2002 Year in Review
Let us not forget
For local area league and tournament reviews, click below:
Norristown Men's Softball League
Commissioner Sully "Heels" Gelet (610) 277-9661
Norristown "A" Division Playoff Schedule/Results:
Semi-finals (best of 3):
"A" Division Championship Series (best of
Mel's Pub didn't have the best record in the regular season since they joined the league back in 1996 as Fifth Street Pub. That year they came down from the Willow Grove NAS (Base) League and joined the Norristown league. They played in the B1 and A2 divisions their first two years and finished 1st both years. They won the playoff title in 1996 over MAD Exterminators. And then in 1997, their heartache began as they won the regular season "A2" crown as Bethayres Pub only to be upset by American Building in the A2 playoffs, ultimately finishing third. They then moved up to the "A" division in 1998 as Doolan's Pub where they went 20-4, came in first, only to once again finish third in the playoffs as they were defeated by Hooters for the right to go to the finals and play eventual champ TNT. 1999 came and Mel's Pub went 19-5 to clinch the regular season crown once again and once again, they fell victim to the 'curse' as they finished third and were defeated by TNT for the right to go to the finals and play Cannon Roofing (TNT eventually won that year). 2000 marked another regular season crown (20-4 record). This time the 'curse' continued and they finished fourth as they were upset by eventual finalist Berry Mowing, who went on to lose to Cannon in the final series. 2001 was supposed to be the year. They lost reigning league MVP Warren Grant to an early season achilles' injury sidelining him for the year. They still managed to once again clinch first place with a 17-4 record. They won their playoff series with the Brown Jug and advanced to the finals were they faced the defending champs, Cannon Roofing. This was a wonderful series that went the full five games. Cannon emerged victorious three games to two to once again continue the 'curse'. This year they picked legendary Clarke Farrell to help put them over the top and over the top they went. For the first time in their Norristown League existence, they didn't finish in first. They ended up with an un-Mel's like 16-7 record. They scratched and clawed their way through two tough playoff series with the Hitmen and Hooters to get to the final series against regular season champion Little Brown Jug. Once they got there, there was no denying them as they proceeded to exorcise the 'curse' to the tune of three straight 10-run ruled games that weren't even as close as the scores indicated. They won 36-18, 26-13 and 32-14 to capture their first "A" division championship. These guys were on a mission and it showed as they started the third game by batting around 3 times in the top of the first inning in route to taking a 20-0 lead. The game started at 6:30 and by the time the Jug finally came to bat, it was 6:55. They deserve every accolade they receive. Mel's just had too much offensive firepower from the top of the lineup to the bottom. Their top 3 hitters (Reds, Clarke, Warren) are legends in this league and they proved it. Then you throw in guys like Keith Berry, Tommy McLaughlin, Jamey Ritter, Jimmy Lelii, Jack (The Rattler) Mullin, Dan (The Mime) Helm, Dickie Moody, Mike Bruton, Danny King and the regular season league MVP and home run king Johnny Brooks. All this under the leadership of the Murray Brothers (Marty and Paul) and you have a great team that finally got the monkeys off their backs by winning this league. The 'curse' is over and I can honestly say, I'm happy for them. I wish it could have been done at somebody else's expense, but I guess that's the way things happen in life. Clarke Farrell showed a lot of people why he was voted the greatest Norristown softball player of the 20th Century as he captured the Heels Gelet Playoff MVP Award. All he did was make one great defensive play after another and go13 for 15 with 2 HRs at the plate in the final series. Remarkable for anybody let alone a guy who took a couple years off to finish his internship and become a doctor and by the way is also 45 years old. Other leading hitters for Mels were John Brooks (12-15, 4 HRs), Warren Grant (11-15, 2 HRs), Paul Meara (10-14), Jamie Ritter (9-14, 3 HRs), Jack Mullin (10-13), Dick Moody (10-12, HR) and Dan Helm (8-11, 4 HRs). Mel's is a unique team, some people may not like them, but if they know anything about softball, you have to respect them. They definitely earned my respect. They are the champs.
Norristown "B" Division Playoff Schedule/Results:
Semi-finals (best of 3):
"B" Division Championship Series (best of
The Franchise went through the regular season with the best record and come through the playoffs with the Championship also. The swept Maennerchor Club in the first round series two games to none to put them in the final series. They waited patiently as Direnzo's Tavern emerged from the remainder of the "B" division playoffs to be the team to challenge the Franchise for the title. The Franchise jumped up to a two game to nothing lead in the opening final series doubleheader as Chris Logan hit three homers in the two games to get the ball rolling. Also smacking home runs for the "Chise" were Ken Hanley (2), Chris (Opie) Hendricks and Woody Capelli who hit his to straight away center field. Direnzo's came back to win game three 25-14 on the strength of a 15 run 4th inning as they batted 20 men. The Franchise showed what they were made of as they came back to win game four game and the 2002 "B Division" Playoff Championship 21-19. Chris Logan of the Franchise was awarded the Playoff MVP Award for his excellence on the field and at the plate. He walloped 6 home runs in the final series to lead all players. Others contributing were regular season MVP Ken Hanley, Chris Sullivan, Dieh Devinny, Woody Capelli, Mickey Marsilio, Rodney Miller and a whole bunch of unselfish team players led by manager Jake Corropolese.
Norristown Rec Division Playoff Schedule/Results:
Semi-finals (best of 3):
Rec Division Championship Series (best of 5):
Kinsey Landscaping captured it's second straight Norristown Rec Division League Championship in a row by defeating Charlie's Pizzeria three games to two in a hard fought five game series. This was a sea saw battle the whole way as Kinsey's won the first game 12-10. Charlie's came back and won the second game 13-7. Kinsey's captured the third game 23-17. Charlie's stayed alive by mounting an amazing comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning of the fourth game. They were down 18-14 and won 19-18 to force a game five. Kinsey's got up early 9-2 in the 2nd only to see Charlie's battle back and the game went back in fourth 10-9, 12-10, 13-12, 14-12, 14-14........With Kinsey's holding the hammer they put up 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th to take an 18-14 advantage. Charlie's wouldn't lie down scoring 5 in the top of the 7th taking a 19-18 lead. Kinsey's tied the game up with one out in the bottom of the 7th. Charlie's pulls an outfielder into the infield to play a five man infield. The strategy worked with a ground ball going to the middle infielder for an almost double-play...2 men on for Kinsey's as Charlie's walks the 3rd batter to load the bases. The shortstop- Brian van Buskirk comes to the plate with the bases loaded and hits a walk off Grand Slam to end game and the series as Kinsey Landscaping wins 22-19. Pitcher Doug Perry and Shortstop Brian van Buskirk were awarded co-MVP awards for the final series.
Regular Season Home Run Leaders:
Norristown Men's Softball League Regular Season MVP Awards:
This year's regular season MVP Awards were done as they've always been done, by polling all the managers of their respective divisions and League Commissioner Sully Gelet also has a vote in the "B and "Rec" division. The "A" Division has followed the tradition of naming the regular season's home run leader as MVP the past three years (Tom Coughlin, Jug-1999, Warren Grant, Mel's-2000 and Tom Coughlin, Jug-2001). This year was no different as Johnny Brooks of Mel's Pub won in a decisive manner over Little Brown Jug's Steve Moloney. Brooks, who plays a utility role on the Mel's defensive scheme by playing third base, first base, catcher and extra hitter as needed captured the league's home run title with 26 dingers on the season. He was a one man wrecking crew for the undermanned Mel's squad for much of the season and single handily kept Mel's in many a game. He is a class act on and off the field and that was demonstrated by the comments of most all of the managers polled. Steve Moloney of the Little Brown Jug, arguably the best all-around player in the league finished a distant runner-up. He blends defensive prowess in the outfield with his powerful arm and at the plate, he is a pure a hitter combining a high batting average with tremendous power. He finished tied for third in the league in homers with 19. Finishing in a tie for third place are the Little Brown Jug duo of Pitcher Shawn Remish and first basemen Billy Gulotta. Remish considered by his manager as the heart and soul of the Jug team had a great year as did Gulotta who finished second to Brooks in the home run race with 23 homers. Here are the final tallies:
Here is the Norristown "A" Division All-League team from the Commish:
1B- Bill Gulotta, Brown Jug, Warren Grant, Mel's Pub and Darren Posavec, Tex-Mex: 2B- Tom Pagel, Brown Jug and Ty Jones, Hooters: SS- Jamie Ritter, Mel's Pub, Heath Hederick, Aqua Sun and John Cresswell, Hitmen: 3B- Dave Heckman, Hooters and Happ Capoferrri, Hitmen: LF- Andy Gelet, Hooters, Jack Mullin, Mel's Pub and Tony Carfagno, Brown Jug: LC- Steve Moloney, Brown Jug, Clarke Farrell, Mel's Pub and Jason Williams, Aqua Sun: RC- Kevin Heckman, Hitmen, Ken Shemonski, Cannon Roofing, Rich Curley, Tex-Mex: RF- Craig Balmer, Aqua Sun, Tom Coughlin, Brown Jug and Paul "Reds" Meara: P- Shawn Remish, Brown Jug and Keith Berry, Mel's Pub, Pete Luzi, Cannon/Berry: C- Matt O'Hara, Aqua Sun and Steve Dimitry, Little Brown Jug: EH- John Brooks, Mel's Pub, Matt Cordi, Cannon/Berry and Ryan Henning, Hitmen: Utility: Brent Schaeffer, Cannon/Berry. Jay Ehrhardt, Hooters, Jeff Neamand, Aqua Sun, Dana Luscombe, Cannon/Berry, Steve Cordi, Aqua Sun, Jeff Brennan, Hooters, Jim Lelii, Mel's Pub, Ryan Walker, Brown Jug, Brian Pugh, Hooters, Greg Wenning, Cannon/Berry and Lou Ercoloni, Aqua Sun.
The "B" Division Regular Season MVP award was tallied by a vote of all the managers and Commissioner Sully Gelet to come up with the winner. In the inaugural vote last year, Shortstop Chris Sullivan of the Franchise was the winner. This year, Kenny Hanley also of the Franchise captures the honors. Playing out of his outfield position, he has demonstrated his leadership abilities with his defensive capabilities and strong arm. At the plate, he provided the heroics for the "Chise" in their quest to win the regular season title. Some examples why he is so valuable include being walked four times in one game because the other team respected him that much. He also smacked three homers in the last regular season game to win the game and clinch first for the Franchise. He also won the "B" division regular season home run title with 10 homers. He is a good kid and most deserving of this award. Six players tied for second place in the voting. These players include last year's winner Chris Sullivan of the Franchise, Pitcher Brian Allerton of the Franchise, designated hittter extraordinaire Kevin McEwen of TNT Sports Club, Outfielder Jason Kaleta of Maennerchor Club, Third Basemen Eric Wheeler of Norristown Rec and Outfielder Chris Carter of New Valley Tavern all garnered one vote each. The final tallies are posted below.
The "Rec" Division Regular Season MVP award was tallied by a vote of all the managers and Commissioner Sully Gelet to come up with the winner. In the inaugural vote last year, Outfielder Sean McNamara of the Trappe Tavern was the winner. This year, it was Joe McFarlane the young slugging outfielder of Montgomery Fitness capturing the award in a close race. He tied for the lead league in home runs (8) with the runner-up in the voting Chris Monaco, the young fleet footed shortstop of Joe Chicco/Down & Dirty. Also finishing in a tie for second was legendary shortstop Bobby Rodgers of Origlio's Beverage/Smirnoff Ice. He has been playing in this league for over 20 years and it seems like he gets better as he gets older. The fourth place finishers were shortstop Chris Hibsman of the regular season champs Main Street Pizza and Outfielder Chet Majewski of Kinsey Landscaping . The final vote tallies are listed below:
Norristown Slow Pitch League Manager of the Year
In a special award given out by Commissioner Sully Gelet, The Norristown Softball League Manager of the Year Award was won by Andy Drobek of the Little Brown Jug. He led the team to the Norristown "A" Division Regular Season title. He was instrumental in the merging of last year's Toto Refrigeration/Brown Jug (15-9 last year in the "B" division) team into last year's Little Brown Jug team to form this year's version. Last year's "A" division team was 8-13 and finished in 6th place. The Jug was a success from the very beginning as they captured the Quakertown Early Bird tournament and never looked back. They finished second in the District 14 Montgomery County Class-C Championships (losing to Sweeney's Pub in the finals). The finished third in the Millennium Early Bird and the QSPL Summer Classic (beating Coor's Light of New Jersey and losing to such powerhouses as Gamecocks also of New Jersey and Norristown League Rival Mel's Pub). Competing as Outer Design/Brown Jug, they tied for first place in the Main Line Association Radnor regular season and ultimately finished second in the championship playoffs, losing to Crusaders in the finals. In the Champs n Charity Tournament, they went undefeated through the winner's bracket beating four-time defending champ Willowbrook Pub along the way only to be defeated by Tom n Jerry's/Mel's Pub in the finals. The team has formed a bond that rarely happens when teams merge. Andy Drobek along with his brother-in-law Mike Corliss who is the assistant-manager/coach and part time player, this team still retains the jovial atmosphere they've always had, now only with a twist, a winning attitude.
Norristown Men's Fall Softball League
Norristown Men's Fall League Playoff Schedule/Results:
"A" Flight Playoffs (double elimination
Donny Douglass put Falcone's Sports Cafe together for this year's fall season in preparation for next year's Norristown "A" division. The team will play in that very competitive league next season. They proved they belong as they came back and double dipped the Little Brown Jug team to win the title in spectacular fashion. Falcone's opened the playoffs with a win over Aqua Sun, then lost to the Brown Jug in the winner's bracket final. They then defeated Aqua Sun to get a crack at the Jug again. They won the first game convincingly to force the "if" game. The game was a see-saw battle the whole way led by the hot bats of the Jug's Tony Carfagno and Falcone's Woody Capelli and when the Jug took a 24-20 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, the game looked like a lock for the Jug Heads. Falcone's showed tremendous resolve as the battled back to steal the game 25-24 when Brian Burke smashed a double to score Eric Walker with the winning run. Burke was initially awarded the Playoff MVP award, but he unselfishnessly orchestrated a team vote and presented the award to Pitcher Bob Ashworth who pitched his heart out and also came up big with the stick as he hit three home runs. Other members of the winning team include Brian Fields, Chris Painter, Dan Douglass, Mike McAvoy, Tim "Woodsy" Wilson, Mike Kaufman, Robbie Heimes and Pottsy. Leading the way for the Jug was Tony Carfagno (12-13 on the day), Jeff Russo, Tom Pagel, Roger Kummerer and Clarke Farrell (5 home runs). Defending champs Aqua Sun Pools (McGregor's Pub last year) finished third thanks to a courageous effort by manager Craig Balmer to field 9 people. Jeff Neamand, Steve Cordi and Happ Capoferri led the Aqua Sun bats.. Fourth place went to Dave Raimondy, Lou (Cy Young) Raeita, John Farrell and the Maennerchor Club squad.
"B" Flight Playoffs (double elimination format)
The Norristown Players Club won the "B" flight of the Norristown Fall League by surviving Glaxo Smith Kline in the "if" game. Chris Burns and his GSK team forced the "if" game by winning 27-17. But the Players found the resolve to capture the title with a 19-15 victory in the final championship game. Pitcher Steve Cutler (playoff MVP) played a great tournament along with Mark Melice, Howard Teitelbaum, Joe Termine, Mike Collazo, Chris Molitor and Joe McFarlane who was intentionally walked numerous times. Managers Steve Cutler put together a nice squad and they all came together in the playoffs. Dave Halter's Whitpain Tavern Thunder team finished third and Repeat Offenders who forfeited out finished fourth.
Norristown Women's Softball League
Commissioner Stacey Clemens (215) 362-1689
Final Standings courtesy of Trish Ayala-Gillen
Norristown Women-Boro Playoff Schedule/Results:
Women's Boro Championship
Norristown Women-Rec Playoff Schedule/Results:
Women's Rec Championship
Women's League Awards and Honors:
Overall League MVP - Beth Proffit, Direnzo's/Courthouse
Annual Kim Garvey Award Winners:
Annual All-Star Game and Pig Roast Extravaganza
Norristown Women's Fall Softball League
Norristown Women's Fall League Playoff Schedule/Results:
Jimmy Myers and Glen Kilpatrick combined forces to form the Trappe Tavern/Direnzo's Tavern Women's Fall Softball Team. They disappoint as they went through the regular season capturing first place and then withstood a fierce comeback from the Direnzo's Rec girls to gain the Fall League Championship by winning the final "If" game. Trish Remish, Tina Singleton and Mia led the way for the Direnzo's Rec team. Janine Picard of Trappe/Direnzo's was the playoff MVP.
Check out some Local Area Softball Message Boards
Norristown's 2002 Home Run Derby
Official Results: (# by round)
©1998 Steve Dimitry, all rights reserved.
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