Summer Softball 2018 week 1: New Beginnings

The 11th season of Astoria Social softball is now underway!

This season, we have sixteen teams divided into two divisions. With seven weeks on the schedule, each team will play the other seven teams in their division. The playoffs begin on Saturday, September 8th. The format is identical to the past few seasons, with the finals taking place on September 15th.

For the summer season only, we lost two teams. The Designated Drinkers are taking the summer off. There are seven DD players who are on the Brew Crew for the summer. The spring champion Grape Dutches are pulling a C.M. Punk and leaving Astoria Social with the championship. They will be back to defend (…strive to recapture) the Astoria Social softball crown this fall. For the summer season, five Dutches players are playing with Just the Foul Tip (temporarily renamed “Just the Grape Tip”)

Prior to the season, I sent out an email to all the captains, advising them of a major rule change in the subs rule category:

If you have nine rostered players, you can no longer sub. You play with nine. (Exception: to have two females present)

If you have seven rostered players, the subs must play catcher and right field.

These changes will be updated into the rules.

GAME RECAPS

Saturday-WFF

SOPs vs JTFT

The SOPs post game-Katch week 1

The SOPs were one of the pleasant surprises of the spring season. They finished 6-1, and led the league in offensive production. They were the #4 seed in the spring playoffs. JTFT had an underwhelming spring season, but got hot during the first weekend of the playoffs to earn their spot in the final eight.

In this battle of original Astoria Softball teams (I believe “Team 1” and “Team 2” in 2013, and thereafter their current monikers) it was JTFT keeping the SOPs bats in check in an 11-1 final. The game marked the first appearance of Steve, Marissa and Mike in JTFT blue, as well as league newcomer Justin for JTGT. Much like the WWE B-Team, JTGT is undefeated.

AST vs Brew Crew

Much like JTGT, the Brew Crew welcomed Greg, Frank, Zach, And Heather to the team this past weekend.

New and familiar faces comprise the Summer 2018 Brew Crew

The Brew Crew had a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the fifth, when a pitching change resulted in three walks on twelve pitches. With the bases loaded, The Spear Throwers Justin E deposited a ball into the East River to give the Spears a 5-4 lead. They would tack on five more runs for a 10-4 week one win.

Pitchslap vs Beer View Mirrors

If we were flexing games into prime time, this would have been the likely candidate. Lots of friendly “bad blood” in this one. (Writers note: If you are going to see Taylor Swift this weekend-enjoy!) As most people are aware, both John and Oscar have deflected from Pitchslap to join BVM in 2018. The move has left Pitchslap Nation a bit upset. The ‘Mirrors jumped out to an early lead, putting up three runs in the first inning and five in the second. Pitchslap kept BVM off the scoreboard after the third inning and mounted a late game rally, scoring five runs in the top of the seventh. They had the tying runs on base but came up just short, falling 9-7 to BVM. A really fun game to watch. In fact, I’d estimate there were about 15 spectators on hand to watch. Hopefully, these two teams meet again in 2018.

Got the Runs vs Bad News Beers

A big thanks to Kris and Jon for umping this game. As the scorecard indicates, Got the Runs had a huge mid-game offensive output. They scored 12 runs in the fourth and fifth innings and defeated the BNB by the score of 13-7.

Gold Label vs Astros

Defensive was front and center in this game, as there were only three half innings of scoring combined. The Astros won this low scoring affair by the score of 6-3. Last season, both of these teams were final weekend playoff teams. Both teams again look like they will make some noise during the summer season.

Upper Deckers vs I’d Hit That

These two teams met in the last week of the summer season, with I’d Hit That scoring an upset victory. Would history repeat itself in the last game of the day at Whitey?

I’d Hit That played with six players, and subbed Steven and Halley to play with three in the outfield and no catcher. They never trailed in the game, winning by the final of 7-4. I’d Hit That seems to always get off to a strong start, and this season is no different.

Sunday’s Games-WFF

The rain from early Sunday morning left the field unplayable. There were huge puddles at home plate, and a river of sludge right at second base. Due to safety concerns, both games were cancelled.

However, the weather did not stop the field cleanup from taking place. As mentioned on social media, the Friends of Whitey Ford field hosted an “It’s My Park” Cleanup of the field on Sunday. We painted the bleachers I’d Hit That green and collected trash on the field and the surrounding park. The group provided refreshments for all attendees, courtesy of Astoria Provisions. We also gave out t-shirts, tote bags, coozies and water bottles to all. The afternoon was dubbed “Ford Family Day” as many members of the Ford family (including Whitey’s wife) were in attendance.

The goal of the event was to raise awareness of the field and its continual need for maintenance and improvement. As you all know, Costa’s office has put $2 million dollars towards the redesign of the field and the surrounding areas. These improvements will begin in 2019. While we rely upon the parks department to devote time and effort to keep the field “playable,” we also have to do our part to help out before the construction. I can not express how appreciative I am with help raking, shoveling, removing water, and picking up trash when needed.

Post Game Bar for Summer 2018

This season, we are returning to Katch Astoria! The bar/restaurant is located on the corner of Newtown Road and 31st Street. Each week, they will provide us with the complementary food specials and beer discounts they will provide.

Katch has been home to Astoria Social in the past. Last Summer and Fall, the league held post game and end of season parties in the outdoor area of Katch. Over the winter, we held the first (and not the last 😃) season of Cornhole in the screened room at Katch. (OMG I miss the Cornhole league! I promise it will be back soon)

We welcome Katch back to the league and look forward to a fun summer season!

Social Points Update

Each season, the league keeps track of the “social points” for each team. All you have to do is snap a photo at our post game bar and either send it to Megan Urick or post it on social media using the hashtag “AstoriaSocialSM2018.” You receive one social point for all team members in the photo. Social points standings do not reflect in the regular softball standings.

In every newsletter last season, Megan provided an update. Here’s what she has to say after week 1:

A bunch of teams gained their first social points of the season at Katch on Saturday.  Brew Crew in the lead with a total of 13.  For the 4 teams that were rained out on Sunday, still a chance to gain your points if you snap a photo after your makeup game (which is TBD for now).

Around the League

A new feature for the summer newsletters. This section is used to highlight any events or activities that league members want to share.

The Grape Dutches/JTGT’s Marissa Breslin would like to let everyone know of the following:

Are you a golfer?  Do you have a local Astoria bar you love?  Would you be interested in taking a foursome & representing your favorite Astoria watering hole?  Join Clearview Park in Bayside for a fun day of golf, food, drinking and friendly competition amongst local Queens Bars!  The winning bar houses the giant trophy for the year & of course wins bragging rights!  Contact Marisa at 413-214-2044!

If you would like to share anything just let me know.

Thank you

A big thank you to Dan Sullivan, (game 1) and Kris and Jon (game 3) for helping with the umpiring. This week we begin games at both Queensbridge and Whitey Ford field simultaneously, so you may see some new faces behind the plate and on the base paths.

I also have shirts for those that didn’t get theirs last week. I will have them with me at the field.

Here’s to hoping for more good games and good times. See everyone this weekend. 🍻

Warren