2001 Year in Review
For local area league and tournament reviews, click below:
Let us not forget
He's gone but he will never be forgotten - The 2001 Norristown Area Softball Page is dedicated to the memory of Tony "Chic" Chiccino. Chic was born September 11, 1968 and left us much too early on July 10, 2001. He was the son of Rita (Nicola) Chiccino and the late Anthony Chiccino. He left behind his fiancé Nora Dollarton, his brother Nick and three sisters, Mary Rose Swenda (and brother-in-law Tommy Swenda), Rita and Dolores. It is often said that only the good die young and if you had the pleasure of knowing him, you'll find this statement to be so true. On the field, he was a feared hitter and a fierce competitor, but off the field, he was a gentleman in all aspects of the word. He was one of the true good guys that this league has ever seen and will be missed by all who knew him. Memorial contributions can be made to the Anthony C. Chiccino Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Titus Catholic School, 3006 Keenwood Road, East Norriton, PA 19403.
Go to the Tribute Page to read what people said on the message board
Norristown Men's Softball League
"A" Division Playoffs:
Cannon Roofing won the best of three semi-final series with Hooters 2 games to 1. After being victorious in game-1 by a 16-13 score, the Roofers led the second game 19-10 going into the sixth inning before the roof fell in as Hooters erupted for nine runs in the next two innings to send the game into extra innings. Cannon took a temporary lead in the 8th that was erased by Dave Heckman's walk off dinger to win the game 21-20. Mike Kauffman had a good game going 3-3 with a HR, 3B and a couple of walks and Jeff Brennan went 3-4 with a 3B. Leading the Cannon offense that game were Pete Luzi, 5-5 with HR,5 RBI; Greg Wenning 3-4, HR; Keg McCauley 3-3, Buck Mathias 3-4 3 RBI and last but not least, Jerry Cannon HR, 3 RBI. Losing the first game in this manner did not sit well with the Roofers and they showed it in the second game by scoring 17 runs in the first inning after Hooters posted a 4 spot to begin the contest. In the 1st inning alone, Keg McCauley hit 2 HR and knocked in 5, Jerry Cannon doubled and hit another homer to count a total of four and the Hammer (Greg Wenning) homered to chase two more in. The Hooters team kept on scratching for runs with Roger Kummerer hitting a HR and Andy Gelet going 3-3 but could not surmount the Cannon lead as they won the game and advanced to the final series against Mel's Pub. For the series, Greg Wenning was 10-13 with 3 HRs and 10 RBIs. Tom "Kegger" McCauley was 9 for 10, Pete Luzi was 8 for 10 and Ken Shemonski was 7 for 10 with 3 HRs. Leading the way for Hooters was Tom McLaughlin and Ty Jones, both went 8 for 12.
Championship Finals (Best of 5):
The 2001 A-Division title came down to the top two teams in the league as defending champion Cannon Roofing and regular season Mel’s Pub squared off in the best of five championship series for all the marbles. Game-1 started out with the two heavyweights slugging it out with Cannon finally pulling away scoring 20 runs in the last 3 innings as the Roofers exploded to a 38-23 victory. The second game was more of the same with Cannon managing to 10-run Mel's as the raindrops began to fall fast and furious. Clarke Farrell's inside the park HR clinched the game via the ten-run rule as Cannon triumphed 28-18. The Roofers hit a total of 15 Hrs in the two contests: John Ounsworth 3, Greg Wenning 3, Pete Luzi and Karl “Kat” Janetka 2, Jerry Cannon, Ken Shemonski, Tom “Kegger” McCauley, Joe DiCicco and Clarke Farrell one apiece. For Mel's Joe Povenski hit 3 homers while Jim Lelii, John Brooks and Ivo Salvi banged out one apiece. There were several outstanding defensive plays in the OF by Clarke Farrell, Pete Luzi and Joe DiCicco of Cannon and Jimmy Lelii of Mel’s. The gem of the night was a full extension diving grab of a line shot by Kat Janetka of Cannon that saved two runs. Games three and four were played he next night and with their backs up against the wall facing elimination, Mel's Pub responded by taking 2 games from Cannon Roofing 25-19 and 23-17. Game three started out with Cannon taking an early lead and building on it until they had a 8-run lead going into the bottom of the fifth. At this point, the roof caved in as Mel's counted 18 runs in the last two innings to take the contest. The fourth game featured Mel's taking control early as Cannon struggled to find their power strokes and also were thwarted by some excellent defensive plays by Ivo Salvi in the OF. Mel's hit a total of 9 HR's in the two games played that night. Jim Lelii hit 3, followed by Joe Povenski, Jamie Ritter and Dan Helm each hitting 2 apiece. Cannon dingers were hit by Ken Shemonski and Greg Wenning (2 apiece), and one each for Buck Mathias, Jerry Cannon, John Ounsworth and Joe DiCicco. The fifth and final game of this epic series started slowly with Mel's jumping out to a 3 run lead in the first inning behind Joe Povenski's RBI single and Jim Lelii's 2 run HR. Cannon went down quietly in the first two frames. The Roofers bats came to life in the third inning with a 17 run onslaught fueled by sending 21 men to the plate. There were 4 round trippers struck by the Roofers in the inning off the bats of John Ounsworth, Ken Shemonski, Buck Mathias and Tony "Dirt" Gianonne. Determined not to go down without a fight, Mel's came right back with a tenspot in the bottom of the inning behind the HRs of John Brooks and Danny Helm. At this point, Manager of the Year Jerry Cannon took himself of the pitcher position and inserted Lou 'the Closer' Ercolani who successfully tamed the mighty Mel's bats for the next three innings while Cannon went on to pad their lead by another 10 runs. The Closer's tank was running dry in the 7th when Mel's attempted their final comeback of the season prompting Jerry Cannon to return to the mound to get the final three outs after Mel's scored their last 6 runs. There were a total of 12 dingers slugged in Game 5, two apiece by Ken Shemonski of Cannon; Dan Helm and John Brooks of Mel's. Other homers were hit by Mel's Jim Lelii and Jamie Ritter. Also connecting were Tony “Dirt” Gianonne, Tom "Kegger" McCauley (who went 4 for 5), Buck Mathias and John Ounsworth of Cannon. Other hot Cannon hitters were Greg "Hammer" Wenning (5-5), Lou Ercolani (4-4), Jerry Cannon, Clarke Farrell, Kenny Shemonski and Johnny Ounsworth (all went 3-5). Karl "Kat" Janetka was named series MVP, going 3-4 and playing outstanding defense throughout the series. Hot hitters for Mel's in game-5 were Keith Berry and Jim Lelii (both 4-4), Jamie Ritter and Dave "Killer" Kwitakowski, both went 3-4. This was truly an epic series, the likes of which kept the avid fans entertained right down to the final out of the 7th inning. Here are the final stats for the five-game series for both teams as compiled by Cannon coach and statistician Andy Drobek:
"B" Division Playoffs:
Manager Chris "Opie" Hendricks led the Hitmen to a three game sweep over regular season champion Franchise. The Hitmen won game-1; 13-12 and game-2; 17-7 and put any doubt to rest in game-3 with a rousing victory as playoff MVP Robbie Himes led the way with one of his many playoff homeruns. Himes was unstoppable in the playoffs and he became the only player to win the playoff MVP award more than once. He also won in 1999 for the Brown Jug team as they won the B1 title. Commissioner Sully Gelet has been giving out the award since 1993. Also providing a key contribution for the Hitmen was Ken Priest who incidentally won his first Norristown championship after 23 years in the league and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. The legendary Sammy Rosen was also instrumental in leading the Hitmen throughout the year with his rare combination of intensity and patience with his younger teammates. The term legend is thrown around loosely in this league, but Sam Rosen is the definition of what that word should mean. The way the guys on this team look up to him is unbelievable and he is more than worthy of such adulation. The way he carries himself on and off the field is un paralleled in the history of this league. Another reason for the Hitmen's success is Big Matt Strzminski who hit 9 homers in the 7 playoff games and will be a force in the years to come. Brian Kaufman, Matty Michaels, John Cresswell, Woody Smith, Joe Garoake, Harry Reese, Gus Baldasano, Brian Dunlap and Lou Fiorentino all played key roles in the Hitmen's success. Sponsor Mark Melice of Montgomery County Home Pro also had a big part in the success with his financial backing. The Hitmen also won the Bridgeport League Playoff Championship thus becoming only one of a handful of teams to accomplish this feat.
"C" Division Playoffs:
The Rec-Division championship series was played between between regular season champ Kinsey Landscaping and defending league champ Charlie's Pizzeria. Kinsey’s won the first game 11-5 on the strength of an 8-run first inning. In a doubleheader featuring the next two games, Kinsey's and Charlie's split the games. Charlie's romped to a win in the first game and were coasting to a second game victory leading 12-5 after 4 innings when the Landscapers came alive with 4 runs in the fifth and sixth to win the game 13-12. The Kinsey Brothers (Mike and Wayne) both went 4 for 4 with Wayne hitting 2 inside the park homers. Ageless wonder Joe Buono relieved starting pitcher Doug Perry in the 5th inning and shut down the hard-hitting Pizzamen the final 3 innings and also keyed the 4-run rally in the 5th with a hit to start the inning. In the fourth and deciding game, there was no stopping Kinsey Landscaping from claiming the crown as they dominated the game by a 19-9 score to win the game and clinch the best of five series three games to one. Second Basemen Kevin Singleton was named the series MVP for Kinsey Landscaping for his great defensive play and timely hitting. Also contributing for Kinsey’s were shortstop Brian van Buskirk and first basemen Jimmy DiNolfi.
Norristown Men's League Awards
Norristown "A" Division Chiccino Memorial MVP award:
The award this year was called the "Chiccino Memorial" MVP Award in honor of Tony Chiccino of the Italian Club who died suddenly during the season of a heart attack. All eight team managers/representatives along with league commissioner Sully Gelet cast a vote for the MVP and the tallies were tabulated to come up with the 2001 A-Division League MVP Award. Congratulations to the winner; the power hitting right fielder of the Little Brown Jug; Tom Coughlin. Coughlin who led the league with 25 homers in the regular season also won the award in 1999. Finishing in second place was all-around talent Joe Povenski of Mel's Pub who is arguably the best athlete this league has seen in years. Pitcher/Hitter extraordinaire Keith Berry of Mel's tied for third with the league's best utility player Jimmy Lelii of Mel's. The fifth place finisher was power hitter Tony Chiccino of the Italian Club who passed away during the season. The club subsequently never won a game afterwards. And the other player receiving recognition was power hitting first basemen Johnny Brooks of Mel's who finished second in homers as he banged out 20 on the year. Some managers submitted partial votes as evident by the final vote tallies:
In a special award given out by Commissioner Sully Gelet, The A-Division Manager of the Year Award was won by Jerry Cannon of Cannon Roofing. He led the team to the Norristown "A" Division Championship for the second straight year and for the 4th time in the last 6 years. Cannon also has won the Quakertown League title 3 times in the last 5 years under the leadership of Cannon.
Here is the Norristown "A" Division All-League team from the Commish:
1B- John Brooks, Mel's Pub and Tony Giannone, Cannon Roofing: 2B- Karl Janetka, Cannon Roofing and Dean Carr, Berry Mowing: SS- Brent Schaeffer, Berry Mowing and Buck Mathias, Cannon Roofing: 3B- Tom "Kegger" McCauley, Cannon Roofing and Brian Thomas, Little Brown Jug: LF- Joe Povenski, Mel's Pub and Andy Gelet, Hooters KOP: LC- Clarke Farrell, Cannon Roofing and Dana Luscombe, Berry Mowing: RC- Jim Lelii, Mel's Pub and Ken Shemonski, Cannon Roofing: RF- Tom Coughlin, Little Brown Jug and Scott Nauer, Berry Mowing: P- Keith Berry, Mel's Pub, Rob Wisner, Little Brown Jug and Tom McLaughlin, Hooters KOP: C- Greg Wenning, Cannon Roofing, Paul "Reds" Meara, Mel's Pub and Matt O'Hara, McGregor's Pub: EH- Steve Dimitry, Little Brown Jug and Matt Cordi, Berry Mowing: Utility: Steve Kalback, CVCK and Tony Chiccino, Italian Club
Inaugural Norristown "B" Division MVP award:
Each manager in the "B" division cast a vote along with league commissioner "Heels" Gelet and the tallies were tabulated to come up with the 2001 B-Division League MVP Award. Congratulations to the winner; Chris "Sully" Sullivan, the fine leadoff hitter and shortstop of the first place Franchise Softball Club. Accepting the award with him will be Franchise manager Jake Corropolese and team captain Mickey Marsilio. Shortstop John Cresswell who had a brilliant year leading the Hitmen to a 15-9 record was second and Steve Moloney of Natale & Onufer, the rocket-armed outfielder who banged out 12 homers on the season was third. Here are the final vote tallies:
In a special award given out by Commissioner Sully Gelet, The B-Division Manager of the Year Award was won by Chris "Opie" Hendricks of the Hitmen. He led the team to the unprecedented feat of winning both the Norristown and Bridgeport League Playoff Championships.
Inaugural Norristown "C" Division MVP award:
Each manager in the "Rec" division cast a vote along with league commissioner "Heels" Gelet and the tallies were tabulated to come up with the 2001 Rec-Division League MVP Award. Congratulations to the winner; Sean McNamara, the power-hitting outfielder of Trappe Tavern. Sean banged out 16 homers on the season for Trappe to tie for the home run lead. Accepting the award with him will be Trappe Tavern manager Bob "Wolfie" Wolfinger. Chris Shaw of Charlie's Pizzeria who tied for the league home run title with McNamara with 16 was second. Slick fielding outfielder Tony Boffa of Main Street Pizza, Second Basemen Kevin Singleton of Kinsey's, Shortstop Brian van Bus Kirk also of Kinsey's, Pitcher Wayne Stem of Montgomery Fitness and outfielder Chip Fennell of Steppy's all tied for third. Also receiving recognition was right-fielder Jimmy Alff of Main Street Pizza. Here are the final vote tallies:
In a special award given out by Commissioner Sully Gelet, The C-Division Sportsman of the Year Award was won by Bob "Wolfie" Wolfinger of Trappe Tavern. This isn't the first time he's won such an award which only goes to show what kind of person he is. The class and respect he show toward others does not go unrecognized and I'm proud to say he's my friend.
Norristown Men's Fall Softball League
PLAYOFFS - Teams seeded by record. Double Elimination
McGregor's Pub went through the Fall League Playoff Tournament without a blemish as they captured the title in dramatic fashion. Shortstop Heath Hedrick blasted a walk off home run in the bottom of the 7th inning to defeat the Maennerchor Club 14-13 in the final championship game. Hedrick was on fire the whole day. Earlier in the day, Hedrick lined a bases loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Pub a 13-12 come from behind victory or the Brown Jug. Jeff Neamand continued his hot hitting as he finished out the year going 26-31 with 6 home runs in the last seven games he played including the final four regular season games and the three playoff games. He also pitched and subsequently was named playoff MVP. Congrats to Matt O'Hara, Craig Balmer, Jason Williams, Mark Derobertis, Cory Shank and the rest of the McGregor's team in a job well done. They won the regular season title and were clearly the best of the league. Dave Raimondo and his Maennerchor squad fought hard all day to garner the runner-up trophy. The Club was led by Greg Wenning, John Farrell, Eric Walker, Steve Storti and "Cy Young" himself, Lou Raeita. Devon Health finished third as they upset 3-time defending league champ Little Brown Jug behind the hot bats of Chris Molitor, Kenny Simcox, Mark Melice and Steve Cutler. The fourth place Jug was led by the hot bat of Steve Dimitry with a 10-11 playoff performance. Also contributing for the Jug was Bobby Ray and Andy Gelet. Chris Burns and his GSK team suffered a numbers problem throughout the day and went out in 2.
Norristown Women's Softball League
Note: The Norristown Women's "A" division playoffs were divided into separate A1 and A2 playoffs depending on what place the team finished in the final standings; A1 teams finished 1st through 4th place and A2 teams finished 5th through 8th place.
"A1" Division Playoffs (Double Elimination
Our Place Slammers won their 3rd Women's "A" division title in the last 4 years by defeating perennial powerhouse Frank's Pub Breakers in the final championship game. Stacey Clemens and her Breakers team have been in the finals three of the last four years. Leading the Slammers to the title were Vicki Sasek, Jackie Turzer and Kim Keller. The Breakers were led by Anna Dare.
"A2" Division Playoffs (Double Elimination Format):
Manager Jimmy Myers added yet another title to his already impressive resume as his Courthouse/Direnzo's team captured the Women's "A2" Championship. These two teams battled all the way through the playoffs splitting the first two games they played. In the "if" game for all the marbles, Courthouse/Direnzo's scored 11 runs in the first inning to jump out on top. The Rockers had no quit in them as they battled back the whole game and eventually take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Sherri Moore's bases loaded triple was the big blow as Courthouse/Direnzo's took a commanding four run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning. The lead held up as Janina Fornal, Tammie Smith and Katie Consolo all made key defensive plays to preserve the victory and the championship.
"Rec Division Playoffs (Double Elimination Format):
Clemens Uniform went through the Women's "Rec" playoffs undefeated to finally capture that elusive championship. Clemen's has previously lost in the finals in 1998 and 2000. The beat a tough Little Brown Jug team in the final championship game 11-6. Leading the way for the winners was Trish Ayala. The Brown Jug team was led by Micki Kelly.
Norristown Women's Fall Softball League
Women's Fall Playoffs (November 4th)
Congratulations to both The Breakers and Clemen's Uniform on a successful season. I'd like to personally thank Sonny Termine, Glen 'Statman' Kilpatrick and Jimmy Myers for doing their part in helping to get the Women's Fall League off the ground this year. Hopefully we can continue this tradition again next year.
©1998 Steve Dimitry, all rights reserved.