Off-Season Updates

2019 South Oakland Ducks

We’re coming up on our sixteenth season. Last year we finished in third place after a deep playoff run that came up short. South Oakland fared well in the Capital City Classic last October, finishing with a record of 2-2, after advancing to the semis where we lost 17-14 to Steve’s Sports, basically the Cleveland equivalent of St. John’s. In his last game as a Duck, DJ Dover went 4-5, 3R HR, 2B, 5RBI. In what was a microcosm of Dover’s time in South Oakland, we hit well enough to win, and ran out of pitching. Tony Casale and Tom Pulice also hit doubles in the game and played well over the weekend. Cody Quinn pitched five scoreless innings on the first day of the tournament to help us advance. It was fun.

Our offseason started with losing the 2017 MVP

Dover showed up every game ready to play. He drove from Erie the last 2 seasons. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve come to value dependability as much as talent. There’s nothing worse than scrambling for guys the day before a game. Having a core group who can make almost all of the games, and at least give me a heads up in advance if they’re going to miss a game makes a huge difference. When the most dependable guys are also some of your best players, it’s even better. Thank you, DJ.

The offseason continued with Ducks catcher, Tom Pulice, winning the 2018 MVP Award. Congrats, Tom. Well deserved.

We also added the 2008 MVP, James Fago. His addition lead me to update a photoshop (below) for the first time in years.

After a couple seasons with the Black Sox and another year soul searching in New York, Fago will return to the Ducks for the 2019 season. So will his brother, Colton. After a summer off, they should be well rested and ready help bolster the pitching staff and lineup.

We’ve also been in talks with Tom’s friend Steve. He’s supposed to come pitch for us after a strong showing in Columbus which included vomiting outside an abandoned gas station on the ride home.

The rest of our starters are returning. We will once again roster a veteran team. If our pitching works out, we should be competitive.

That’s about it so far. Winter meetings usually start the week before the Super Bowl.

I’ve also changed the pond of retired numbers to a ring of honor, since we don’t really retire numbers.





Ducks Set to Play in Capital City Classic

2018 South Oakland Ducks, pittsburgh NABA

Hello to the Ohio teams googling us. We are looking forward to a fun weekend of baseball, October 13/14 in Columbus at the Capital City Classic. I think we will be competitive. We won two games last year before getting smoked in the playoffs by the Columbus Pirates. We have the Pirates again in pool play, and then two other Ohio teams: The Ohio Hooligans and the Inca Chiefs. I feel like last year there were more teams from places other than Ohio in the 25+ group.

Several Ducks and a handful of other guys from around the league make up our tournament team. It is basically the same as last year. Hopefully we win a couple games and get to Sunday.

Thanks for reading.



2018 Team Awards


Pitcher of the Year: Randy Patton

Defensive Player of the Year: Tony Casale

Co-Offensive Players of the Year: TJ Morgan/Joe Graff

Most Valuable Player: Tom Pulice

We are hoping to enter a team in the 2018 Capital City Classic in Columbus Ohio. It was a good time last year.

Thanks to everyone who still reads the blog, and thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to play a fifteenth season with this team. It means a lot to me.


Ducks Knocked Off by Grizzlies in Loser’s Bracket Finals

2018 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, Recap, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

After a dramatic, ten-inning walk-off, 7-6 win against the Devils, South Oakland lost 11-2 with a shot at the championship on the line. It was a very frustrating way to go out after the team fought hard to win three straight playoff games. South Oakland finished 16-12 (combined regular season and playoff record).

I messed up the pitching vs. the Grizzlies. I should have gone right to Patton and gotten what innings we could out of him, instead of trying to hold him out until the last 3. The game was out of hand by then, so it didn’t do us any good.

A couple errors and some early base running mistakes when the game was still close, let it get away from us. But as the manager, I take the blame for not making what was a pretty obvious decision. I don’t think anyone expected the relief appearance to go quite as bad as it did for the second pitcher in the game for us, but still, we had Randy on two days rest and I should have just put him in then. It might not have mattered, but still. If we hold Bauerstown to 2 or three that inning, instead of five, the whole feel of it changes, and we are at least more engaged. It was really deflating.

That loss certainly takes the shine off what was an amazing game in the quarter final. That was easily one of the best games in Ducks history. Ten-inning walk off win with like four lead changes. I’ll remember the Devils game for the rest of my life. That may sound corny as fuck, but it was great.

The Oiler’s game was the one we needed, the first round game that we lost 2-1. If we take that one, we can maybe sneak through to the winner’s bracket final and at least not have to play a double header, but who knows. We’re dealing with alternate reality shit now. Maybe we lose our next two if we beat the Oilers in game one.

Three wins in the playoffs is our best season in a while. We finished better than 10 other teams.

This was a really hard year for me in a lot of ways outside of baseball, and then when running the Ducks got to be another source of stress instead of a way to blow off steam and play a game I love with my friends, it really fucked me up. I was very close to quitting a few times this season, and maybe that showed in my play or my decision making, but I tried to give us a chance to win every game, while still getting everyone at bats and some time in the field. That is how I will always run this team. I will always put the long term survival of the team first.

The reason I dropped down from AAA in 2013 was because it wasn’t fun anymore. There were a lot of times it wasn’t fun at all this season. But I’ll keep running the team because I don’t know what I’d do between April and August otherwise. This team has been a part of my life for fifteen seasons, and I think we have another run left in us with this core. The window might be closing, but there’s reason for optimism.



Ducks Win: South Oakland 9, Eagles 2


South Oakland (2-1) advanced to the loser’s bracket semifinals with a 9-2 upset win over the South Side Eagles last night in Moon.

The lights went out for like 15 minutes, then came back on. The Ducks opened the scoring with a 4-run fourth. The Eagles made it 4-2 in the bottom half of the inning, but the Ducks piled on, scoring two in the fifth, two in the sixth, and one in the seventh.

Randy Patton pitched six strong innings, and Andy Nichols faced four batters in the seventh to end the Eagles season.

Big contributions on offense from Paul Cucco, Derek Clark, TJ Morgan, Joe Graff, Tom Pulice, Brian Strom and Ben Sorosky.

We turned three double plays, which was great.

Good job everyone.

South Oakland plays the winner of the Bandidos/Devils game, Sunday, 3pm at Moon Park.



Playoff Gameday 3: #5 Ducks at #3 Eagles

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (1-1)


South Side Eagles


Moon Park

After defeating the Carrick Express 7-2 last Sunday, the Ducks travel to Moon Park tonight to take on the third-seeded Eagles for a chance to advance to the loser’s bracket semifinals.

South Oakland won the season series 2-0, but they also swept the Oilers this season, who knocked off the Ducks in the opening round of the playoffs.

I think the Eagles were missing some guys the first couple times we played them. This should be a tough game between two good teams.

Win or go home. This is an exciting time of year. Hopefully our run will continue with a win tonight.

Bad News for the Eagles

Playoff Gameday 1: Ducks at Oilers


South Oakland Ducks of the North Side


Hebrew Oilers

Stoneridge Field


Both teams were gifted a bye out of the elimination round, and will play at the smallest field in the league out in Shaler.

South Oakland won both regular season meetings this year, taking two very close games late in the season. The Ducks have not beaten the Oilers in the playoffs since 2011, and are 2-2 against Hebrew all time in the post season, I think.  BIG OIL single handedly eliminated the Ducks in 2016, defeating them in the first round and in the loser’s bracket final.

The Oiler’s manager is being cagey about their starting pitcher, but they have a good rotation so we will face someone tough.

The Ducks will throw Pitcher of the Year candidate Randy Patton who lead the league in innings pitched and WHIP.

The goal is to extend the season and get out of this weekend. We can make a good run at it if we hit.

Bad News for BIG OIL





D is for Default: Ducks advance after multiple forfeits

2018 South Oakland Ducks


The Ducks will advance to face the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs, avoiding the play-in game thanks to their ability to show up. West View’s season-long collapse culminated in playoff ineligibility, and the Warriors were unable to get nine guys to show up this weekend.

West View’s forfeit granted the Oilers a bye into the tournament.

That changed the Ducks’ first round opponent from the Sorcerers to the Warriors, and moved the game from Friday night to 3pm Saturday so the winner could play the Oilers at 5:30 immediately following that game.

The Warriors would not have been able to field a team over the weekend.

Additionally, had the Warriors played a Friday night game and won against the Ducks, they would have then forfeited to the Oilers and the following day in the losers bracket on Sunday which would have fucked up everything.

The Ducks have not forfeited since 2013.



Ducks Lose


South Oakland lost 9-1 to the Bandidos at West Field last night. The Ducks walked too many batters and couldn’t string together enough hits vs. Bakery Square’s starter who I don’t think even got to more than a couple three-ball counts. Tough way to end the regular season. Really if we didn’t drop five games to the teams with the three worst records in the league, we’d have clinched the top spot weeks ago, and this game wouldn’t have mattered. But we didn’t so here we are looking at another play-in game.

Gameday 23: Ducks at Bandidos

2018 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (13-9)


Bakery Square Bandidos (14-8)


West Field

The Ducks play an away game at home tonight vs the Bandidos in a makeup for a rain out earlier this season. A Ducks win will put South Oakland in third place, assuming a forfeit win over West View is awarded, while a loss will put us no higher than fifth, and force a first round, play-in game against Wexford, Boyce Park or Cranberry. Three teams that have given us trouble this season.

I’m excited for a meaningful game tonight. It’s been a weird year, at times it’s been extremely frustrating, but if we come out of this with a bye, none of that will matter.

Fifty five is ready to go tonight.

Bad News for the Bandidos