  2005 2006  2007  2008
 2009 

2010  2011  2012
2013  2014  2015 2016  2017  2018
  2019  

2020  2021  2022
2023  2024  2025 2026  2027  2028
  2029  

Miscellaneous
Foreword 1
Foreword II
Introduction
The Ad
The Letter
The Test
First Newsletter
Yesterday
Gold
Origins

TCBA Almanac

 

Standings

Metro Division

 

Eastern Division

Long Island

96

66

...

Harbor Beach

87

75

...

Bergen

82

82

14

Morgantown

82

79

4.5

Scranton

80

82

16

Chicago Ridge

68

73

8.5

Meadowlands

74

87

22

Prospect Heights

67

74

9.5

Hyde Park

67

87

25

Miller Court

65

90

19

 

Central Division

 

Western Division

Winnebago

121

27

...

Mimosa

95

67

...

Evanston

91

71

37

Horseshoe Bay

84

78

23

Western Springs

82

80

46

Norfolk

81

81

14

Bradenton

67

80

54

Northeast

62

72

19

Rockford

50

91

68

Magic Mt.

47

108

45

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Dan Warren - The obscuring dust lies most densely on 1983 and 1984. While Long Island, Harbor Beach, Winnebago, Mimosa, Horseshoe Bay, and Evanston all reached the playoffs, the 1983 league championship remains an unclaimed void to this day.

     Bergen’s Keith Hernandez led all hitters with .357. Alan Bannister pitched a no-hitter for the Islanders, while Mike Krukow (23), Phil Niekro (23), Dan Petry (21), Juaquin Andujar (20), and Fergy Jenkins (20) had good years. Vida Blue tossed a no-hitter for Morgantown against Chicago Ridge.

      Don Sutton of Bradenton had the finest pitching performance in TCBA history over Western Springs when he hurled back-to-back shutouts- a two-hitter and a no-hitter!!! He retired the first 26 in a row in the second outing before walking a pinch-hitter.

 Fiehl Facts - Not much to say this year.  Newsletters were short and totally dominated with National League highlights and write-ups.  Dave Brown was constantly on our backs, and rightly so, to get the series in on time.

       Al Keefer makes the playoffs for the first time in 9 years!  League still waiting for his first trade!

  Marty Fiehl - Dave McKay?  While Lamaar was winning 19 and 24, Dave was still in baseball, but I think it was as a thirdbase coach.  Just dumb, stupid luck on Boston’s part to acquire Hoyt when they did, but nary a gathering of Metro managers can take place without the Braunmiester bringing this one up. Well, at least not for the last dozen years or so!  

 Bob Braun - Dave McKay hits .176 for Hyde Park.

 Larry Smith - “Mirth Makers” was stolen from a favorite television show in the Mimosa household -- “Fernwood Tonight.” The Mirth Makers were host Barth Gamble’s band, led by Happy Kyle.

      December 30, 1983 - The last of David Brown’s TCBA REPORT was published, ending an era of quality reporting that followed our growth for the first nine years. It wasn’t until the appearance of Larry Smith’s TCBA Today  in the early 1990’s that we ever came close to David’s professionalism.

Bob Braun - As the Dragon of Winnebago continued to ravish the land of TCBA, the Vita-Men struggled to complete their season. Long time hero Ken Singleton appeared in only 25 games, and then was unceremoniously sold to the Bradenton franchise for a paltry $40,000. The franchise leader in nearly every offensive category, a classy man who appeared in over 1200 games during 10+ seasons with Hyde Park, a player who led the team to the American League crown in 1976, who finished his Hyde Park career with close to a .300 batting average, was shipped out like so much excess baggage. The Vita-Men had hit rock bottom.

     In addition to Dan Petry’s 21 wins, another bright spot for Hyde Park in 1983 was young catcher John Stearns, who batted .335 in 123 games. It was to be his last hurrah, however. Felled by injuries to his shoulder in the early spring of 1984, Stearns would never play another TCBA game. For six years he filled the catcher’s spot for Hyde Park. In that time, he averaged 55 rbi, 67 runs, 32 doubles, 47 walks, 10 home runs, and 8 steals a year. Then suddenly, at the age of 32, it was gone.

     John Stearns more than anybody reflected the state of the Hyde Park franchise as it entered the 1984 season.

 Larry Smith 1992

Mimosa Mirthmakers

 

Larry Smith (2020) - After nearly a 40-year hiatus, the 1983 TCBA playoff resumes in Mimosa Memorial with the 2nd-seeded Mirthmakers hosting the 3rd-seeded Evanston Bees. The series features six MLB Hall-of-Famers: Rollie Fingers (EB); Ted Simmons (EB); Tim Raines, Sr. (EB); Joe Morgan (MI); Rod Carew (MI); and Rickey Henderson (MI). 

 

The starting pitchers for game 1 are well rested --- Fernando Valenzuela for the Bees and Jerry Reuss for the Mirthmakers.

 

The Bees strike in the very first inning as Tim Raines legs out a lead-off infield hit and then steals 2nd base on the next pitch. Gary Ward flies out, bringing up Bruce Bochte. The call ...

 

BOCHTE facing REUSS, T 1st, 1 Out, Runner on 2nd, Tied 0-0

RAINES at second takes a big lead ... the pitch ... lined hard to left ... toward the gap

it's rolling ... that's good for extra bases ... RAINES's around third ... he scores

HENDERSON gets it in quickly ... BOCHTE stops at second

 

Bees 1, Mirthmakers 0

 

Bill Madlock follows with a walk, but Reuss escapes by getting Ben Oglivie to ground into an inning-ending doubleplay.

 

Evanston adds to its lead in the 3rd inning. With 1 out, Raines walks and steals 2nd base for the 2nd time. Ward walks and Bochte singles to load the bases. Madlock flies deep to right, scoring Raines and advancing Ward to 3rd. Reuss walks Oglivie to load the bases for Ted Simmons ...

 

SIMMONS facing REUSS, T 3rd, 2 Outs, Bases Loaded, Ahead 2-0

He wheels and deals ... it's a high fly to center ... LEMON is over ... moves under it

and makes the catch

 

In the 4th, the Bees fail to add to their lead despite a 1-out single and double, which sees the Mirthmakers' Chet Lemon crash into the centerfield wall. Lemon will be lost for 5 days.

 

Mimosa puts at least one runner on in each of the first 3 innings but fails to score. In the bottom of the 4th, Valenzuela faces Doug DeCinces ...

 

 DeCINCES facing VALENZUELA, B 4th, No Outs, Bases Empty, Behind 0-2

The pitch to DeCINCES ... cut on ... hit deep to left field ... way back ... RAINES is racing back

it's long gone! ... he got all of that one

 

Bees 2, Mirthmakers 1

 

Lee Lacy flies out to center, and then …

 

 BO DIAZ facing VALENZUELA, B 4th, 1 Out, Bases Empty, Behind 1-2

The pitch from VALENZUELA ... this one is hit ... it may carry ... it's way back ... bye-bye

over the left field wall

 

Bees 2, Mirthmakers 2

 

Evanston puts runners on in each of the next 3 innings, but fails to score. Mimosa manages only a walk in the 5th inning. The score remains tied at 2 after 7 innings.

 

Bill Caudill replaces Reuss in the 8th and returns the Bees in order for the first time in the game.

 

After retiring 7 batters in a row, Valenzuela walks Carew to open the bottom of 8th. Morgan sacrifices Carew to 2nd, bringing up DeCinces. The call ...

 

DeCINCES facing VALENZUELA, B 8th, 1 Out, Runner on 2nd, Tied 2-2

CAREW edges a bit more off second ... VALENZUELA turns and fakes the throw to second

CAREW hustles back to the bag standing up ... VALENZUELA's back on the rubber ... the pitch

he swings ... it's smashed deep to left center ... that's good for extra bases

OGLIVIE's chasing it down ... CAREW scores ... DeCINCES hits second under full steam

but puts on the brakes ... as the throw comes in ... double for DeCINCES

 

Bees 2, Mirthmakers 3

 

Rollie Fingers replaces Valenzuela and retires Lee Lacy and Bo Diaz. Mimosa takes a 1-run lead to the 9th.

 

In the top of the 9th, Rudy Law bats for Todd Cruz to start the inning ...

 

LAW facing CAUDILL, T 9th, No Outs, Bases Empty, Behind 2-3

Now the delivery ... a blast to right ... that could be trouble ... LACY's chasing it

he's at the track ... against the wall ... he makes the catch ... one away!

 

Jerry Morales bats for Fingers and singles for Evanston's 10th hit, putting the tying run on base with the top of the order coming up. Al Bumbry runs for Morales and advances to scoring position on a Raines grounder to Alfredo Griffin. Ward, with a chance to tie the game, grounds out to Morgan to end the game.

 

Mimosa wins the first game of the series 3-2.

 

Caudill gets the win. Valenzuela takes the loss.

 

The lines ...

 

Team

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

 

LOB

DP

Evanston Bees

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

10

1

 

9

1

Mimosa Mirthmakers

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

1

 

3

6

0

 

6

2

 

Al Keefer (2020) – Well, the series as shifted to Evanston with the series tied with Mimosa at 1 game apiece. There has been little offense on both sides so far with both games decided by just 1 run.

 The Mirthmakers send Erik Show to the bump to face Mike Krukow for Evanston. The Mirthmakers kept getting runners on base but leaving them in scoring position in 3 of the 1’st 4 innings, meanwhile the Bee’s couldn’t even get a hit. Finally in the 5th Gary Ward got his 3rd double of the series & with 2 out Ted Simmons doubled him in to give the Bees a 1-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Doug Decinces ties the game in the 6th with his 2nd HR in the series.  The Bees go down meekly in the bottom of the inning.

7th inning: “ King Kong” Kingman gets a pinch single with 1 out, the Bees get Morgan out but Ricky Henderson walks & Rod Carew comes thru with a clutch 2 run double making in 3-1 Mirthmakers.

The score stays that way until the 9th when a dropped ball by Tim Raines that way lets another run in making it 4-1 & with Caudill on the mound it was all but over for the Bees today.

 Final Score:    Mimosa    4-9-0  WP-E. Show 1-0, S-Caudill #1

                          Evanston  1-3-2  LP-Krukow 0-1

Series now stands at Mimosa 2   Evanston 1

Al Keefer - Well it’s raining at the Beehive but the ground crew removes the tarp & we will have a ballgame. The pitchers seem a bit tired as they had to warm up twice but let’s see how it goes.

Evanston sends John Candelaria to the mound while the Mirthmakers will go to Dave Schmidt. With the series standing at 2-1 in favor of the Mirthmakers the Bees really need a win today.

That pesky Rick Henderson reaches 1’st on an error by Candelaria & quickly steals 2nd, Landreaux single (Henderson to 3rd) Lacy singles him in & then DeCinces hits one out (his 3rd in the series) a 3 run shot & just like that the Bees are down 4-0.

The game stayed that way when in the 5th the Bees, Rudy Law gets a pinch hit triple & scores on a sac fly by Raines making it 4-1 Mimosa. It didn’t take Mimosa long to respond as “King Kong” Kingman hits a Baltimore Special off Pashnick making it 7-1 & looks like this one may be over.

 There was no more scoring today as the Bees continue to fail to score runs & Mimosa gets an easy 7-1 victory for their 3rd win of the series & have a chance Monday at 11 AM Eastern to lock this series up but they will have to beat Fernando Valenzuela to do it.  Mimosa will give Reuss a chance to sew the series up.

 Mimosa     7-11-0  WP-Camp (1-0)

Evanston   1-5-1    LP-Candelaria

Al Keefer (2020) - Evanston has its back to the wall as Mimosa has built up a 3-1 series lead, but,as Yogi says “It’s Never Over Until It’s Over”.

 Reuss takes the mound for Mimosa & Evanston will call on their big lefty, Fernando Valenzuela.

 No score until the 2nd when the Mirthmakers get runners on 1’st & 3rd with 0 outs, Landreaux bounces to Gantner at 2nd base who turns a double play but a run scores & Mimosa draws 1’st blood 1-0 Mimosa.  Griffin gets  Single but Reuss  grounds out.

 Bottom of 3rd:  Morgan makes a bad throw on Todd Cruz’s grounder and he is on first with 0 outs.  Valenzuela sacs him to 2nd & he scores on a 2 out single by Madlock to tie the game, but the rally dies there.

 Top of 4th.  Doug DeCinces leads off the inning for Mimosa & he goes deep for his 4th HR of the series, 8th hit & 7th RBI, putting Mimosa back on top 2-1.  That is all Mimosa gets in the 4th.

 No more scoring until the 7th when Mimosa puts 3 more on the board making it 5-1 while Reuss keeps mowing down the Bees & that will be the final score. A complete game win for Jerry Reuss and the Mirthmakers advance to the finals. 

 Celebration in Mimosa Tonight

 Mimosa      5-10-3  WP-Reuss (1-0)

Evanston    1-6-1     LP-Valenzuela(0-2)

Bob Wood (2020) – Well, Al, your club "hung on" for 36 years before succumbing ... has to be a record!

Frank Tedeschi (2020) - A very impressive hitting display by 69 year old Doug DeCinces!

Larry Smith (2020) - But, 76 year old Joe Morgan definitely showed his age.

Bob Wood (2020) -It was a packed house for the opening game of the semi-finals.  Gerry Hobbs, Larry Smith, Mike Kane and Al Keefer were the "early birds" that got to worm their way into the stadium, while Jeff Hobbs (really just out of diapers in 1983) was shut out, denied admission by the fire marshal, otherwise known as Team Viewer.

Jim Clancy strode to the mound for the host Islanders, while Joaquin "Cuckoo Jar" Andujar countered for the Combers.

T1 - After retiring Dusty Baker on a ground out, Clancy gave up a double to Leon Durham.  Fred Lynn followed with a single into right field, placing runners on the corners for clean-up hitter Pedro Guerrero.  Pedro drew a walk - or so he thought:

nfielders back ... the runners take their lead ... he comes home ... and GUERRERO draws a walk

wait a minute ... the ump says it's strike three ... GUERRERO was already heading to first

he can't believe it ... he's hopping mad ... he's waving his arms ... his face is red

but he'll head for the dugout ... two gone ... and CLANCY is pumped!

and he gets a big strikeout with DURHAM threatening on third

That brought up Cecil Cooper, who bounced out to end a scoreless half inning.

B1 -  Gary Roenicke led off with a slow ground ball to Frank "Academy" White at 2nd base, and just beat the throw.  Impressed with that display of speed, the Islanders called for the hit & run with Billy Buckner at bat, but Terry Kennedy (who would have a marvelous day) gunned out the base stealer when Billy Buck swung and missed.  White, schooled on the speed of the Islanders, then robbed Buckner of a base hit, making a diving stop and firing to 1st base.  Andre Dawson then bounced out to Andujar.

T2 - Kennedy opened the 2nd inning with a double.  White followed with a wall-banging RBI double to put HB on the score board, 1-0.  Bob Bailor flew out to LF.  Andujar whiffed and Baker bounced out to end the inning.

B2 - Tom Brunansky fanned.   Cal Ripken fouled out to Kennedy, behind the plate and Ron "the Penguin" Cey flew out to LF.

T3 - One-A-Day vitamins are a staple for many folks.  Harbor Beach got their Double-A-Inning when Leon Durham opened with a 2-bagger.  The very first TCBA player to ever be won in an auction, was Fred Lynn.  Lynn rewarded Dick Gorney and the Harbor Beach faithful, upping the ante with a home run!, 3-0.  Pedro Guerrero refused to give the home umpire another chance to call him out on strikes, and got a late swing, flying out to RF.  Cecil Cooper popped out to short CF and Kennedy fanned on a change up.

B3 - Tony Pena opened with a single.  Pulling an old Casey Stengel trick with Clete Boyer from the 1960 World Series, Islander skipper Mac McEneaney called Julio Cruz back from the batter's box, turning to Don Money, with the hope that the pinch hitter could "cash" in.  But Money was fooled, and took a called 3rd strike.  Determined to keep his team on their toes, the skipper sent Bill Nahorodny to the plate to hit for Clancy.  Bill had waited a long time for this chance:

* B. NAHORODNY facing J. ANDUJAR, B 3rd, 1 Out, Runner on 1st, Behind 0

ANDUJAR cranks it up ... NAHORODNY smacks it ... straight down the line in left ... could it go?it could ... and it's foul ... just outside the left field foul pole ... strike one

If only he had waited just a fraction of a second longer .....

Andujar jammed him with the next pitch, inducing a slow roller .... too slow for anyone to make a play, and the Islanders had another base runner as they turned over the batting order.

Gary Roenicke represented the tying run now, but had to wait a moment as Nahorodny was pulled for pinch runner Tony Scott.

If you remember the dice game, a "66" is the best roll.  A "65" is SO CLOSE.  It appeared that was what Roenicke "rolled"

* G. ROENICKE facing J. ANDUJAR, B 3rd, 1 Out, 1st and 2nd, Behind 0-3

The runners take their lead ... to the plate ... ROENICKE pops it up behind the plate

KENNEDY tosses his mask away ... he's back at the screen ... it's out of play ... strike one

While it wasn't a "35-Foul Out-2"  Roenicke followed with a "34-Pop Out-SS".  Still, that gave Billy Buckner a chance to take advantage, but Andujar coaxed a fly out to CF.

T4 - Money remained in the game to play 2nd base, while Bruce Berenyi took the mound for the home team.  Frank White lined out to LF to greet the reliever.  Bob Bailor bounced slowly to Money, beating the throw for a base hit.  Bailor then stole 2nd base before Andujar lifted a pop up, just beyond Buckner's reach....but Money ran a long way to make the play for the 2nd out, forcing Bailor to retreat back to 2nd base.  Baker then lifted a "skyscraper" to LF that Roenicke finally settled under, after turning left, then right, to make the play.

B4 - Dawson hit a "towering fly" to RF that Baker captured.  Brunansky bounced out to 2B.  Ripken hit one to deep right center field, but Baker was there again to retire the side, still 3-0 Harbor Beach.

T5 - Leon Durham led off with a "blast to center field" but the Hawk, Andre Dawson, ran it down for a putout.  Berenyi fanned Lynn, but Pedro Guerrero timed the next pitch perfectly.  LF'er Gary Roenicke didn't have the ladder he needed as he watched the ball sail into the stands, 4-0.  Cecil Cooper doubled past Buckner, down the RF line for another double - the 4th of the day for Harbor Beach.  Berenyi then threw as hard as he could to Terry Kennedy:

* T. KENNEDY facing B. BERENYI, T 5th, 2 Outs, Runner on 2nd, Ahead 4-0

The pitch ... KENNEDY goes out and gets it ... long ball ... down the left field line ... curving

curving ... is it or isn't it? ... the ump signals ... home run!

an opposite field two-run blow

The Islanders were now down, 6-0.  Frank White fouled out to end the inning.

B5 - The Penguin, Ron Cey, led off with a double into left center, advancing to 3rd when Pena bounced out.  But the Penguin had his head up Antarctica, as Andujar snagged a liner off the bat of Don Money and doubled Cey off 3rd base to end that inning.

T6 - Bailor singled, but was forced out on Andujar's attempted sacrifice, Billy Buckner making a nice play.  Dusty Baker then doubled - the 5th of the day for the Combers.  Durham's SF to CF scored Andujar to make it 7-0 before Lynn lined out to Buckner to end the inning.

B6 - Terry Puhl pinch hit for Berenyi, flying out to CF.  Gary Roenicke was safe on an E-6 (Bailor, SS-7).  Buckner popped out to 3B, but Andre Dawson delivered a 2-run home run deep to LF to put the Islanders on the scoreboard, 7-2.

Tom Brunansky lined it into CF, but the ball hung up long enough for Fred Lynn to snag it.

T7 - Jesse Orosco made his series debut on the mound, retiring Guerrero on a fly to right and Cooper on a checked swing 3rd strike.  Terry Kennedy then doubled - the 6th of the day for HB, and the 2nd of the day for Kennedy, who also had homered.  Orosco fanned White, though, to end a scoreless half inning.

B7 - after the Stretch, Cal Ripken hit a worm-killer to White for the 1at out.  Cey flew out into the right-center field gap (Baker).  Pena "swung and missed" ending a quiet frame.

T8 - Bailor flew out to short CF, ending Orosco's contributions on the mound.  Mike Armstrong took the mound, retiring Andujar on a ground ball, before Dusty Baker singled.  Leon Durham then doubled before Lynn fanned to end the inning.

B8 - Money flew out to LF to start the 8th inning.  Charlie Moore got the call from the bench, pinch hitting for Armstrong, but waved at a pitch in the dirt, striking out.  Roenicke flew out to LF.

T9 - Long Island gave Steve Bedrosian a chance on the mound and the big right hander quickly fanned Guerrero and Cooper.  This truly was a day for Terry Kennedy, who singled for his 4th hit of the afternoon.  Frank White singled, too, before Bailor bounced out to end the inning.

B9 - Billy Buckner popped out to 1B.  Dawson dribbled on to the left of the mound ... and beat the throw for his 2nd hit of the afternoon.  Brunansky popped out to short and Cal Ripken bounced out, 4-6, ending the opener.

HB  7-17-1  WP-Joaquin Andujar (1-0)

LI    2-  6-0  LP-Jim Clancy (0-1)

Harbor Beach had EIGHT DOUBLES and THREE HOME RUNS --- eleven extra base hits.  While that's only 1 for every 3 years since they last played, it's a barrage that was impossible for the Islanders to overcome

Still, it only counts as one win.

Jim McEneaney (2020) - In a series that feels a bit like an episode of the Twilight Zone, or a Jack Finney novel, or maybe even "If I Never Get Back" (by Brock...that I just finished reading today).... the 1983 TCBA postseason resumed some 37 years after its originally scheduled start date.  With the Mirthmakers of Mimosa already waiting in the wings for an opponent for that Fall/Spring Classic, the Long Islanders hosted Dick Gorney's Harbor Beach Combers under the spirited leadership of Woody Wood.

Once again, a full house was on hand via Team Viewer, and once again, the Combers jumped to an early lead, this time in the very first inning.  Howard Johnson led off the game by legging out an infield single, but LI's Floyd Bannister induced Dusty Baker to chop a grounder right back to the mound.  But instead of turning a DP, Bannister bobbled the ball for an error.  After retiring the next two batters, Bannister looked to be out of trouble, but Cecil Cooper lined a single to left and HB was up 1-0.  And the Combers weren't through yet....Terry Kennedy drove a ball into the RF corner for a double (HB's 12th XBH of the series!), scoring two more and Harbor Beach led 3-0 before LI had even come to the plate.  True, all three runs were unearned (though on Bannister's own error), but that was already more runs than the LI offense had produced all day yesterday, and today LI's bats seemed even more inept.

In fact, Charlie Hough had LI batters flailing helplessly right through the order, not only retiring the first nine batters in order, but fanning four of them!  Fortunately for LI though, Bannister had settled in, and as we headed to the home 4th, the score remained only 3-0.  With 1 out, Bill Buckner singled, breaking up Hough's perfect game and bringing Islanders' All-time great Andre Dawson to the plate, and he delivered....lashing a double to put LI on the board.

The 5th inning would become huge...for both teams.  Harbor Beach finally got to Bannister as Charlie Hough (of all people!) led off with a double, Howard Johnson walked, and the Combers looked about ready to blow things WIDE OPEN.  Dusty Baker then drilled a single to right, but Hough ran through a stop sign and was nailed at the plate.  Worse yet for HB, Tony Pena fired to second to double up Baker and the Isles shutdown what could have been a huge inning for the visiting Beach Combers when Bannister got Durham on an easy fly to left to end the inning.

Long time Islander favorite the "Penguin" Ron Cey led off the home 5th with a long blast to left and suddenly it was  a1-run game.  And just as suddenly, it was over...or at least it seemed to be.  Team Viewer froze; the teams and the fully packed stands full of fans could converse, but the game seemed frozen to all except the host.  After a bit of a delay, it was determined that everyone would have to be evacuated, and the stadium was shut down.

New invites went out, the fans again flocked to the stadium....in fact several addition fans had to be turned away from the totally sold out park....and the game resumed.  Tony Pena flied out, but Julio Cruz singled bringing the pitcher's spot to the plate....Bannister had yet to allow an earned run, but with a fully rested pen and the tying run on base, LI summoned Don Money to bat....."D. MONEY facing C. HOUGH, B 5th, 1 Out, Runner on 1st, Behind 2-3 ... CRUZ well off first ... the pitch ... this one is hit ... it may carry ... it's way back ... say good-bye ... home run for MONEY ... and two runs score.  Combers 3, Islanders 4"

The Isles had their first lead of the series, but not for long.  Jesse Orosco came on to pitch the 6th and Pedro Guerrero greeted him with a game tying HR.  Orosco fanned the next batter, but after a walk to Terry Kennedy, Gary Lavelle was summoned to face Frank White.  Good call.  Lavelle induced White to bounce into an inning ending 6-4-3 DP and we headed to the home 6th.

Yesterday it was Harbor Beach's offense that was seemingly unstoppable; today it would be LI's bat that suddenly exploded.  Andre Dawson led off the 6th with a HR (his second of the series) to make it 5-4 LI.  A single and a walk would bring Ron Cey to the plate and he unloaded on a Bob Stanley offering (his 2nd HR of the game) and LI had a comfortable 8-4 lead with Steve Bedrosian on to close it out.

But after the day's earlier rain delay which pushed back the time of today's Team Viewer start, the wind must have been blowing out.  Pedro Guerrero smacked his 2nd HR of the game (the 6th overall in the contest) in the 8th, but Harbor Beach still trailed by 3 heading into the 9th.  No problem.

Problem!  Top 9th....one quick out, then...."F. WHITE facing S. BEDROSIAN, T 9th, 1 Out, Bases Empty, Behind 5-8. To the plate ... on the corner ... no! ... the ump says it missed ... sure looked good from here ...but it's a walk ... and Frank takes first ... that was WHITE's first walk of the series ... Combers skipper walking down the bench ... h's recalling pitcher REARDON ... Fred LYNN will pinch hit for him ... bats left ... he grabs a bat ... he'll take his time getting to the box ... LYNN facing S. BEDROSIAN, T 9th, 1 Out, Runner on 1st, Behind 5-8.  BEDROSIAN brings it to the plate ... base hit right field ... BUTLER's after it ... spears it on one hop ... WHITE's around second ... but the coach flashes the stop sign ... WHITE stops at second ... as the throw comes in ... and Fred has himself a single ... for Fred LYNN, his 3rd hit of the series.  Combers skipper walking down the bench.  He's going to his bench ... they're replacing Lenny FAEDO ... Lee MAY is enlisted to hit for him ... bats right ... he wheels out with a wagon spoke ... and heads toward the plate."

For those of you scoring at home, May represents the tying run.  He also carries a .505 Slg and .905 OPS on the ML season.  Most fans are expecting another LI pitching change (even 37 years ago I had a reputation!) but Bedrosian remains in....May swings and pops it back toward the screen....and Pena makes the catch.  Two out.  Howard Johnson steps in and lines a shot toward second .... that Cruz snares for the 3rd out.

Isles win 8-5; series tied at a game apiece.  The series shifts to Harbor Beach and will resume at 11:00 EDT tomorrow.  We've had overflow crowds both games, so watch for your T.V. invitation then.

 Bob Wood (2020) - The gates opened early in the lake-front village, as the defending 1982 TCBA Champion Combers returned home, tied with the Islanders in the opening round of the playoffs.

Comber bats have been booming thus far, with 11 doubles and five home runs to their credit, but Long Island outslugged the Michiganders in the 2nd game (4 homers and 6 xb hits to 3 & 5) to even the series.

L.J. Honeycutt, Gerry Hobbs, super-scout Larry Smith and baseball commissioner Frank Tedeschi were among the audience on Team Viewer as Rick Sutcliffe and southpaw Jerry Koosman carried the hopes of their teams to the slab.

Long Island used only two outs before striking, as Tom Brunansky singled to open the scoring, before racing home on a 3-base hit by Cal Ripken - the first triple by either team in the series.

Cecil Cooper led off the Comber 2nd with his 1st home run of the series to cut the lead in half.  With the bases loaded, Koosman was called back, as Howard Johnson pinch hit for the left hander.  HoJo tied the game with a single.  Terry Puhl made a leaping catch of Dusty Baker's long drive, limiting the damage to a SF that put HB in front, 3-2.

Jack Morris took the mound for the Combers.  Andre "Hawk" Dawson singled with one out, stole 2nd base, but was thrown out at 3rd while trying to advance on the overthrow.

Pedro Guerrero homered in the Harbor Beach 3rd, 4-2, his 4th home run of the series (!)  Sutcliffe picked Terry Kennedy (now 7-for-10 in the series) off 1st base to end the inning.

Ron "The Penguin" Cey homered in the top of the 4th, cutting the lead to 4-3.  That was the 3rd homer of the series for the Penguin,

Frank "Academy" White led off the Comber 4th with his 1st home run, 5-3, reducing Sutcliffe in grade.

In the top of the 5th, Terry Puhl singled, but was thrown out stealing by Kennedy to end that threat.

Mike Armstrong relieved and kept it close for the Islanders, pitching three innings of 1-hit shutout ball, but Morris matched him, zero for zero. 

Greg Minton pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Combers.  Jesse Orosco answered with a scoreless 8th on the mound for the Islanders.

Top of the 9th.  Billy Buckner bounced back to Minton for the 1st out, but the Hawk, Andre Dawson, doubled, bringing the tying run to the plate.  Don Money, already with a pinch-hit home run in the series, was sent to the plate to bat for Bruno, Tom Brunansky (hitting .143). 

Money just missed it, popping it "a mile high" while fouling out to Kennedy.

That left Cal Ripken, who had tripled in the 1st inning, as the last hope.

The plate umpire, who took heat early from the Comber bench, made this call:

…strike three on the outside corner ... MINTON slipped one by him ... and RIPKEN is enraged

he doesn't like that called strike ... but he'll have to live with it ... and that's it

LI  3-6-0  LP-Rick Sutcliffe (0-1)

HB 5-9-0  WP-Jack Morris (1-0) SV-Greg Minton #1

The series is scheduled to resume on Saturday at 11 am EDT.  Tickets are hard to get, and will be filled on a "first come, first served" basis on Team Viewer.

Bob Wood (2020) - After alternating wins in the first three games, the Combers of Harbor Beach looked to string together the first two game win streak of the series.  For their part, the Islanders were facing an almost “must” win if they were to avoid finding themselves on the brink of elimination.  For the first time this series, there were some empty seats at the park….and they missed a thriller!

For Long Island, it would be Jim Clancy, coming back on just two days’ rest, while Harbor Beach would counter with Bill Gullickson.  As they had in two of the first three games, HB broke to an early lead when Cecil Cooper delivered a 2-out single to give the hometown Beach Combers a 1-0 lead.

But that lead would be very short lived as Tom Brunansky led off the LI 2nd with a mammoth blast over the CF wall to tie the game at a run apiece.  Cal Ripken followed with a single, and after a ground out, Tony Pena lined a single up the middle.  Fred Lynn fielded the ball as Ripken streaked toward home…Lynn threw toward home as Pena continued toward second.  With the first big call of the contest, the Combers cut off Lynn’s throw, nailing Pena at 2nd as LI took a 2-1 lead.

In the 3rd, LI padded their lead when with one out, Tom Brunansky brought home Terry Puhl with a sac fly.  And that’s where it stayed….until the 6th.  Pedro Guerrero, who’s been a one-man wrecking crew for Harbor Beach, led off and blasted his FIFTH HR of the series to pull the Combers back within a run.  A seemingly shaken Clancy walked the next batter, but a fly ball and a 6-4-3 DP got LI out of trouble as the game moved to the 7th with HB trailing by a run, 3-2.

With Clancy due to lead off, LI called upon Gary Roenicke to PH, and he drew a walk, and the speedy Tony Scott came on as a pinch runner.  Terry Puhl, who’d doubled earlier then delivered a perfectly placed H&R single, putting runners on the corners with none out and LI poised to blow the game open.  Bill Buckner stepped to the plate and slammed a liner toward right, but HB second baseman Frank White snared the drive and doubled Puhl off first.  You could almost hear the air go out of the Islander team.

Tony Scott still danced off third, as Andre Dawson stepped to the plate.  Neil Allen continued to go into the windup…..and finally Scott broke for the plate!  ….. SCOTT's stealing home! ... Here's the pitch ... high and outside ... and he's…..SAFE! ....The hand got in ... his teammates are out to congratulate him!”

One pitch later, Dawson would swing and miss, but LI had scored a seemingly big insurance run.  And Harbor Beach still had nine outs to go before the visitors could claim the win.  Gary Lavelle came on for LI in the bottom of the 7th, and HB immediately took advantage.  Bob Bailey led off with a pinch double and Lee May came to bat for Neil Allen and lifted a fly ball to Brunansky in right.  Now it was time for HB to get aggressive on the bases.  Bailor tagged up… “the coach is waving him to third ... here comes the throw ... and he's ... out by inches! Go to town, Islanders! ... they give the Combers a baserunning lesson!... and the aggressive baserunning does not pay off ... two away.”

A missed opportunity, perhaps, but HB still had two more innings to try getting back in it, and in the 8th, they again began to rally.  With 1 out in the 8th, Fred Lynn doubled, bringing Pedro Guerrero (he of the 5 HR’s to the plate).   “Here comes the pitch ... GUERRERO smacks it ... it's toward the gap in right center … it's in there for a hit ... DAWSON hustles over for it ... LYNN is digging …he screams around third ... he ran right through the red light ... here's the throw …the play at the plate ... what a throw! ... oh, out by inches! ... go to town, Islanders!  They cut off the run at the plate! ... LYNN just doesn't have the wheels for that.  What was he thinking about? ... Two away! ... and GUERRERO ends up at second.”

Could Long Island continue to escape disaster?  After going down in order in the top of the 9th, LI was just 3 outs away from tying the series.  Terry Kennedy led off the 9th for HB and cracked his 5th double of the series to get things started.  Frank White followed and singled to right; runners on the corners, none out and the winning run stepping to the plate in the person of Bob Bailor.

Bedrosian delivered and Bailor lifted a fly to left…down by two runs, it was not nearly deep enough.  Tony Gwynn was announced as a PH’er for the Combers, and the Isles countered with the lefty Jesses Orosco.  Tying run on first, winning run at the plate ...Gwynn swings and lifts a fly ball toward left...the leftfielder Moore backpedals...and takes it in!  Two out, but Dusty Baker, already with two hits on the afternoon and a .375 average on the series steps to the plate…Here’s the call... The offering ... banged to left center ... MOORE's running to the gap...the runners are off with the crack of the bat... Charlie Moore (a late substitution) races toward center...

….and takes it in!” 

Long Island wins 4-2 and evens the series at two games apiece.

Bob Wood (2020) – Harbor Beach was dressed in the city's finest as they closed out the Michigan part of the series before a full crowd (Jeff, LJ, Larry and Al) on Team Viewer.  Tied at two wins apiece, both clubs knew how critical this game would be.

The Combers had their ace, Joaquin Andujar on the mound, opposed by Hall-of-Famer Fergie Jenkins of the Islanders.

 

Both hurlers dominated the early going.  In the 3rd inning, Andujar reached on a fielder's choice.  With 2 outs, Cuckoo Jar came rounding 3rd base on a Freddie Lynn single:

 

* F. LYNN facing F. JENKINS, B 3rd, 2 Outs, 1st and 2nd, Tied 0-0

The runners take their lead ... the pitch ... stroked solidly to left field ... base hit

ROENICKE's racing over ... ANDUJAR's rounding third ... he's headed for home ... flying

the throw ... collision ... SAFE!...PENA dropped the throw

ANDUJAR plowed into him hard and knocked the ball loose ... unbelievable!

ANDUJAR was flying down the line ... BAKER's in at third ... LYNN ends up at second

score that an error on PENA

 

Islander nemesis Pedro Guerrero followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Cuckoo Jar again made an impact:

 

* J. ANDUJAR facing F. JENKINS, B 5th, 1 Out, Bases Empty, Ahead 2-0

The pitch to ANDUJAR ... ripped to right ... base hit ... it's rolling down the line

PUHL is there ... and he kicks the ball away ... ANDUJAR's digging ... he rounds second

he's headed for third ... they're waving him home ... here comes PUHL's throw ...

BUCKNER's relay

SAFE!...high throw ... a run scores ... oh man, what a play ... score that a double

that's an error on Terry PUHL

 

Andujar circles the bases (!) and it's 3-0 Combers.  But, will it take anything out of Andujar?

 

In the next half inning, Julio Cruz draws a lead-off walk, as Andujar misses the strike zone.  Islander secret weapon Don Money is sent to the plate to hit for Jenkins.  For the 2nd time in the series, the clutch pinch hitter delivers:

 

* D. MONEY facing J. ANDUJAR, T 6th, No Outs, Runner on 1st, Behind 0-3

ANDUJAR comes to the plate ... he goes the opposite way ... high fly deep to right

BAKER got a good jump ... he's at the warning track ... say good-bye to this one...it's gone!

home run for MONEY ... and two runs score

Islanders 2, Combers 3

 

In the top of the 7th, Cal Ripken guesses first pitch fast ball:

 

* C. RIPKEN facing J. ANDUJAR, T 7th, No Outs, Bases Empty, Behind 2-3

The pitch ... and RIPKEN takes ANDUJAR for a ride ... going back is DURHAM ... he'll look

but he won't touch it ... it's long gone!

Islanders 3, Combers 3

 

Inspired, Gary Roenicke follows with a base on balls.  Ron "Penguin" Cey flies to RF for the 1st out of the inning, prompting skipper Jim McEneaney to send Tony Scott to pinch run for Roenicke.  Tony Pena, he of the dropped tag in the 3rd inning, has a chance to redeem himself.  With Scott moving, Tony bounces out, and the Islanders have the go-ahead run in scoring position. 

Tom Brunansky is sent to the plate to pinch hit for Julio Cruz, but Andujar intentionally walks Bruno, whereupon the Islanders send Bill Nahorodny (1 for 1 this series) to the plate to bat for Jesse OroscoNahorodny pulled the ball, but Pedro Guerrero made the play for an inning ending 5-4 FC.

Steve Bedrosian takes the mound for the 4th time in the series, as the fans enjoy the 7th inning stretch.  Strikeout, strikeout, fly out to CF makes short work of the Combers.

Andujar retires Puhl, leading off the 8th inning, as Terry Kennedy makes a nice catch on the edge of the dugout.  That brings up Islander favorite, Bill Buckner.

Billy Buck tried to do a little too much:

 

* B. BUCKNER facing J. ANDUJAR, T 8th, 1 Out, Bases Empty, Tied 3-3

The delivery ... it's hit hard over third ... just out of reach ... DURHAM's racing to the line

BUCKNER rounds first ... he's headed for second ... the throw ... the tag ... the ump signals

out! ... they get him trying to stretch it ... for the second out

score that a single for Bill BUCKNER ... go to town, Combers!

they knock out the go-ahead run! ... BUCKNER just doesn't have the wheels for that

 

A ground out ended the top of the 8th, and Bedrosian continued to mow down the Comber hitters, quickly getting a foul pop out and a strikeout, before Pedro Guerrero - who already has 5 home runs in the series - to the plate.  Here's the pitch:

 

BEDROSIAN deals ... high fly ball to center ... DAWSON drifts back ...

he's at the warning track

taps the glove ... and brings it down ... three down

 

Cal Ripken, who homered in the 7th to tie the score, draws a lead-off walk.  Substitute second baseman Brian Giles bunts him into scoring position.  The Penguin "fisted one to RF" for the 2nd out, bringing up Tony Pena.

Islander fans were hoping that Pena could make pay-back for his 3rd inning dropped tag, but a weak roller to shortstop ended the inning.

 

Bottom of the 9th.  Series tied at 2-2.  Game tied at 3-3.

 

And Bedrock Bedrosian remains at the top of his game - strikeout, pop out, strikeout!

 

And on we go into extra innings.

 

Tom Brunansky leads off with a walk and is replaced by pinch runner Brett Butler.  Bedrosian is replaced at bat by pinch hitter Tim Foli.  On the hit & run, Foli drove the ball to deep LF, but Leon Durham ran it down, as Butler retreated to 1st base.

Islander favorite Billy Buckner stepped to the plate.

Andujar, worried about Butler, threw not once, but twice to 1st base, hoping to keep the Islander close to the bag.  Finally, he threw to the plate:

 

here's the delivery ... swung on ... strike! ... BUTLER is trying for the steal

MAKE THROW? (1-yes*, 2-no)

KENNEDY strongarms it down there ... nails him! ... that kills the go ahead run ... side retired

 

Long Island entrusted mound duties to Mike Armstrong, who picked up right where Bedrosian left off, quickly registering a pair of strikeouts.  But then trouble appeared:

 

* D. BAKER facing M. ARMSTRONG, B 10th, 2 Outs, Bases Empty, Tied 3-3

ARMSTRONG fires it in ... high, high pop fly ... this one'll bring rain

CEY and PENA converge near the line ... PENA is calling off CEY ... and they collide!

PENA drops it! ... right to CEY! ... but he can't hold it ... what? ... Tony PENA takes the E

and BAKER is on at first ... and that's his 2nd error in the game

the Islanders have now committed 3 errors ... so the Combers have an opening

the game-winner is now at first

 

Everyone in the ballpark was happy that both Cey and Pena were okay, but that was a tough call, charging Pena with his 2nd error of the afternoon.  With left-handed hitting Leon Durham at the plate, the Islanders countered with southpaw Gary Lavelle from the bullpen.

Harbor Beach replaced Dusty Baker with the faster Bob Bailor, who promptly attempted to steal 2nd base.  But Tony Pena had had enough:

 

BAILOR two full strides off first ... now the delivery ... swung on ... strike!

now BAILOR is sprinting toward second

MAKE THROW? (1-yes*, 2-no)

PENA with the quick release ... the sweep tag ... and they nail him!

that kills the go ahead run ... three down

 

On we went to the 11th inning.  Could Andujar continue to be effective?

Buckner flew out to CF

Dawson flew out to LF

Ripken, he of the game-tying home run in the 7th, LINED out to Cooper at 1st base.

 

Bottom of the 11th, and the Islander bullpen continues to shine, as LaVelle registers a ground out, fly out and strikeout.

 

Top of the 12th inning, and Andujar is still on the mound for Harbor Beach.  Two quick ground outs bring up the maligned Tony Pena, who continues to act like a professional:

 

* T. PENA facing J. ANDUJAR, T 12th, 2 Outs, Bases Empty, Tied 3-3

He comes home ... yanked toward short ... BAILOR dives ... and it's through ...

single for PENA

the go ahead run has reached ... for Tony PENA, his 4th hit of the series

 

Pena is a good soldier.  He follows orders.  The coach says run, you run:

 

* B. BUTLER facing J. ANDUJAR, T 12th, 2 Outs, Runner on 1st, Tied 3-3

Big hole on the right side ... PENA not wandering too far ... here's the pitch from ANDUJAR

swung on ... strike! ... PENA is trying for the steal ... good jump

MAKE THROW? (1-yes*, 2-no)

here's the peg from KENNEDY ... BAILOR tags him out ... and that costs them a lead-getter

it's getting late ... and they're trying to make something happen ... they read him all the way

and that's the Islanders 2nd time caught stealing ... that's three away

 

It's the bottom of the 12th, and the Islanders turn to Bruce Berenyi to continue their bullpen magic. But, Berenyi is a "starter"

 

Cecil Cooper lines a single into RF.   Terry Kennedy, hoping to bunt, waits for a pitch to bunt that never comes, drawing a base on balls.  That brings Frank "Academy" White to the plate.

 

* F. WHITE facing B. BERENYI, B 12th, No Outs, 1st and 2nd, Tied 3-3

The runners take their lead ... BERENYI deals ... this one could have wings ... up ... up!

and away! ... it's all over ... a three-run shot to left

that pitch was right in his wheelhouse

 

And, just like that, the game is over, and the teams are headed to Long Island, where the Islanders will have to "win or go home".   Tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at 11 EDT, the threat of real-life interfering with the scheduled start may postpone action until Wednesday.  Stay tuned

 

LI    3-5-3  LP-Bruce Berenyi (0-1)

HB  6-9-0  WP-Joaquin Andujar (2-0)    12 innings  0 outs runs scored

 

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Bob Wood (2020) - The Islanders would have their backs to the wall, facing elimination in Game Six, but hoped to give their owner a nice Anniversary present.

 

Floyd Bannister, who gave up no earned runs in five innings of work in the Islander victory in the 2nd game of the series, would face knuckleballer Charlie Hough, who had breezed through the Islander batting order the first time through the lineup in that 2nd game, before allowing  home runs in the next two innings of work.

 

After a quiet 1st inning, the Combers struck first, in familiar fashion, as Tony Pena dropped another tag at the plate in the 2nd inning.

With the bases loaded, with 1 out in the top of the 3rd, Harbor Beach scored again when Pedro Guerrero beat out a potential inning ending GDP, 2-0.

Long Island, with their 2nd look at Hough, turned to unlikely power sources - the Killer P's - Terry Puhl (#1 in the 4th) and Tony Pena (#1 in the 5th) to tie the score

Harbor Beach went to the bullpen, with a runner on 3rd and 1 out in the 6th inning, but Don Money greeted reliever Neil Allen with a tie-breaking single to give the Anniversary celebrating Islander owner a lead.

Pinch hitter Gary Roenicke singled home an insurance run in the bottom of the 7th, and the Islander bullpen proceeded to mow down the Comber hitters, forcing a 7th game tomorrow --- same Bat Station, same Bat Time.

 

HB  2-6-1  LP-Charlie Hough (0-2)

LI    4-9-1  WP-Floyd Bannister (1-0)  SV-Gary LaVelle #1

 

For the finale, it will be Jim Clancy, making his 3rd start of the series for Long Island, with Jack Morris, making his 2nd appearance, and 1st start, for Harbor Beach.

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Jim McEneaney (2020) -  There was an overflow crowd once again as Harbor Beach and Long Island squared off for game 7 of their series that had seen the teams alternate wins, a sequence that Long Island was hoping to change this morning.

 

Jim Clancy, who had split two previous starts was on the mound for LI while Jack Morris, who'd pick up a win in relief in game 3 took the mound for HB.

 

In the home first, Don Money again provided the offensive spark for LI, driving home Bill Buckner with a 2-out single to give LI a 1-0 lead, a lead that would be quite short lived.  In the 2nd, Bob Bailor delivered his own 2 out single for the Combers, tying the game at one with a sac fly.  But short lived was that tie as well.  Cal Ripken led off the home 2nd with his 2nd triple of the series and LI retook the lead on another sac fly, this by Tony Pena.

 

Ironically, in a series that had seen neither team able to put together back to back wins, two factors that really seemed to define the series were "momentum" and "streaks."  LI's Don Money (among others as we'll note later) was clearly one of those who personified these factors.  The seldom used Money had delivered a big PH 2-run HR in game 2 that had helped propel LI to their first win of the series.  Then in game 5 he duplicated the feat with yet another PH 2-run blast.  With LI facing a must win in game 6, Money got his first start of the series replacing Julio Cruz at 2B.  Again, Money responded with a hit and an RBI, so it was not surprising that he again took the replaced Cruz in today's game.

 

Money already had an RBI single in the 1st, but after an Andre Dawson triple in the 3rd, Money again stepped to the plate and crushed a Jack Morris offering deep over the CF fence for his 3rd HR of the series, giving LI a 4-1 lead.

 

But Harbor Beach was in no way ready to hoist up a white flag.  Singles by Frank White (he of the 12th inning walk off HR in game 5) and Bob Bailor brought PH'er Lee May to the plate as a pinch hitter in the 4th.  May took Clancy's offering deep to left....

 

...but not deep enough. But still deep enough to score White and make it a 2-run game.  Then in the 5th, HB's Fred Lynn (perhaps original Harbor Beach skipper Dick Gorney's favorite all time player) drew a walk, bring the series' leading slugger Pedro Guerrero to the plate.  Guerrero (who speaking of streaks) had blasted FIVE HR's in the first four games of the series, and he now stepped to the plate representing the go ahead run.  Clancy looked in and delivered...."GUERRERO bruises one ... heading for the gap in left center ... but PUHL flags it down on the first bounce ... LYNN rounds second (TRY FOR THIRD?)  ... but the third base coach is on the job ... and he puts on the brakes ... as the throw comes in ... and GUERRERO has a single ... the tying run is now at second base ... for Pedro GUERRERO, his 10th hit of the series."

 

Still, the Beach Combers looked to be in business with none out and the tying and go ahead runs on base.  Cecil Cooper (also batting well over .300) lofted a routine fly to Dawson in CF...one out.  And up stepped HB catcher Terry Kennedy who had been unstoppable in the early part of the series, actually averaging .583 in those first three games.  Perhaps surprisingly LI elected NOT to go to the pen, and Clancy got Kennedy to swing at an off-speed pitch...two out.  And up stepped Frank White who (the last time he'd batted with two men on) had crushed that game winning walk off.  But not this time.  White flied to right and LI had escaped the threat.

 

The score remained 4-3 until that man again (Don Money!) led off the 6th with a double (his 3rd hit of the game).  Two batters later, another streaking batter (Ron Cey) crushed his 4th HR of the series to give LI a 6-3 lead.  But Harbor Beach refused to yield....An 8th inning double by Terry Kennedy and a single by Bob Bailor again had HB positioned with thegh tying run at the plate as Tony Gwynn stepped to the plate as a PH'er.  Jesse Orosco replaced Mike Armstrong…"Islanders playing for the double play ... runner with a good lead off third ... now the delivery ... high drive ... PUHL's going back ... it's playable ... he's under it ... and he pulls it in." The runner scores from 3rd making it 6-4 but HB still had the tying run coming to the plate in the person of Dusty Baker who put a charge into Orosco's next pitch, but Andre Dawson was there to make the catch ending the threat.  LI went down quietly in the 8th (even Don Money, who was just a triple shy of the cycle, could only manage a line drive out).

 

Harbor Beach still had 3 outs to try getting those two additional runs to tie things, Orosco and Lavelle worked a clean 9th as LI became the first team this series to put together consecutive wins and will now move on to the World Series (just 37 years late) sometime next week against Mimosa.  On a personal note, I'd really like to thank Bob Wood for seven days of baseball related entertainment and good conversation at a time when such things are pretty scarce.  And to the "overflow" crowds on team viewer throughout the week and a half.  Maybe not quite like Harrisburg in March, but still fun; thanks for being a part of the series.

 

A few notes on the series...It was a tale of not two cities, but two streaks for Harbor Beach offensive stars Pedro Guerrero and Terry Kennedy.  As hot as they were in games 1-4, their momentum shifted abruptly in games 5-7:

    Guerrero    8-17, 5 HR to 2-13 0 HR

     Kennedy   8-16 to 1-12

 

For LI their offensive leaders were:

    Don Money 6-13 (.462) 3 HR  8 RBI

    Andre Dawson 9-29 (.310) 2 each--doubles, triples, HR's

    Ron Cey (only .192, but 4 HR's)

 

For the series Harbor Beach had 23 doubles and 11 HR's (that included 11 XBH's in game 1).  Long Island had only 24 XBH's on the series, but they included 13 HR's in the 7 games...not quite 2019 stats, but close.  Long Island's bullpen, perhaps foreshadowing their "Bullpen Mafia" of the recent 2020 postseason, saw their four relievers (excluding normal starter Bruce Berenyi who got hammered in a couple of relief appearances) make 20 appearances covering 24 IP while allowing just 3 runs for a 1.35 ERA while collecting a win and saves in all four Islander wins.

 

Jim McEneaney (2020) - {The following is rather lengthy, but if I may be so bold, it's well worth reading.  It would have been sent out a lot earlier today, but I spent about 3 hours at the hospital this afternoon.  Not me, and not Covid-19, but my brother, and he is now just fine, but it was a day that took more than a few unexpected turns after a most pleasant morning.  Hope you enjoy.} 

 

After a hard fought semi final against Harbor Beach, the Islanders of Long Island welcomed the Mirth Makers of Mimosa before a full house that included fellow GM's Jeff & Gerry Hobbs, and Al Keefer for what turned out to be yet another thrilling contest of something called "baseball," a sport that was once played some 37 years ago (and even more recently than that I'm told).

 

Anyway, as the crowd filed in, those that may have been caught in something once known as a "traffic jam" missed an absolutely "incredible" (an adjective frequently overused by at least one contemporary politician) 1st inning.

 

Long Island had failed to post a clean opening inning throughout their earlier series against HB, and today was no different.  After a 1-out infield single by Rickey Henderson and a H&R single by Rod Carew (don't you just love the nostalgia of these names!) put runners on the corners, Clancy reared back and fanned Doug DeCinces, and man, was he pumped!  Maybe too pumped....Clancy overthrew the next pitch, which bounced all the way to the backstop and up the line.  Not only did Henderson score, but Carew raced all the way to 3rd, and scored just one pitch later when Lee Lacy ripped a single to right, making it 2-0 Mirthmakers before the Isles had even come to bat.

 

But Long Island was not about to wave any white flags....Gary Roenicke led off with a single and Islander favorite Bill Buckner stepped to the plate.... "BUCKNER facing J. REUSS, B 1st, No Outs, Runner on 1st, Behind 0-2 ... REUSS into his motion ... delivers ... and a long drive to right ... he buried it! ... he buried it!  That blast had a stewardess on board! ... a two-run dinger." And LI didn't stop there....Andre Dawson followed with a single and stole second.  But that was it.  Reuss escaped further trouble and the game moved to the 2nd as the crowds continued to pour in.

 

In the 2nd, Mimosa would pick up right where they had left off.  A walk and a single put runners on the corners, and after Clancy fanned the MI pitcher, Joe Morgan laced a double over Dawson's head putting Mimosa back on top with two more runners in scoring position.  Ricky Henderson stepped to the plate.... "CLANCY watching GRIFFIN at third ... the pitch is on the way....HENDERSON wallops this one to center field ... it might be out of here ... DAWSON is to the wall ... he has no more room ... he's looking up ... leaps ... and grabs it!  That one was over the wall ... but DAWSON brought it back in for the out .. and the runners scramble back {Ed. Note:--why is the runner on 3rd scrambling back instead of just waiting on the bag?  Oh yeah..it's the bizzaro world of the Millers!}... both runners tag ... they're waving GRIFFIN in ... here comes the throw home ... here's the play at the plate ... and he's ... in standing."  Having a tough time visualizing all of this, but one thing is clear...Mimosa leads 4-2, and Long Island is pleased that it's no worse than that.

 

The top of the 3rd was memorable for a variety of reasons.  DeCinces led off with a broken bat fly to left... "ROENICKE coming on ... dives for it ... and makes the catch!  DeCINCES's racing to second ... he's there ... time called.  He's arguing with the ump ... the ump signals hit! ... He trapped it!"  WHAT!?  There's no replay!  The ump changed his call???  Not sure if the hometown fans were more stunned or more livid, but Mimosa had a chance to blow it open, but this time Clancy settled in, retiring the next two batters before Ken Landreaux ripped a single to left.... "ROENICKE's after it ... toward the gap ... DeCINCES's well around third {TRY TO SCORE?} They're waving DeCINCES in.  {THROW HOME?--never in real life, but in the land of the Millers...} Here comes the throw home. {TRY FOR SECOND ON THROW?} LANDREAUX's going for second. {CUT IT TO SECOND?--again, it is bizzaro world, so NO} Here's the play at the plate ... and he's ... out by inches! ... oh, those, Islanders....they nip him trying to score ... the coach was waving him on with two outs

has his boys running ... but he comes up short here."  Larry--you didn't deserve that!  Of course, the ump shouldn't have changed his call, but bizzaro and all that.....

 

Anyway, maybe none of it would matter.  After LI had started its own 1st inning with three straight hits, Jerry Reuss completely shut the Isles down, retiring the next 16 Islanders in order.  But then, trailing 4-2 with one out in the 6th,  Bill Buckner looped a Texas League single to right.  Dawson struck out, but Tom Brunansky ripped a double to left.

 

OK, 2-out, a fairly slow Buckner chugging toward home...more "TRY TO SCORE?" options.  I probably should have known better, but we send Billy Buck home.....here comes the throw...and Buckner scores!  Ripken follows with a single, and just that suddenly it's tied at 4.

 

In the 7th, Tony Pena leads off with a double and advances to 3rd on a sac bunt.  Don Money, the offensive hero of the semi's bats as a PH'er, but he takes a called 3rd strike (as MI's Caudill is pumped!), but Gary Roenicke singles, and LI has their first lead of the game, 5-4.

 

Top 9--LI is clinging to a 1-run lead, but Joe Morgan leads off with a walk.  Rickey Henderson steps up....Morgan breaks for 2nd...Rickey slaps a shot down the 1srt base line....Buckner knocks it down, but has no play!  Runners on 1st and 2nd, none out, Rod Carew at the plate.  Mimosa calls for a sacrifice...it's good.  The tying and go ahead runs are in scoring position...DeCinces to bat....He lifts a fly to left... "PUHL drifts over toward the line ... he's under it ... and makes the catch ... both runners are tagging." OK...after all those earlier choices in the game, both managers have had to make, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 

Chew on that a while.  I know Larry did.  And I know I did when Larry said, "Yes, try to score."  And then again when Larry answered, "Yes, try for 3rd on the throw."  AGAIN, MY FRIENDS, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

 

I guess it would be cruel to say something like, "Tune in tomorrow to find out......" but I suspect that would rightfully just piss off everyone, so let it be known that MI did try to score, and LI then did decide not to cut it off.....

 

....And Morgan scored!  "...just outran the ball" and "...slid around the tag."  And the game was tied at 5, and Mimosa still had a runner (Rickey Henderson!) on 3rd with 2 out, and yes, LI did elect to pitch from the stretch.  And Lee Lacy swung for the fences, but got "just a bit under it" as the right fielder Tony Scott caught it for the 3rd out.  And LI would again go down in order in the 9th, prompting this game script, perhaps the only time in recent memory that I'll give kudos to the Millers... "GARBER winds up ... swing and a miss ... and CRUZ is out ... side retired.  GARBER sets them down in order ... this game is 5-5 after nine ... ain't baseball grand!  We keep playing till we have a winner ... we're going to extra innings." I honestly don't ever recall seeing a description even remotely like that, but it was right on target, and off we went to the 10th.

 

Top 10....Mimosa goes down in order.  Bottom 10...a quick out before defensive replacement Tony Scott dribbles a single up the 3rd base line.  Bill Buckner steps to the plate..... "Firstbaseman CAREW perched right in front of the bag ... the offering ... and a long drive to right ... it's all over ... oh, man, he buried it! ... That blast had a stewardess on board!  Home run for BUCKNER ... and two runs score ... Bill trots around the bases... He loves a trip downtown ... he's greeted at the plate."
 

Now in case you were wondering, that was Buckner's 3rd hit of the game....3 runs scored, two HR's and 4 RBI.  Not a bad day at the park.  And as long as we're doing some time travel here from 2020 back to 1983, let's make a brief stop in 2019.  Below is a picture of the offensive hero, his manager today, and even LI's scheduled 3rd game starter as they celebrate today's win just a little over a year ago at a spring game in Arizona.

 

**************************************************

Game 1 hero Bill Buckner with a grateful Islander skipper Jimmy Mc.  Scheduled game 3 starter Fergie Jenkins waits in the background (lower left).

 

 

 Jim McEneaney (2020)- Another full house, another thriller.

 

Floyd Bannister vs Pete Vukovich, and this time it'd LI that strikes with the game's first run when Lee Lacy drops Andre Dawson's fly ball in the first.  Isles add another run in the 3rd on a Gary Roenicke double while Bannister continues to frustrate the Mimosa offense.  Bannister actually keeps putting Mirth Makers on base (4 walks, 5 singles thru 6 innings), but Mimosa keeps stranding runners and LI actually adds an insurance run in the 7th on a Cal Ripken bloop double.

 

But Mimosa is not ready to roll over, and finally breaks through--(big time!)--in the 8th.  A single and a walk bring the tying run to the plate for Mimosa, and LI goes to the pen to bring in the lefty Gary Lavelle to face Alfredo Griffin.  With a chance to tie things with one swing, Mimosa skipper sends Dave Kingman out to bat for Griffin.  A wild pitch puts both runners into scoring position, but Kingman takes a called 3rd strike, and the switch hitting Butch Wynegar comes on to bat for the Mimosa pitcher...and draws a walk to load the bases!

 

Mimosa has been leaving a ton of runners on base all afternoon, but not this time.  Rickey Henderson bloops a single to RF to make it 3-2, and Mimosa is not done yet.  Rod Carew follows with a single to left, and suddenly it's a tie ballgame.  Lavelle finally retires Lee Lacy, but the damage has been done.  Both teams fail to score in their next at bats, but with 2 out in the 9th, yesterday's hero, Bill Buckner, rips a double towards centerfield, and LI has a shot.  Mimosa orders an IBB to Andre Dawson, and Cal Ripken steps to the plate with a chance to send the hometown fans happy.

 

But Ripken grounds to short, and for the second straight day, the teams head into extra innings.  Both teams put runners on in the 10th, but fail to score, and the game moves into the 11th.  Jesse Orosco comes on for LI, and Mimosa sends up Ken Landreaux to bat for Bill Caudill who has given Mimosa three innings of scoreless relief.  Landreaux draws a walk.  Lee Lacy, trying to make up for that big 1st inning error rips a single to right putting runners on the corners with none out.  And Long Island draws the infield in.

 

Doug DeCinces rips a shot down the first base line, but Buckner snags the ball for out number one.  Bo Diaz takes a swing but fouls out to the catcher...two out.  Can the Isles escape this one?  The infield drops back as Chet Lemon steps to the plate.  Lemon gets an Orosco pitch that he likes and swings......

 

.....but misses!  Three out, and we move to the home 11th with LI breathing a BIG SIGH of relief.  Don Money, still looking to repeat his heroics of the Harbor Beach series leads off and cracks a double, bringing Terry Puhl to the plate.  Puhl lays dow a perfect sacrifice bunt, putting the winning run on 3rd and bringing yesterday's hero, Bill Buckner to the plate.  Tony Scott comes in to run for Money, just in case there's one of those shallow fly balls...."infield drawn in ... speedy SCOTT edging down the line ... looks at third ... he fakes the throw ... now the pitcher's back on the rubber ... here's the delivery ... lined hard over CASTINO ... it's all over ... SCOTT scores easily!" And for the second day in a row, Bill Buckner delivers the walk off hit in extra innings, this one a single, his third hit of the day.

 

For Mimosa, it was, of course, another frustrating and heart-breaking loss.  Looking back, it can be said that Long Island actually had several opportunities to notch the win as they left a dozen men on base in the course of the game.  But even more frustratingly, it was Mimosa that not only had failed to score in the 11th but had actually stranded FIFTEEN runners in the course of the game.

The scene now shifts to Mimosa where the teams will try completing a game in regulation time.  Will they succeed?  Tune in Friday at 4:00pm to find out.  But come early...social distancing will limit the number of fans who will be admitted.

Larry Smith (2020) - After 2 games, it appeared #1 seed Long Island and #2 seed Mimosa were evenly matched. Long Island had won the first 2 games --- both in extra innings --- and the teams had similar lines:

 

Long Island: 11 runs, 23 hits, 1 error, 2 double plays, 15 men left on base

Mimosa: 8 runs, 23 hits, 1 error, 2 double plays, 24 men left on base

 

With the series shifting to Mimosa, the Mirthmakers were optimistic that they could close the gap at home and force the series to return to the Island for games 6 and 7.

 

The teams again played in front of a capacity crowd as Hobbs, Keefer, Hobbs and Wood took their seats. At least one additional fan arrived too late to get a ticket.

 

The starting pitchers are Fergie Jenkins for the Islanders and Eric Show for the Mirthmakers.

 

Puhl walks to open the game. Buckner, who had two hit-and-run homers in game 1, follows with a hit-and-run single on the next pitch, putting runners on the corners. And then, Dawson puts the Islanders up 3-0 with a Baltimore special, perhaps before Woodie even made it through the turnstile. With the bases clear, Show manages to retire Brunansky, Ripken and Cey.

 

In the home half of the first, Morgan opens with an infield hit and immediately steals second. Rickie Henderson grounds to short and Ripken throws wildly to first, allowing Morgan to score and Henderson to reach first. Henderson then steals second. Carew follows with another infield hit and the Mirthmakers have runners on the corners with nobody out. Jenkins gets DeCinces to ground into a doubleplay, scoring Henderson and making it 3-2 without the Mirthmakers getting the ball out of the infield. Lacy lines out to end the first inning.

 

Charlie Moore opens the top of the second with a double to centerfield and advances to third on a Diaz passed ball. Cruz grounds to second, and with the infield deep, Moore scores and doubles the Islanders lead.

 

In the bottom of the second, Landreaux gets Mimosa's third infield hit and third stolen base. He's left stranded and the score is 4-2 after 2 innings.

 

Show holds the Islanders scoreless over the next 3 innings and Jenkins returns the favor. Long Island leads 4-2 heading to the sixth inning.

 

Long Island scores 1 run in the sixth, 2 runs in the seventh and 1 more run in the eighth. It could have been worse for the Mirthmakers as two Islanders were thrown out the plate in those 3 innings. The calls:

 

J. CRUZ facing R. CAMP, T 6th, No Outs, 2nd and 3rd, Ahead 5-2

Infielders in ... now CAMP comes home with it ... CRUZ puts a charge into this pitch

it might fly ... HENDERSON races back ... to the track ... he leaps ... he has it!

terrific play ... and he gets rid of the ball desperately ... both runners are tagging

they're waving CEY in

and MOORE's headed for third

here's the play at the plate ... and he's ... OUT!...on a close play ... double play!

he held on to the ball ... oh, those, Mirthmakers ... they nip him trying to score

 

C. RIPKEN facing R. CAMP, T 7th, 1 Out, 1st and 2nd, Ahead 5-2

Now CAMP pitches ... RIPKEN pulls it into left center ... it's a gapper

it's going to roll to the wall ... PUHL will score ... DAWSON's rounding third

they're waving DAWSON in ... GRIFFIN will relay

here comes the throw home

the coach is waving RIPKEN to third on the throw

here's the play at the plate ... and he's ... out!...just missed getting in

and the aggressive baserunning does not pay off ... and RIPKEN takes third on the throw

 

The Mirthmakers have no answer. In likely his last TCBA appearance, Jenkins goes the distance, allowing only 1 runner over the final 4 innings and only 1 hit to leave the infield for the game. He cruises to a 8-2 win and Long Island is only one win from the 1983 championship.

 

Long Island: 8 runs, 13 hits, 1 error

Mimosa: 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 error

 

The teams will take tomorrow off. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday, April 24 at 4:00pm eastern time. Seats may be hard to find. No brooms allowed.

 

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