The 2015 Bay Area Vintage Baseball Season is heading into the homestretch. With a break over the 4th of July weekend, it’s time to update Cranks on how the season is unfolding.
The San Francisco Pacifics
The reigning champion San Francisco Pacifics recently moved into first place. The Pacifics have relied on teamwork, team spirit, and fundamentals to play consistently all year. Under captain Sage “Buttercup Bray and with veteran leaders like Charles “Cha-Cha” Ackerley, Sean “Spikes” Lawrence and Curtis “Gent” Seymour, it is not a surprise that the Pacs are in the vanguard. That the Pacs have conceded the fewest runs of any team speaks to the excellence of their defense, led by shortstop Justin “Grinder” Teisl and play anywhere/everywhere stalwart, Lester “Shoestring” Lee. Add to that the steady hurling of Eric “Jumbo” Petitt and that of the bespectacled rookie, Will “Cleveland” Hartmann - not to mention the solid Behind played all year, despite the long backstop of Big Rec- by Peter “Bones” McAfee; and it is clear why the Pacs are winning ball games. The middle of the order- Evan “Woodchuck” Meagher and Terry “Doc” Renaud - have been generating runs; and the Pacs have benefited from the off-season acquisition of the former Clarion and star centerfielder, Brian “Bolt” Faudree. “Bolt” has stepped in seamlessly to replace injured centerfielder and commissioner, Matt “Ranger” Petty. Now that “Ranger” is back from injury, look for the Pacifics to make a strong sprint to the finish, and expect to see them at the BAVBB cup August 15th and 16th.
The Haywards Journals
The Haywards Journals led the league until a recent pair of setbacks, but it would be a mistake to write them off. Led by Captain Jaime “Junior” Ramirez and coach Jose “Tomahawk” Corral, the Journals tore through the first half of the season. New addition Nick “Pebbles” Montoya has been a revelation in the hurler's box, in the field, and at the plate. Nick “Heels” Jeffrey picked up where he left off last year, stroking balls around the park and fielding flawlessly; Ruben “Breeze” Riguero has displayed exceptionally soft hands at first base; and what more can be written about the Morales boys? Berto “Rocky” Morales at shortstop and in the hurler's box, Alex “Padre” Morales behind the plate and in the hurler's box, and Big Berto “Pops” Morales in the hurler's box and in the infield- it’s almost like they grew up playing together! Hector “Catch” Del Rio has stepped up his game at the plate this year, and Emilo “Hops” Pagan continues to deny hits in centerfield. Stay tuned because the Journals are in it to win it in 2015.
The Oakland Colonels
The Oakland Colonels added to their squad in the off-season and are challenging for the title. Captain Matt “Chops” Siee has managed his side into a tie for second place and in no small part due to his excellent and prolific hurling. Jason “Tools” Rich has also hurled solid games; and along with Ben “Professor” Texiera, the Colonels possess an excellent ‘pen of hurlers. Of course, the staff is handled by the lefty striker and intimidating Behind, Luis “Mule” Argueta. On the field and in the trenches, you want him on your side. Michael “Cadaver” Sanchez has been hot at the plate, regularly driving balls into left field. Other Colonels stars are the rookies, Clay “Shooter” Ciccareiello, who has solidified the outfield with steady play in center; and Jabar “Stretch” Milton. “Stretch” has inspired the Colonels with his ginger, heart, and team attitude. He exemplifies how the Colonels’ team spirit has carried them within one game of first place.
The Dublin Aces
The relocated Dublin Aces (formerly of Fremont) occupy the last playoff place. Captain Chris “Snakecharmer” Jenson has maintained the Aces’ excellence despite personnel changes; in particular losing in the off-season, hurler and last season’s home run champ, Bryan “BB” Bayham; and now, Landon “Lucky” Ott, erstwhile hurler and all-around ballist. Stepping into the void, however, is Cory “Pup” Gazay, son of BAVBB founder Steve “Cappy” Gazay. “Pup” is leading the Aces from the Hurler’s box and at the plate. He is striking the ball at an amazing .800 rate. Casey “Fingers” Hammonds and “Snakecharmer” round out the hurling rotation; you won’t find a better bullpen anywhere in the bay area, nor more lefties. Robbie “Spanky” Sullivan has filled in excellently for Matthew “Coop” Cooper as the Behind, and veteran Dan “Dipper” Smith has improved his fielding at second and has provided key strikes from the left side of the plate. The new players to look out for are Wes “Dirty” Sandoval at the top of the order and in the outfield; Travis Setterbo, who hits well and has sure hands as the third keeper; and Ryan “Lumber” Smith- if you see him in the strikers’ box, tell the outfielders to take a few steps back. The Aces and BAVBB wish Landon “Lucky” Ott all the best in Albany, NY; we expect “Lucky” to start or join a vintage league so that we may coordinate a trip back east to promote our game.
Part two next,
Your humble scribe,