Gameday 1: Ducks vs. Wolfpack

2018 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side

vs

West View Wolfpack

9pm

West Field

Getting out of spring view field was long over due. I think it’s incredible we are playing in the old Homestead Grays park.

No metal spikes.

Here’s a link to pretty cool site that shows how destroyed the field was before the renovations. Dead Baseball.

In stead of discussing this game, in honor of our 15th anniversary, I’m going to look through old score books and write about my findings. I am bored with half assed inflammatory previews.

This would probably be better as video, but i assume people only read these at work and that might be prohibitive. Still, maybe Germani and I can get together and create some amazing Pittsburgh NABA content.

Some of these old books are insanely rough. I think during the league’s first two seasons, I gave Boley our scorebook and he entered the stats, so there are many missing pages. Check this out from 2005.

These are consecutive pages, first a Maulers lineup, with Joe Graff leading off, then a Knights lineup, a Warriors lineup and a Ducks lines with the header: Ducks vs. Phantoms. There is no phantoms lineup anywhere though.

Naba legend Vinny Gala batting cleanup and playing 3rd. This was before Graff took over the league. We held them to one run. I don’t know how we managed that. Swetz must have pitched.

I think Brandt and Sorosky became Knights the next season. The Warriors won the title in 2005, I think. Maybe it was the Black Sox. Craig Boley: 2-3 and reached on an error, 2 SB, 2R. Solid production from the 8 spot.

We had a decent lineup. Hartranft, Swetz, Swanger, Adam Oliver. Eric Lee was the fastest guy I’ve ever seen. I think he’s on the lamb somewhere. We didn’t have a natural shortstop or enough pitching. We had like 3 second basemen who couldn’t throw. It was rough on defense.

Here’s an old picture from the blog’s glory days.

Bad News for West View

 

 

 

 

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Everyone Cheats – South Oakland Ducks 2018 Preview

2018 South Oakland Ducks

If you haven’t paid, you need to pay me. Everyone needs to register on the league site before Tuesday. Same deal as every season. For fuck’s sake, register and pay your league dues. Guys who haven’t paid will sit.

No metal spikes on the new field. Get turf shoes, molded cleats or sneakers.

The first week of the schedule is up. We open with back-to-back games.  4/17 at BIG OIL; 4/18 vs WOLFPACK!!!

Tuesday at Mellon Park, 6:45pm. Former Oiler Randy will start in the grudge match, provided we aren’t snowed out.

Wednesday, West Field, 9pm. Starter TBD.

Roster Notes:

We have added a couple guys who can hopefully pitch, and first baseman Eric Tuomisto is back in town.

We lost utility player and closer, John Moore, and there are a couple guys who are up in the air right now. We have essentially the same lineup as last season.

This season marks our fifteenth in existence. With the Black Sox folding, the Warriors are the only other original five franchise still in the league (they were the piranhas in their first season, and we beat them for the our first championship). I started the Ducks when I was 22 and could still run and my back wasn’t all fucked up. Someone please take over for me. I’m old.

The Black Sox were our greatest rival when both teams were winning games, and this league was arguably at its peak. Certainly the blog was at least readable back then. So much has changed. Baseball lends itself to nostalgia. It’s fucking weird to be nostalgic about the early years of an adult league, but probably healthier than being nostalgic about high school or college ball. I’m incredibly grateful and very fortunate to still be able to play baseball and enjoy it. I don’t take our team and the league for granted.

Having said that, I will probably tear my ACL on the turf during warmups before our first home game.

I think Craig Boley and I are the last two players who have been in the league all 15 years of its existence. Boley kept the league running in the sketchy early days, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts. I’m trying to get Boley to come play for us this season. I’ll poach the shit out of your players, Newman! Contract talks with Boley are ongoing.

We have a new home field. West Field in Munhall, former home of the Homestead Grays. It was recently renovated, and is now all turf. Pittsburgh NABA’s North American Lions used to play there back in 2014.

Over the years, I’ve put hundreds of hours into getting Spring Hill playable and I’ll never have that time back. Now, with the turf field, we should have fewer rainouts, and I will never have to rake it. It should help our infield play, and reduce the risk of dangerous bad hops. The dugouts are actually big enough to fit our whole team.

We will play two home games at the Duck Pond this season. Spring Hill is never in good shape, but I loved playing there. I might feel differently if I was an infielder. I’ll miss driving up that hill past all the meth addicts out on their stoops. The flying scooters, and how pissed off some teams were that they had to play in Spring Hill.

Ducks, another reminder: Pay me. Register. See you Tuesday.

Let’s win it this year. If our new pitchers work out, we have a great shot at it.

Quack.

Gameday 19: Ducks vs. Eagles

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (11-5-2)

vs

South Side Eagles (12-4-1)

9pm

Springview Field

 

Both teams are rested and ready to go after the holiday weekend. We lost a tough game to the Eagles, 5-4 early in the season, but both teams should be better tonight. I expect another close one. The Bandidos keep winning at the top of the standings, but I feel they are due for a tie in some kind of weather or electrical failure in their last few games.

We can move into second place with a win and keep our hopes for a division title alive. I’ve already written too much about the importance of this game in yesterday’s post. So here’s the Dude:

Bad News for the Eagles

Gameday 17: Ducks vs Bauerstown

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (10-5-1)

vs

Bauerstown Grizzlies (7-7-1)

9pm

Springview Field

A win for the Ducks tonight would pull the team back within a half game of the Eagles (12-4-1) and the Bandidos (13-6). The Grizzlies are trying to stop a three game losing streak and get back over .500.

League-wide, this season has been characterized by a bunch of ties and blackouts. It reminds me of my early twenties, most which I also spent playing for the Ducks. Seven of eleven teams in Double A have a tie, and the new guy at the city can’t keep the lights on. The stretch run this season is going to be interesting.

We’ve already had a tie, a rain-shortened game, a suspended game, and a game in which the lights went out in the bottom of the first inning.

South Oakland’s previous game against Bauerstown was called early due to a thunderstorm with the Ducks leading 8-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth. That game will be made up after the regularly scheduled seven inning game is played, if time permits, and the lights stay on.

The Ducks are coming off a big win against the Express, and should field a more complete lineup than the last meeting between the two teams.

Bad News for the Grizzlies

Gameday 17: Ducks at Express

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-5-1)

at

Carrick Express (7-7)

8pm

Volunteer Field

South Oakland of the North Side looks to rebound after a tough loss to Cranberry tonight in Carrick.

We always play like the walking dead against that team at least once a year.

Here’s a quick look at the standings, followed by some expert analysis that someone will undoubtedly take offense to and get me beaned.

Someone once told me good writing contains fractals, the way the narrative breaks apart naturally into threads and those threads move in an arc towards the conclusion.

Will 2 Dirty 2 Birds: Return of the Bandidos have such an arc, continuing to win titles before being forced to move up and break apart and buy new unis every other year? Will the teams with games in hand make them count? Will this blog ever have good writing, aside from Donnie’s guest posts?

Quick info  on the Bandidos motorcycle gang linked below. Interesting for the other team that plays in Bakery Square to be named after these guys.

Big missed opportunity for Eagles Sunday, day game unis

The Eagles stormed out of the gate before hitting a rough 0-4-1 stretch and returned to the pack a little. They have won two straight, I think. They’re still in first and still probably the team to beat. They hit the shit out of the ball.

The Oilers dropped one to Cranberry as well last week, and have likely been struggling to find consistent pitching aside from that lefty. This is all a guess. Perhaps we jumped the gin on their ringers coming in and shutting it down, but I’m sure that have something up their collective sleeve for the stretch run.

Bauerstown is overall pretty solid. We are hopefully going to finish our suspended game before starting our second game against them on Wednesday. That will be a big night for us if we can hold on to the win in the game in which we are up 1 in the bottom of the sixth, and potentially sweep that night. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

West View scuffling along at .500 is probably the biggest surprise of the season. Maybe teams aren’t as intimidated by the atmosphere at John Herb anymore. Who knows. It will be interesting to see if they get a bunch of rain outs rescheduled in time, and how that will effect the standings.

The Cranberry, D2, Wexford, Devils grouping is still good enough to sneak a game here and there form a top team. Should be an exciting stretch run.

The Express are still the Darkhorse to make a deep run this season. With the emotions of this likely being their last year under current management and their future in doubt they have extra motivation. Plus the pitching depth.

But they still have a long way to climb up the standings. Tonight, we can pull within a game of the Eagles, and keep pace the Bakery Square. We always give Carrick a good game. Four of the last five have been decided by one run. We need to hit tonight.

Smoking man seems fitting for this game.

Bad News for the Express

 

Gameday 16: Ducks vs. Cranberry

2017 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4-1)

vs.

Cranberry Crusaders (3-10)

9pm

Springview Field

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side can move into a tie for first with a win tonight over the Newly Minted Cranberry Crusaders.

Cranberry, at one point a couple years ago, went by the Young Guns. I think I remember this and probably photoshopped some kind of intense Emilio Estevez/Charlie Sheen wild west thing.

Image result for young guns movie images

Like this but with germani photoshopped in there, throwing that 50mph curve ball no one can hit.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1b/The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg/220px-The_Young_Guns_poster.jpg

Anyway, I’m not surprised that name didn’t stick. There is really only room for one team with a nickname that has connotations to an Emilio Estevez film. Which, come to think of it, D2 is going to have to re-brand. Like the Dirty Bandido Lion Birds or whatever.

Best Emilio Estevev film?

Men at Work.

https://alchetron.com/cdn/Men-at-Work-1990-film-images-308d5ed0-499b-4869-9faf-34703d6606b.jpg

Bad News for the Crusaders

Stall Tactics. Ducks 8, Bauerstown 7 (suspended, rain)

2017 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland tied the game on a John Zuzak single in the top of the sixth, then took an 8-7 lead on a bases loaded walk by Patton before the game was suspended due to rain, Sunday in Bauerstown.

The Ducks lead 4-1 going into the bottom of the third, then a couple errors, hit batsmen and singles by Bauerstown lead to five Grizzlies runs, and a 6-4 lead.

The teams traded runs in the fourth.

After leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, South Oakland scored three runs in the top of the sixth, and completed the half inning before the rain started, despite a questionable pitching change with two outs and the bases loaded, storm clouds on the horizon.

Mike Brandt took an intentional strike out in an attempt to finish the inning.

I dont’ know if it was even necessary at that point. I know if there’s a lead change in the half inning, the game is suspended. I’m not sure if it mattered that we finished our half. Regardless, selfless at bat by Brandt to swing at three in the dirt in order to move things along.

I assume we will complete the game before we start the next one, but it might just go unfinished.

Great effort by several Ducks who don’t normally start.

We came out flat but rallied late. Good effort overall.

It’s been a weird season with a rain-shortened opening day loss, a tie, and a suspended game already.

Some stats:

Morgan, 1-1, HBP, BB, 3RBI

J. Zuzak: 1-2, 2BB, RBI

Chavarek: 2-3, BB

Dover: 4-4, 2B, RBI, 2R

Police: 1-1 2B, 3BB, 2R

Graff: 0-0, 2BB, 2R

South Oakland’s next game is this Wednesday 9PM at Springview Field, vs. Cranberry

quack

 

 

Ducks Win Two Straight, Set Up Rivalry Game Showdown with Oilers on Friday

2017 South Oakland Ducks, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (9-4) defeated Pittsburgh D2, 5-1 in Banksville on Tuesday, and notched a wild come-from-behind, 7-6 victory over the Carrick Express at Spring Hill last night.

The wins move South Oakland into sole possession of second place behind the 9-1 South Side Eagles.

Re-enactment of Mike Koshzow’s triple last night in Spring Hill

On Monday South Oakland got a gem from starter Chuck Zuzak, (W, 2-1) who threw five shutout innings. Reliever Mike Annerino took over in the sixth, and allowed one unearned run on a throwing error after what appeared to be a game-ending pickoff play in the seventh.

Zuzak worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the first with a double play ball, and D2 didn’t really threaten after that. South Oakland scored two in the fourth, and added three insurance runs in the sixth.

Morgan, Dover, Pulice, Gwin and Moore had RBI for the Ducks. Casale had two hits, and is on fire since his return from the DL. Maldonado kept the Ducks’ spirits up with lots of chatter and clapping, which may have rattled the D2 starter, and somehow did not lead to a D2 throwing at him.

Wednesday’s game vs. Carrick was vintage Pittsburgh NABA. I left after trading a page of our score book for a cigarette from one of the Express players. The game itself featured questionable umpiring, ejections, multiple three-run home runs, and several lead changes.

Opportunity for alternate Express unis

Carrick jumped out to an early lead off Ducks starter Ben Sorosky, but after a four run first, Sorosky settled in, and went four innings without allowing another run. Some guy on Carrick hit a three run homer with two outs in the opening frame. Carrick was up 4-0 after one.

The Ducks battled back. Mike Koshzow hit an opposite field, three-run home run, and added an acrobatic triple later in the game.

Carrick took a 5-4 lead in the sixth.

In the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Chris Heisler delivered a game tying RBI double, and Andy Nichols drove in what proved to be the game winning run with a two out, two-run double later in the inning off John Smiley’s kid, who was traded to the Reds for prospects after the game.

Jon Moore entered the game and tomb stoned the Express for the four out save.

Doc pitched 1 and 2/3 in the fifth and sixth, and earned the win, I think.

By all accounts, the plate ump had a rough night. Two guys were tossed in the bottom of the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. Carrick’s manager was pissed.

Ducks outfielder Brian Strom improves his 2017 managerial record to 1-1 and somehow got fourteen different Ducks into the game.

After a rough start to their season, the Express look rejuvenated. They are going to be a tough out in the playoffs. We play them once more in Carrick.

The Brendan Chartier Memorial Spring Hill Scooter Series continues Friday at 8:30 PM when the Ducks face the Hebrew Oilers (6-4) at historic Moore Park in Brookline.

quack.