November 2018

2018 HDL Banquet Recap – Updated 3:20 PM

2018 HDL Banquet Review (11/18/2018)

The 2018 HDL Baseball season annual Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet was held SUNDAY, November 18th at the Ballroom of the Butcher Shop on Germantown Parkway.  Approximately 40-45 members and guests came out on a great evening to be part of a special night in the growing history of the Hernando DeSoto Men’s Baseball League.

For Those who attended:

Please tell your fellow players/teammates, who were unable to attend, that we wish they could have attended. The HDL Officers and Hall of Fame Board members were disappointed in this year’s attendance. Obviously, having the banquet on a Sunday may have been the reason so we will plan better next year and revert back to Friday night or Saturday night. We hope to find a way to get more HDL members and guests to attend this annual event next year.

VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT

While everyone was finishing their food orders from Butcher Shop Restaurant, Larry Rutledge showed a slideshow video of the 2018 HDL Season. For those who were unable to attend the banquet, the video can be seen on YouTube at:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD15hhStdpCMhFM5TInmCdQ?view_as=subscriber

We will continue this treat as a tradition to help everyone re-live the season.

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Hall of Fame Inductees:

 

Two former HDL Players were inducted into the HDL Hall of Fame:

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First inductee:  James G, Moroschak

First inductee, James “Schak” Moroschak was Inducted for his career as a hustling Catcher during his 12 year HDL career. Schak was a dedicated player who earned the respect of his teammates and opponents as a tireless catcher who played to help his team, both behind the plate and at the plate. Schak’s dependability, even when his professional career and personal schedule made it tough, he would always find a way to get to the ballpark. Schak expressed how much he appreciated the camaraderie of being a member of the HDL and how much baseball is a part of his life. Second Inductee:  James Skinner


Our next inductee, James Skinner, was equally appreciative to being inducted as a member of the HDL Hall of Fame. James was appreciative to have an opportunity to play baseball for the HDL. James has posted some outstanding career statistics both as a Pitcher and a Hitter. When not on the mound, James was also a dependable fielder, both infield and outfield.  James is in the Top five of active HDL players in hitting with a .472 batting average and has a hit 7 home runs in his HDL career. James was very sincere about how much the HDL has meant to him during his playing days and still today.


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2018 SEASON PLAYER AWARDS

All SPONSORS were recognized for their valuable contributions. Each will receive a plaque expressing our appreciation. (Note: Some of the Award plaques were late arriving and unavailable for presentation. These arrived on Monday, November 19th and will be distributed as soon as possible.)

Sponsor Attending:  Carlos Varela – V-Brothers Motors A’s; Don Hinkle – Prudential Insurance Tigers.

Absent:                        Thompson Truck Center and Lomax Insulation

Next, all Managers were recognized for fulfilling this important role –

                      Carlos Varela, Don Hinkle, John DiGiacomo and Nick Harris

 GOLD GLOVE WINNERS:

 Outfield:        Oscar Zamudio, Johnny Gonzalez, Jake Hatchett, and Jason Nilsen

Utility:             Wes Hill

Catcher:          Judson Belote

Pitcher:           Juan-Jose Castillo

First Base:       Orville Nevile

Second base:   Jose Ortiz

Third Base:      Cory Morgan

Shortstop:       Cesar Cabrera

 

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Rookie of Year:                  Carlos Bello – .426 Avg.

Ray Reinhart – Charlie Hustle Award: Terry Terrell

Team MVP’s: 

                                     Cesar Roman (Lomax Dodgers),

                                     Ceasar Cabrera (V-Brothers Athletics),

                                     Jose Ortiz (Prudential Tigers),

                                     Nick Harris Thompson Truck Center Cardinals

 

League MVP:                Jose Ortiz


Best Pitcher:                Nick Harris (6-2; 7.50 ERA)

Batting Champion –   Jose Ortiz, (.532 Avg.)

Batting Champion Runner-Up – Nick Harris – (.471 Avg.)

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New Award: 

HDL Presented a token of appreciation to Brandie Mitchell for leading the cooking of Post game hot dogs, chicken and burgers.

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Special Plaque Presentation

Special Recognition went to Bo McMinn for over 10 years of dedication and service to the HDL, especially his attention to getting the field ready for baseball every game day.

Special Recognition also was presented to out-going president, Robert Miller, for over 30 years of service and leadership to the Hernando DeSoto Baseball League. Robert has dedicated his time, finances and leadership to try to help the HDL grow and continue to be a vehicle for adult baseball players to continue their love of baseball during their adult life.  Robert plans to continue to mentor the new leadership over the HDL day-to-day operations and help wherever he is needed.

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New President and officers

In-case no one heard the voting results, the 2019-2020 HDL President is Bo McMinn.  Bo’s first responsibility is to establish a support team of committed associates who will agree to perform various administrative and operational duties required to help the HDL run efficient and effective throughout the baseball season.  Bo will announce his staff team when all roles and responsibilities have been confirmed. Several established players have been contacted and have agreed to fulfill their given functions.

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HDL CARDINALS and V-BROTHER A’s SHOW WHY THEY WERE THE BEST IN 2018

CARDINALS GAIN NARROW VICTORY ON VETERANS DAY:

Just like last year and many years before that, the HDL Championship game came down to the two best teams.  I stated this last year and it applies again this year.  The Cardinals and A’s had these qualities:  <> Grit & Grind <> Intensity <> Perspiration <> Inspiration <> Never say die <> Focus <> Competitive Fight <> Respect for each other <> Unity <> Pride, Personal and Team, but most of all – HEART.  If I left out something more obvious or more appropriate, please post your perception in a comment.

For this important game, the weather for the past 2 weeks had been uncooperative. On Sunday the HDL was blessed with dry conditions.  It started out chilly but once the Sun popped out, conditions became almost ideal. The biggest noise that sounded like thunder was the post game fireworks that Robert Miller exploded to celebrate the final results. Each team was happy to be playing baseball in this extended season.

The game started on-time at 10:00 AM. Home Team was the Cardinals since the Athletics were home team in round one where the Cardinals came from behind to win 8-6.

 

EARLY LEAD BY THE A’s

Gonzales Scores

The V-Brother A’s, came out firing on all cylinders when they posted 3 runs in the first and 3 runs in the 2nd inning to take an early 6-2 lead.  Travis Hill got his chance to be Starting Pitcher for the Cardinals.  In Travis’s previous Start against the Tigers he struggled and took the loss.  Against the A’s, Travis mixed up his pitches and did what he was supposed to do – get the A’s to hit Ground Balls. The only problem was some of the ground balls found holes for base hits or the Cardinals infielders were pressing and failed to get outs on the balls they fielded. Giving the A’s 5 outs in an inning is digging a deep hole for your offense to climb out of.

 

TRAVIS HILL FINDS HIS GROOVE

 

After the second inning, Travis and the Cardinals defense tightened up and shutdown the A’s scoring binge for the next 5 innings.  This allowed the veteran Cardinals hitters to work on A’s starting pitcher, Ben Eldred. Ben held the Cardinals to just 3 runs in the first 6 innings. Then in the 7th inning, the Cardinals put together some good AB’s and rallied to take the lead 7-6. One of the main reasons was the clutch hitting from Kevin High who had a triple and a double for the game.

With the score being close, it was obvious the Cardinals were wondering when it would be smart to insert their “Closer”, Nick Harris. But Travis was still throwing good. When Travis got the 1st two A’s batters in the 8th Inning “Out”, the Cards were down to their last 4 outs. But then the game got interesting. Travis had 2 strikes on Juan Polanco when an inside pitch hit Polanco. Then the very next batter, Carlos Varela, was hit by Travis Hill pitch to put the tying run in scoring position. A’s veteran outfielder, Johnny Gonzalez knock in the tying run before Travis got the third out of the inning.

 

GAME GETS TIGHT

 

In bottom of the 8th inning, Travis Hill led off the inning with a double down the left field line off of new A’s pitcher, Alex Vivas.  This brought up the hot hitting Kevin High who placed a soft liner inside the third base line to score Travis for the go-ahead run.

The Cardinals once again had a one-run lead. And once again, Travis Hill remained on the mound. With the Cardinals up 1 game to none, they knew if the A’s won this game they would need Nick to pitch the third game of the “Best 2 out of 3”, so they wanted Travis to go as long as he could.

The A’s were determined to find a way to win this critical game. The first 3 batters Travis faced, loaded the bases. Now the Cardinals had no choice but to make a move.  They brought in Nick.  Bases Loaded. No Outs.

The situation did not look good (for Cardinals).  Being the Home team, the Cardinals knew if they could minimize the damage, maybe their bats could recover in the bottom of the 9th.

The first batter that Nick Harris faced was Alex Vivas. Alex is known to be a good contact hitter with a .300 average. The Cardinals played their infielders “IN” for a possible play at the plate. With 2 strikes, Alex swung his bat and made solid contact. The hit immediately looked like it was destined to end up in the gap and clear the bases for the A’s. One problem, it was a line drive that was within reach of Travis Hill who had moved to Shortstop.  Travis speared the ball out of the air and quickly looked at 2nd base and saw that the base runner might beat the throw and give Ben Eldred, who was on third base, a chance to score the tying run. Travis surprised everyone when he pivoted 180 degrees and fired to Cory Morgan to double-off Ben at 3rd base.

 

WOW! WHAT AN EXCITING FINISH

 

 

Now all Nick Harris had to do was find a way to get one more out. The next batter, Oscar Zamudio was hitting almost .350 for the year and with his speed there would be a lot of pressure on the Cardinals defense to cover any ground ball.  Nick Harris and catcher, Judson Belote, called “Time” to discuss their pitching strategy against OscarNick executed his pitches perfectly and Oscar failed to make contact for the final out of the game.

 

GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP BY BOTH TEAMS IS COMMENDED

 

Game Over, Final Score 8-7, Season Over.  The Cardinals win the Play-off Series and end up with a record of 12 and 8.  The V-Brother A’s end the season with a 12 and 6 record with the fewest losses by any team in the HDL this season. The A’s had a fantastic season. But a lot of credit goes to the Cardinals for sticking together and playing without one of their best players, Patrick Belote, who was unable to finish the season due to an injury.  

 

This ends the 2018 HDL Baseball Season. A Post Season Awards Banquet is scheduled for Sunday, November 18th, 4:00 PM at the Butcher Shop. Please make plans to attend this special event.

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