Friday, July 8, 2011

Softball All Stars

This past Sunday I posted a blog naming my 2011 Major League Baseball All Star Teams. I mentioned that I would name the reserves later. Well, I lied. With the Rotary Tournament in full swing, I have decided to switch the All Star talk to Kenosha softball.

Calling upon the acumen of Kenosha softball veterans, Gary Petersen, Jimmy Gentile and Pat Hegewald, here are our four All Star teams.

Based on the old adage, age before beauty, Gary “The Wizard” Petersen’s lineup will lead things off. Finney’s Pirates, Zirbel Concrete, Slim’s Tap, Matador Lounge, Wizard’s, Kenosha Kings and Pitts Decorating are among the teams that the Wizard was associated with. He is easily the most colorful player ever to grace a softball diamond in Kenosha and never at a loss for words.



Wizard’s Kenosha All Stars

P – Gary “The Wizard” Petersen
C – Bill Johnson
1B – Gene Willems
2B – Dick Laba
3B – Bill “Mountain” Griffiths
SS – Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers
OF – Richie Baumgarten
OF – Chuck Lange
OF – Mark Hackbarth
OF – Jack Zimmerman
DH – Dan Wade

The next All Star team comes courtesy of long time 400 Club outfielder, Jimmy Gentile. While Jimmy G hasn’t been around quite as long as the Wizard, he too has played his share of softball games. When I called Jimmy G last night to get his lineup for this blog, it turned into a 2-hour conversation reminiscing about the good old days.




Jimmy G’s Kenosha All-Stars

P – Jim Nehls
C – Bill Johnson
1B – Jim Darula
2B – Dick Laba
3B – Jeff Clark
SS – Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers
OF – Glen Marescalco
OF – Carmen Pillizzi
OF – Peter Bruneo
OF – Matt Montemurro
DH – Larry Tostrud

The third squad of All Stars comes from none other than Kenosha softball wonk, Pat Hegewald. Hegs is the youngest of this illustrious group, the only one still playing ball; but that makes him no less an authority. His expertise was evident by his contributions in my book, “Some Kenosha Softball”. You would be hard pressed to name a player that Hegs hasn't seen since the '70s.



Heg’s Kenosha All Stars:

P – Rocky Tirabassi
C – Jerry Reeves
1B – Wally Marciniak
2B – Dick Laba
SS – Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers
3B – Jeff Clark
OF – Scott Barthuly
OF – Mark Hackbarth
OF – Tom Jahne
OF – Dan Ausloos
DH – Jerry Kalbfell

My team is made up of what I consider to be greatest softball players that I have ever seen play. This isn't scientific or anything, just my opinion. But please keep in mind that I saw approximately 32 games a week while managing the 400 Club and announcing at historic Finney’s West each summer for over a decade. That has to count for something.



My Kenosha All Stars.

P – Gary “The Wizard” Petersen
C – Bill Johnson
1B – Gene Willems
2B – Dick Laba
3B – Bill “Mountain” Griffiths
SS – Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers
OF – Rich Baumgarten
OF – Gene Heckel
OF – Jerry Reeves
OF – Jack Zimmerman
DH – Chuck Lange

A few interesting observations:

Surprisingly, seventeen of the 44 spots were unique. However, there was some overlapping.

Dick Laba and Bruce “Hollywood” Meyers showed up on all four teams.

Bill Johnson appeared on three of the lists.

Appearing on two of the squads were Wizard, Gene Willems, Bill Griffiths, Jeff Clark, Rich Baumgarten, Chuck Lange, Mark Hackbarth and Jack Zimmerman.

Jimmy G’s entire outfield is made up of players of Italian descent. I won’t repeat what the Wizard said when he heard this.

The one disturbing thing that I noticed was that my All Star team and the Wizard’s are very similar. Nine of the players are the same. Hopefully I’m not beginning to think like Wiz, as I get older.

Let me know whom you think was overlooked on our teams. It would be interesting to see if anyone can come up with a lineup stronger than any of these.

Until next time…from the booth.

9 comments:

Reggie said...

Not sure my friend. I can think of others that were just as deserving. How about a list of the "best cannons" in the OF??

Reggie

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Reg, who's on your Kenosha All Star team?

Anonymous said...

That was a joke.

John Schwarz

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

What was a joke?!?

l rosko said...

some favorites,ron danoski dik laba and rich rosko if this includes current players, coolpapa

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Good choices, Leon. I'm surprised John hasn't made any smarmy remarks yet…

RON DANOSKI said...

PAUL, IT'S BEEN AWHILE!! I'M STILL PLAYING SOFTBALL OUT OF ARIZONA. SO WHERE WAS MY NAME ON THIS LIST? PS, WIZARD LOOKS OLDER THAN DIRT!!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Ron!!! I don't know how you found my blog but I an glad that you did. These all-star teams were strictly Kenosha players. Last year I did all-star teams from Kenosha and the "out of towners". Here's the link -

http://paulevagnoni.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-all-star-team.html

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