Archive for the ‘ MSBL ’ Category

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.


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:

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


Hall of Fame Inductees


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


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.



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


 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



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.)


New Award

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


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.


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.


2018 HDL AWARDS BANQUET AND Hall of Fame Induction

Make your plans to attend the 39th Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Player Awards Banquet – TODAY.


DATE:             SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2018

TIME:             4:00 PM TO 7:00 PM


                                    107 S. Germantown Pkwy at Agricenter


                        FOR ANY FOOD OR EXTRA DRINKS ORDERED


               FIRST COME – FIRST SERVE




If anyone has any questions, please contact Larry Rutledge or any of the current Officers or Team Managers.

The HDL Version of Wild Card Rounds


MLB has their Wild Card Play-in games that match teams with identical records or records that are close enough to be considered “good enough.”

Interesting that 2 of the HDL 4 team were also named MLB teams playing HDL “Wild Card” games. (A’s and Dodgers) So what does that have to do with the price of corn in Iowa – NOT a DAMN Thing! 

The HDL A’s handled the HDL Dodgers in 2 games. (Best 2 of 3 series). The Dodgers had their best shot at beating the A’s during week One when the Dodgers held a 4-3 lead going into the 8th inning. We all know what happened. The A’s rallied to win the game 5-4.

So last Sunday’s Game 2 match-up was either going to be another nail-bitter or a game of “no mercy” for the Dodgers.  And that is what it was.  The A’s victory in Game 1 carried over in Game 2.  The A’s felt “no pressure” and they were allowed to just play the game, because, to them, it was NOT Do or Die! 

However, the Dodgers have been playing like every game was “Do or Die” all year long. As hard as they tried, it seems like they were always fighting an Up-Hill battle.  Don’t get me wrong, during the regular season the Dodgers had their share of “Beat down” games. Like Week 2 when they beat the Tigers 8-3. And in Week 6 when they trounced the Cardinals 8-1, then a week later they upset the A’s 9-8, a game that showed they had the players to match-up with anyone. 

V-Brother A’s 8 – Lomax Dodgers 2

The A’s were the visiting team and quickly scored on Ceasar Cabrera’s double to right center to score Ben Eldred, who got the first hit of the game for the A’s.

For the next 2 innings the Dodgers were kept off balance with Ben Eldred’s assortment of pitches. At the same time. Brandon Poyner, Dodgers Pitcher was holding the A’s hitters in-check. The Dodgers tied the score in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Mike Morris singled and scored to tie the game on Jason Nilsen’s double to left center.  In the 3rd inning, the HDL  Dodgers had the bases loaded and looked like they might blow the game wide open. But back-to-back Strikeouts by Brandon Poyner and Cesar Roman extinguished any possible rally.

The game was still tied going into the top of the 5th when Oscar Zamudio Walked. Orville Neville bunted Oscar to 2nd.  That brought Manuel Polanco to the plate who drove in Oscar with a slap single down the first base line. Freddie Henriquez doubled-in Polanco to make the score 3-1.

The A’s made the score 4-1 in the 6th inning on an error by the Dodger 2nd baseman. When the Dodgers scored a run in the 6th inning to make the score 4-2, that was the end of their scoring.  The A’s scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th inning and that pretty much closed the door on the Dodgers disappointing season.  But even with the loss.  The Dodgers players were looking forward to next season and the chance to learn from their 2018 baseball experience.



Cardinals 11 – Tigers 4

In Week One these two teams met in game 1 and the Tigers took advantage of the Cardinals who were without 2 critical players from their line-up, Patrick and Judson Belote.  Both players were in the line-up on Sunday. While Judson was hit-less, Patrick Belote was on-base 5 times and scored 3 runs. 

With Nick Harris on the Mound for this crucial game, Nick went 8 innings holding the Tigers to 4 runs and scattered 8 hits in going the distance. For the Cardinals, offensively, every hitter in their line-up had at least 1 hit except Judson Belote and Chris Pigues. Kevin High had a strong outing playing 1st base and was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Cory Morgan was solid with his 2 for 4 batting, 2 runs scored and an RBI.

For the Prudential Tigers, Juan Jose Castillo was impressive with 10 Strikeouts and only 3 walks. However, when the Cardinals hot hitters were able to make contact with Castillo’s pitches, twelve batters were able to hit their way on-base.  The Tigers batters had their only productive inning in the 3rd inning when 8 batters came to the plate.  The parade started when Kurt Adkison singled, Steve Mitchel popped up, then Jodie Wolfe and Jose Ortiz singled back-to-back. Juan Castillo was hit by a pitch. With bases loaded, Jake Hatchett banged a double to the outfield and made the score 6-4.  At this point the game could have gone either way,

For the remainder of the game Nick Harris and the Cardinals Defense shut down the Tigers while the Cardinal Hitters scored runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings to make the final score 11-4.  


Game 3 between the Cardinals and Tigers will be played Sunday morning. Game time is 10:00 AM. Since the game will be the only HDL game played, Game will be scheduled for 9 innings. The Winner will take on the V-Brother Athletics the following Sunday, October 14th at 10:00 AM.  See everyone on Sunday.

Votes Cast for Annual Awards and New Officers

Best Participation Ever!


Every year the HDL encourages HDL players to cast their choices for Gold Glove Award winners and Most Valuable Players. In years past player participation is sometimes disappointing.  This year, thanks to strong leadership from Team Managers, the voting forms were completed and turned in.  Since the HDL will be continuing during the Play-offs for next 3 to 4 weeks, there is still time for any players who are still filling out their forms or were not at HDL games last Sunday, to turn in their Ballots to make this the best year ever.

Also on the Ballot was the selections for HDL President beginning in 2019 and ending in 2020.



Sample Form




The HDL Hall Of Fame Committee has met and discussed possible dates for this year’s Awards Banquet. After checking with the Butcher Shop, we discovered the dates we preferred were already reserved by other groups. So at this time we do not have a definite date for the banquet. One possibility is we will have to wait until January to schedule the banquet.

We are not giving up on working out a date in November or early December.  But at this time we will be lucky to find a date at the Butcher Shop.  If someone knows a different location that can accommodate our organization, please make a suggestion.


Until later, keep your fingers crossed.
















2018 Hitting & Pitching Statistics

Just in time for voting!

Here is the latest Hitting and Pitching statistics that players can use to determine best player for MVP and Gold Glove awards.

Ballot Voting sheets will be distributed on Sunday September 23rd. Bookmark this link to help you rank your selections.


This is What it’s All About!

Opening Round Madness Last Sunday

As anticipated, all 4 HDL teams were ready to play (with who they had). No team conceded anything to their opponent.  Each game was shaped by each pitch that was delivered. The outcome of each pitch created baseball drama as all team members watched or reacted as the defensive players decided how to properly counter attack their opponents efforts to score runs. The athletes of each team were challenged to make “plays”, both offensively and defensively.

Early Game Highlights:


The Thompson Truck Center Cardinals, the number 2 seed, was home team against the Prudential Tigers, the HDL No. 3 seed.  Inning by inning each team had to work hard to minimize the number of the other teams batters would get a chance to “hit” during each inning. The more batters the other team’s pitchers had to face would affect the number of potential runs that could score.  Both teams restricted their batting line-up to 9 hitters to maximize their opportunities for their best hitters.  For the Cardinals, nine hitters was all they had because 2 or 3  important players were unavailable (Judson Belote, Brian Menendez, Patrick Belote).

The Prudential Tigers had the luxury of extra players to swap out and be a courtesy runner. With the Tigers being the “visitor” they sent 8 batters to the plate to face Travis Hill in the top of the 1st. After 3 runs had scored and with the bases loaded with one out, Travis Hill snagged a ground ball from Kurt Adkison and turned it into a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning. Tigers up 3 runs.

In the bottom of the 1st, Carlos Canelo walked and Nick Harris hit a bomb to the left field fence to score Canelo. Nick’s double hit the fence in almost the same location as Juan-Jose Castillo hit landed in the 1st inning. After Travis walked, Kevin High kept the inning alive with a base hit. With Nick Harris on 3rd, Nick scored on Cory Morgan’s sacrifice fly ball to center field.  After one inning, Tigers 3 – Cards 2.

With Juan Castillo on the mound for the Tigers, the Cardinals knew they had to make solid contact on his fast ball and curve to force the Tigers defense to try to make outs. After the 3rd inning, Castillo found his groove and the Cardinals scoring opportunities became less and less. Meanwhile, the Tigers offense forced the Cardinals to make a switch and move Nick Harris to the mound. The Cardinals were only trailing the Tigers by score of 6-5 when the Tigers batted around in the 4th inning and take a 10-5 lead. From that point on the game was in the hands of Juan Castillo, even though Nick Harris settled down and only game up a single in the 6th.

Final Score was 11-5.  Both teams will face each other again on Sunday where Cardinals hope their missing teammates will be able to battle the Tigers to help force a 3rd and deciding best 2 out of 3 and advance to the Finals.

Late Game Highlights:

V-Brothers Athletics 5 – Lomax Dodgers 4

By far this was the “game of the day,” if not, the “game of the season” (So far).

The Dodgers all year long have been searching for that special day when all their collective baseball talents will shine. The Dodgers have as many experienced players as any team in the HDL, but for whatever reason, they have had more disappointments than celebrations during the regular season. For players who have followed the HDL over many seasons, they know the post-season play-off games are a legitimate chance to turnaround the heartbreaks of a rough year.  It has happened many times where a team that struggled the entire year and suffered through many head-scratching losses will suddenly find that “magic” that turns around their baseball fate. Last Sunday was so-close for the Dodgers. Yet in the end, the “Never-say-die” Athletics found a way to spoil the Dodgers outstanding effort to come out on top.

The tone of the game between the A’s and Dodgers was set in the first inning. The A’s starting Pitcher, Alex Vivas, entered this game with a 5-1 record and over 42 innings pitched during the regular season.  Alex has had an outstanding season and proved he is one of the most reliable pitchers in the HDL. Alex set down the Dodgers 1-2-3. But just as good, Brandon Poyner, matched Vivas with 3 straight outs in the bottom of the 1st.

In the top of the 2nd inning the Dodgers manufactured a run when Derek Caraway singled, Larry Hunsucker singled and Jason Mayrena knocked in Derek to take an early 1-0 lead for the Dodgers.  In the bottom of the 2nd, Poyner shut down the A’s 1-2-3.

In top of the 3rd, Vivas only faced 3 hitters and held the score to 1-0 until the bottom of the 3rd when the A’s bottom of the order came alive with a triple by Oscar Zamudio and an RBI single from Manuel Polanco. Now the score was tied.

Neither team scored in the 4th inning. In the 5th inning the Dodgers put together a solid inning with a lead-off walk by Larry Hunsucker and Jason Mayrena who advanced to 2nd & 3rd by David Calhoun’s sacrifice bunt. When Jason Nilson singled, Hunsucker made the score 2-1 in favor of Dodgers. In the bottom of the 5th inning the Athletics scored 2 runs when Carlos Bello and Ben Eldred had back-to-back RBI hits.  This gave the A’s a 3-2 lead. This also forced Dodgers Manager, John DiGiacomo, to bring in veteran Wes Hill to slow down the A’s. For the rest of the 5th inning, 6th inning and 7th inning, Wes Hill was “Vintage Wes“.

In  the top of the 6th, after Brandon Poyner, Cesar Roman and Derek Caraway hit the ball had off of Vivas and took the lead 4-3, Manager Carlos Varela brought in hard throwing Carlos Bello to face Hunsucker and stop the rally.  during the 7th and 8th innings both teams played outstanding baseball.  The tension in the bottom of the 8th inning, with Dodgers hanging on to a 4-3 lead, was high. Every pitch was critical.  Wes Hill battled the heat and the A’s hitters with all he had. After Alex Vivas base hit allowed Polanco and Freddy to score and give the A’s a 5-4 lead, the “clock” was the only thing keeping the Dodgers alive. With less than a minute left on the game clock when the bottom of the 8th inning ended, the Dodgers were granted their bat in the top of the 9th.  Even though the Dodgers put 2 runners on base, the pitching by Carlos Bello was too much for the Dodgers to overcome.

Final Score: A’s 5 – Dodgers 4


Next Weeks Schedule:

9:00 AM – Athletics (1-0) vs Dodgers (0-1)

12:00 –  Cardinals (0-1) vs Tigers (1-0)


Manatee League Baseball Article – Re-Posted from 2013

This Post was found on David Montgomery’s Father’s Baseball League in Tampa, FL.  Please read and think about the parts that apply to the HDL.

Our Perspective:


We believe that there are at least 2 types of baseball programs.  One is a CLUB program (which we MOST DEFINITELY aspire to be). The other is a COMPETITION programs; which we are NOT and do not pretend to be.


As a baseball program, we are MOST IMPORTANTLY “friends” who love the game and want to take the field with friends who love that game as we play the game. We do NOT have false expectations about how good we are, or how good we can become or anywhere that baseball will take us. For almost all of us, those days are long gone forever and the game exists to serve our friendships. 

There are those who say that this is not “real” baseball, but as any serious student of the game can tell you, the adult game originated among friends to enjoy their friendships and get exercise.  “Blood and Guts” baseball only evolved from big egos and greed.  For us, the biggest “error” we can make on the field is to do something that insults our friends, or demeans our friends, or impairs their enjoyment of the game.


That is not to say that there is not a place for COMPETITION baseball where the quality of play is the highest priority (which is not the same as “blood and guts” baseball which should be reserved, if at all, for professional baseball). It is just that “that“ place is NOT “our” place!


Our players should not “goof off” on the baseball field.  They should have enough respect for the game and their fellow club members to take it “seriously, although not TOO seriously”. Those players with “keener” competitive instinct” need to respect the fact that not all players play for the same reason.  We ask that OUR/HDL players not only respect those differences, but also REVELLE IN THOSE DIFFERENCES and learn from those differences.


If any of our (Manatee) players find that they cannot enjoy these differences, then if, before our next game (and before we start games that effect league standings for which rosters should be as “final” as we can make them), we receive an e-mail (or text message) requesting a refund of their registration deposit, then we will refund their deposit less any outstanding charges. If this is you, then please do yourself AND the rest of us a favor and withdraw from the league. There are other local leagues which have the “Competitive Perspective”. Do not let it reach the point where we have to take disciplinary action which requires a lot of “soul-searching” and is NO FUN for any of us.


I hope everyone takes this article to heart and thinks about your own personal perspective on your intentions to be a part of HDL Baseball. Players should look at the long-term benefits of being part of a great organization that has everyone’s best interests as our top priority.


The HDL Code of Conduct:




Larry Rutledge

Larry Rutledge – Where have you been?

After 6 months of baseball regular season games, I finally am sitting down to attempt to write a blog to cover a much overdue explanation of my unusual HDL season. Many of our veterans who have enjoyed HDL weekly game updates and informative articles in the past about the season remember how engaged I was in the HDL. (for new players, “I” = Larry Rutledge,  I am the guy you see at the park taking photos and doing things to help the weekly games run smooth.)

First of all I want to explain why this year I slowly stopped participating as an active team member. This is hard for me to explain, because it’s complicated.  The main reason is my age. While I don’t feel 70 years old, in my mind that number (70) has had a dramatic impact on my psychological attitude about actually being that old and still thinking I can be on the same field with players who are 10, 20 or 30 years younger.

I have played this game for so long that I continue to expect my reflexes to do what they have always done, automatically, and at the same speed and quickness that I have (or thought I) possessed in the past. But after a few early season ground balls or pop-ups during the start of the season, I realized I either needed a lot of practice, or “take 2 weeks off and quit.”

Through all of these life changing signs I discounted the fact that in December (2017) I had: a minor stroke; I was taking pills for blood pressure and seeing a heart doctors about 2-3 times a month.  So I physically started ratcheting down my baseball activities.

Another early spring distraction from the HDL was following my grandson during his high school baseball season.  Watching him perform became my number one priority, for which I have no regrets.  Add in a high demand from my professional responsibilities at Christian Brothers University, TSSAA and NCAA umpiring assignments, I found very little time to participate actively in the HDL.

During this limited time to be involved in the HDL, it caused me to become depressed.  I was mainly depressed with my lack of ability to contribute to the HDL, other than managing the Blog to post important schedule updates. So, that is what I wanted everyone to know and understand.

So where am I now and what can HDL members expect from me in the future? I am not sure.  Sitting down and sharing this is a big step to re-connecting to everyone who encourages me to be a part of the HDL. Time permitting, I will try to do more Blog articles and posts that help everyone know what is going on during the post season play-offs and award nominations and Officer elections.

I want to thank everyone for their support and continued friendship. The HDL is a great venue for building long lasting relationships.

Yours Truly, Larry Rutledge, HDL President Emeritus

Hall of Fame Member Gordie Kastner Passes

The HDL and everyone who knew Gordie Kastner has lost a legend and a tremendous human being. Services for Gorgie Kastner will be held this evening at Memphis Funeral Home on Poplar with Mass and Burial services tomorrow.

God Bless Gordie Kastner, may his soul rest in peace.

Where is everybody?????


The HDL depends on baseball players who want to play ball. We depend on players to show their intentions to play by showing up in March. Maybe March is too early to even think about baseball, even though, Major League Baseball will start the season in 3 weeks.  High schools and colleges have been playing baseball for almost 3 weeks and their schedule of games is growing everyday. Of course, the weather has been changing everyday. Just when fields dry out, it rains (or snows) again. Temperatures are also unpredictable. Not every day is 70 degrees.

Player Annual Changes

Each year players are experiencing different phases of life’s evolution. We get a year older, our families grow and related responsibilities put added pressure on the male members of a family to decide if they can continue being involved with playing baseball. No matter how much the player loves the game, they have to consider their responsibilities to their wife and children. The off season is when we give these circumstances serious thought.  The final decision comes down to how much we talk about what can be worked out to give and take with our spouses (or partners) to be away, one (or sometimes) two days a week, to play baseball for 2-1/2 to 3 hours each game day.  During that time away from home, certain natural events require the players partner to agree to handle the challenges or problems that one person can handle.  These family challenges work much easier when two people are available.


No doubt, a strong, supportive partner, in a family situation is the most valuable asset an HDL player can have. If you have this worked out or are in the process of working out the details to free up your baseball hobby, we wish you luck and hope it gets resolved soon.  The HDL is waiting on you – whoever you are. If you are single or unattached, then what is your excuse?  We would love to hear from you. You must be in great shape and are ready to start playing as soon as the HDL puts out a roster.

Players we have not seen or heard from:

Pardon me if your name is on this list and you have contacts an HDL Officer or another HDL Player that you are going to play during the 2018 HDL season. Juan Blanco? Ben Eldred? Johnny Gonzalez? John McPhail? Jason Nilsen? Kevin Nilsen? James Skinner? Jodi Wolfe? Brandon Anderson? Steve Eordogh? PW Burnett? Bret Delk? Adam Harrell? Kevin High? Lowell Hindt? Johnny Houghton? Mike Morris? Jose Navarro? Patrick Belote? Greg Bacchus? Paul Baioni? Carlos Canelo? Juan Castillo? Tony Lomax? Jason Mayrena? Quintell Myers? Lee Nixon? Jose Ortiz? Cesar Roman? Nick Harris? Jose Familia? Wes Hill? Kevin Latham? Carlos Medina? Ramon Moreta? Cory Morgan? Carlos Pargas? Carlos Varela? Alex Vivas? Oscar Zamudio?

Players who have made practice or made their playing intentions known:  Larry Hunsucker, Derek Caraway, Judson Belote, Travis Hill, Tim Wallenstrom, Jake Hatchett, Brandon Poyner (New), 4 or 5 other NEW players.

Are You In?

So as you can see, we are a long way away from enough players to form even a 2 team league. I hope this will get to those on the “Have Not Heard From List” to make contact, in-person, via text message, email, or comment on this Blog page, letting the officers know you can be counted on to be included in the team draft due to be completed by March 25th. If this critical date can be met, we would take April 1st off for Easter and come back on April 8th to start official game schedule.

Have a Great Week – See you soon!

Larry Rutledge, HDL President Emeritus





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