Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

VOTE FOR SALTAIRE ALL TIME ALL STAR SOFTBALL PLAYERS

Saltaire All-Star Voting
NOMINEES FOR SALTAIRE SOFTBALL ALL TIME ALL-STAR TEAMS



VOTE NOW BY E MAIL TO:


SALTAIRESPORTS@AOL.com





A BRIEF HISTORY OF SALTAIRE SOFTBALL

by Jim O'Hare and Jon Lyon
copyright 2008



"
Saltaire is known for its great softball league in the summer."
---
Wikipedia




For generations, softball has been one of the main sporting attractions in the Village of
Saltaire.

From the 1940’s and 1950s, with great weekend contests with such names as “Marine Walk v. The World,” and “
DEKES v. the World, “ through almost ten years of softball games between Saltaire Teenagers and Ocean Beach Teams, to the creation, in the early 1970s, of the Saltaire Softball League, all the way through 2008 with the expansion of the League to admit the Outsiders and the Rip Tide, softball has been a major sporting attraction for players and spectators alike. Through all these years, the games at Wright Memorial field and grandstands have been center for some of the most long-standing and exciting Saltaire traditions and rivalries.



We have no direct records of softball before the late 1940s. The venue, simply called “The Field” has always been pretty much the same size as today except there was more room north of the right field foul line before the fire house expanded in the 1970's. The Field was enclosed by a chicken wire fence. Until the late 1940s in the early 1950s the outer perimeter of the field consisted of a cinder track, making running in barefoot a painful experience. Gradually the cinder was covered or sank into the sand; it was finally eliminated with landscaping renovations in the 1970’s. There was dense brush where the playground is now until it was cleared and sand was pumped in in 1954. That made for a lot more lost balls because anything fouled off to the left side across Neptune Walk wound up deep in a thicket of poison ivy and blueberry bushes.

Home plate was always in the northeast corner, but a laid out dirt diamond was not introduced until well into the 1970’s .

Before the present day basketball courts were constructed, there were three basketball backboards in the ball field. One was along the right-field line, and there were back-to-back boards in right center field. The portable backstop came some time in the early 1970's, and at some point (we need some help here, pals) the right field fence was raised? While the backstop certainly has saved many a ball from getting lost in never never land it also prevents a catcher's ability to make a sliding catch of those pop-ups. Jon Lyon: "I always loved these opportunities when I was catching. I remember well Mike Kuracheck taking special batting practice to line balls over the lower right field porch."

In the 1940s and 1950s, weekend games were the rule, often pickup games with informal and varying rosters and teams. No running statistics were known to be maintained. Teams informally developed over themes or locale: “Marine Walk v. The World” games pitted players from Marine Walk against all comers. There were some “
DEKES v. World” contests. There must have been a lot of guys from college fraternities in those days to man the “DEKES.” Sometimes such theme games were preceded by parades, with banners and noise makers.


Through the organizational skills of Athletic Director Pete
Kurachek http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=metaphors in the late 1950’s inter community games were scheduled between teenage teams from Saltaire, Ocean Beach, and Point of Woods. Those Saltaire-OB-POW games developed into series that became the main focus of interest in Saltaire Softball in the 1960s.

This started two new trends:

First: the 1940’s and 1950’s teams had been made up of “grownups,”

http://saltaire38.blogspot.com/search?q=touch and they were
strictly weekend affairs. The 1960’s teams were made up of Saltaire teenagers and they were played during the week while all the “Daddies” were back in the city. The 1960's teams were made up of kids who grew up in Saltaire under the aggressive coaching of Uncle Pete Kurachek, and they they were now teenagers working at summer jobs in the Village as counselors for Uncle Pete, or at the Market, or on the Ferries.

Secondly, those
Saltaire-OB-POW series also started the trend toward regularly scheduled games with regular rosters, which would develop into a formal intramural league by the early 1970's.

These two trends: kids growing up developing their own teams, and organized teams with regularly scheduled games, were the genesis for the need, by the late 1960’s, for an organized league within
Saltaire itself.

Games on continued on an informal basis on weekends of the 1960s, but the main attraction of
Saltaire softball through most of the 1960s were the weekday evening contests between the Saltaire teenagers and lifeguard teams from Ocean Beach, captained by Dana Wallace. Lacking a field of their own, all of the Saltaire-Ocean Beach games were played at Saltaire. Throughout the 1960’s the OB-Saltaire games gains were always intense and competitive. The grandstands would be packed. Additionally, a couple games would be played each summer against Point of Woods, one home and one away. The Point of Woods field was a large open field with no fences. Compared to the confines of the Saltaire Field, the POW outfield seemed like an endless meadow. In the 1960’s Saltaire played several games against powerful Fair Harbor Teams led by Barry Wetherall and Billy Newman.


By the late 1960s, growth of interest in softball pickup games began causing conflicts on weekends, with several informal teams sometimes vying for space in the same field at the same time. Over a period of several years, there was talk of forming a weekend league, if for no other reason than to avoid conflicts over field time. Talks about a league were thrashed about by Dick Starkey, Noel
Feustel, Jim O’Hare and the late Tom Lyon.



In the late 1960's pre-league Sunday evening games did include many "Daddies" who either worked for the Village (Beckel, Braddish) or others who probably took the Monday 6 A.M. Death Boat. We don't know who dubbed the Jon Lyon/Danny Weinlandt Team "Danny's Boys, "and they wer never known by that name, but it has been noted on the historical plaque. This team that played in the Sunday evening games in the late 60's against a team who became the Men. There were really only two teams in the "majors" at that time. "The Men" consisted of the likes of Mel Beckel, Kevin Braddish, Bert Pogrebin, Bruce Simon, Hill Farber, Dick Starkey. Can't remember if big Mike McA and Judge Latham were part of this team, or if they came alive with the Wrecks.

The Men played the Boys who consisted of hurler Danny Weinlandt (hence, I guess Danny's Boys), Jon Lyon Dennis and Phil Keane, Allen Aherne, and at various times any of the three Cunningham boys, John Standard, Johnny Glascock, Paul McGarrity (of Kismet bar fame), and Noel the Feustel. Noel, eventually dubbing the rest of us too serious about winning, started the Z Team, which eventually became the Dogfish. The Boys begat the A Team.

Although news releases for the formation went out in 1971
Get out and playball,The first organized league schedule was in 1973.1973-saltaire-softball-league-schedule

The teams in 1973 were:
The As
The Zs
The Teens
The Oedipus Wrecks
The Men




For the first time, organized scores, standings, and championships were awarded. Since then, the league has constantly grown in competitiveness and size. The league has been in existence so long now that there are many people playing today who were not yet born when the league was formed. Fewer can recall the great names of the 1950’s.

Saltaire38.blogspot.com has assiduously interviewed veterans of all eras, and is pleased to announce its nominees for the all-time All-Stars on from
Saltaire from the 1940s up through the present.


AND THE NOMINEES ARE:


1940-1959:

  • Sid Greer
  • Art Mol
  • Charlie Ludlow
  • Paul Connelly Jr.
  • Bruce Banta
  • Dave Eisele
  • Jack Thorp
  • Bill Weinlandt
  • Ed Weinlandt
  • Bob Marks
  • Bob Wright
  • Robin Wright
  • Mike Fitzgerald
  • Pete Banta
  • Kenny O'Hare
  • James Connolly
  • Tom Connolly
  • Doug Wright
  • John Conolly
  • Squirt Aherne
  • CarberyO'Shea, Jr.
  • Joe Callahan
  • Pete Callahan



From 1960-1969


Ronnie
Swedborg
Danny
Weinlandt
  • Pete Kurackeck Jr.
  • Allen Aherne
  • Kenny Torrey
  • Kenny O’Hare
  • Eugene Piper
  • Billy Ervin
  • Johnny Glascock
  • Jim O’Hare
  • Dennis Keane
  • Tom Connolly Jr.
  • James Connolly
  • John Connolly
  • Doug Wright
  • Carberry O’Shea Jr.
  • Paul Wilson
  • Rhett Sturman
  • Squirt Aherne
  • Mike Fitzgerald
  • Stick O’Brien
  • Bob McGuinn
  • Robin Wright






BONUS: The Awesome Invaders of the 1960’s. NO VOTING NEEDED:

Barry
Wetherall (FH)
Billy Newman (
FH)
Dana Wallace (O.B.)



The 1970’s and 1980’s:
  • Bobby "Turtle" Cerveny
  • Mark Heller
  • Noel Feustel
  • Dick Latham
  • Chris Boyman
  • Michael Bernstein
  • John Zaccaro Sr.
  • Rudy Schott
  • Kevin Braddish
  • Mel Beckel
  • Kevin Cunningham
  • Chris Wright
  • Charley Shaw
  • Dan Klagsbrun
  • Jonathan “Herc” Maier
  • Jon Lyon
  • Terry "Tubes" McGowan
  • Mike McAllsiter Sr.
  • John Standard
  • Hillay Farber
  • Tim Scanlan
  • Robin Wright
  • Danny Weinlandt
  • Allen Aherne
  • Dennis Keane
  • Hank Bjorklund
  • John Starkey
  • Jeff Heller
  • Todd Wright
  • Bill Cunningham


1990-present:
  • Tom "I" Sconzo
  • Jon Metzler
  • Brian Bier
  • Harold Weinzweig
  • Andy McAllister
  • Ken "OI" Savelson
  • Matt Newman
  • John "Zuke"Zaccaro Jr.
  • Ronnie Rudzin
  • Lisa Jacobson
  • Pete Starkey
  • Paul Kahn
  • Chris Clarkin
  • Dougie Rosabella
  • Andy Lipsitz
  • Peter Hull
  • Andy Macs
  • Andy Sosa
  • Teddy Nagangast
  • Steve Carroll
  • Steve Mathis
  • NickyDolan
  • Jeremy Mindich
  • Mark Valente
  • Matt Sirovich
  • Adam Kupersmith
  • John Goldberg
  • Dave Mederrick
  • Danny Rappaport
  • Jeff Heller
  • Todd Wright
  • Ben Berman
  • Sam Mathias
  • Jon Cucci
  • Chris Wright
  • Robin Wright



SPECIAL HONORARY VOTES

SPECIAL VOTE: WRITE IN YOUR VOTES FOR "BEST NICKNAME" FOR ANY BALL PLAYER WHO EVER PLAYED IN LEAGUE, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ON ONE OF THE ABOVE LISTS











SPECIAL VOTE: WRITE IN YOUR VOTE FOR "LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT" AWARDS FOR ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SALTAIRE SOFTBALL IN ANY WAY WHO HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT AND LONG LASTING CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SALTAIRE SOFTBALL SCENE.




VOTING PROCEDURES


THERE WILL BE FOUR TEAMS SELECTED: ONE FOR EACH OF THE ERAS.


VOTE FOR ANY TEN CHOICES YOUR CHOICES MAY COME FROM ANY ERA OR ERAS.

WEIGHTED VOTING:



SOME PLAYERS PLAYED IN TWO OR MORE ERAS. YOU MAY VOTE FOR THE SAME PERSON IN DIFFERENT ERAS. IN THAT CASE, YOU WILL GET AN EXTRA VOTE FOR EACH TIME YOU VOTE A PERSON IN A SECOND OR THIRD ERA.




EXTRA WEIGHT WILL BE GIVEN FOR ANY VOTE THAT IS ACCOMPANIED BY A DESCRIPTION OF WHY SUCH PLAYER IS DESERVING ENSHRINEMENT. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE POSTED. IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, PLEASE SO INDICATE.



This is how you vote:

By simple E mail. Send us your choices.

This is where you vote:







1) CUT AND PASTE THIS ADDRESS INTO YOUR E MAIL: SALTAIRESPORTS@AOL.COM

2) type in all your choices




3) E MAIL IT OUT


THEN PASS THE WORD AND FORWARD OUR WEBSITE TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW:

WWW.SALTAIRE38.BLOGSPOT.COM





GOOD LUCK AND THANK YOU FOR VOTING


DERF FONTANALS
JIM O'HARE

EDITORS



WE REPORT YOU DECIDE

SALTAIRE38.BLOGSPOT.COM

3 comments:

cosmo said...

I'll have nothing more to do with this voting. 90 percent of the players you have listed for the 1990's are schlock players compared to Bilbo Goldsmith!

Anonymous said...

MARK VALENTE = GOD
Bilbo is a hobbit

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