Tagged: Ramblers

“I Don’t Believe What I Just Saw”

The Ramblers like to refer to ourselves as a scrappy team. We take big leads on the bases, we like to run from first to third base on a single, and we like to throw the ball to catch runners off-guard. It often results in pretty spectacular plays, but sometimes it costs us.

On Wednesday, we played the Creeperz in the QLSA Master Division best-of-three, semi-finals series. Since we were the lower seed, the Creeperz elected to play at Highland Park in Cypress Hills, Queens. We would play two games on Wednesday and, if necessary, a third game in Long Island City on Thursday.

Our aggressive scrappiness cost us in the first game. We gave away four outs on the base paths, and we threw the ball around that allowed runners to advance. We lost the game, 5–4.

I pitched the second game, and we quickly trailed, 4–1. In the fifth, we tied the game at 5. The score held in to the sixth and seventh. With the international tie breaker rule in effect, the Clippers scored two runs in the eighth. We needed to score two runs to stay alive and three to win.

With two outs and runners on first and third, our catcher Collin hit a gentle popup to the shortstop. Convinced that this would be the final out of the series, the shortstop tried to aggressively snatch the ball out of the air and ultimately dropped the ball. The tying run scored from third and put the winning run on second base. Our third baseman DJ hit a clean live drive in the “5.5 hole” and Dan scored from second to win the game and tie the series at two games.

We were still alive and would play the third and deciding game on Thursday.

I played first base on Thursday, after riding to Cold Spring earlier that day, and chatted with the umpire there. I asked if he had heard what happened on Wednesday and he informs me that the “whole fuckin’ league heard what happened.” After discussing the improbability of our winning a game like that, he tells me that “whenever a team loses a game like that, they never recover.” Ouch!

The Creeperz had not recovered. On Wednesday night, we said that if we came out swinging and scored a couple of run in the first inning, they would be out of it. In fact, we scored four runs in the first, taking advantage of the opposing pitcher’s trouble throwing strikes. We would have scored more but two very unconventional calls robbed of us at least four runs in subsequent innings. The Creeperz eventually tied game at 4, but we shut them down the rest of the game. We scored another five unanswered runs to take a 9–4 lead. By the sixth inning and with the game going our way, one of the Creeperz said, “This game was over before it had started.” The Creeperz were still demoralized from Wednesday loss and had essentially quit. The last out of the game came on a popup to second base. When the ball was in the air, we all yelled at our second baseman to use “two hands, two hands, two hands.” We won the game, 9–4, and clinched the semi-final series.

We sympathized with the shortstop. He was a very good player but made one critical mistake in a crucial situation. We gave him a friendly handshake because no one feels worse about losing the series than he.

With the series win, we face Los Muertos in the Master Division Championship series on Tuesday, August 20, 7:00 PM, at Whitey Ford Field in Astoria. Again, all are welcome.

Ramblers Win the QLSA Masters Division Regular Season


Last fall, I began playing with the Ramblers, a mens softball team in Queens not far from Sarah and my place in Long Island City. Although I was hesitant to join because I already play too much softball, I stuck with them and became their everyday pitcher. I initially shared the pitching duties with Sebastian, a guy I knew from the McCarren league. But about month ago, he left for California, and I began pitching both games of each week’s double header.

The team started the season explosively winning 14 of our first 18 games. We struggled a bit in the last few weeks, but last night, we won our last two games to take the “Masters” division. We decisively beat the Maulers, a team that had beaten us three times in our past four meetings and was tied with us for the division lead. We won the first game, 16-9, although the Maulers had kept it close until the end of the game. In the second game, we strung together hit after hit and won the second game, 13-2, in five innings.


After the game, we were awarded a modest trophy and a novelty check (apparently with a real routing and account number) for $300, which we quickly gave back as a deposit for our fall league. Our celebration was abbreviated: pizza, beer and home by midnight. It was a Tuesday night, after all, and we all had early mornings ahead of us.

The playoff tournament (and the real fun) begins next week.

Softball Week 2: Explosive Wednesday Game, Nothing on the Weekend

Ramblers vs. G00nies

The Ramblers are a team I played with last fall, and I even shot some photos of them during their last game. I signed up for the spring/summer team, and I won a spot in the pitching rotation. We played two games on Wednesday night at Whitey Ford field, in the north-west tip of Astoria, Queens, and won two games, each by a ten-rule mercy-rule margin.

This team has some really strong hitters. They’re not necessarily going to hit balls into the East River, but they hit hard line drives. Everyone in field is solid, and I’ve never seen such smart aggressive base running in a long time. Those skills are key to winning in New York City softball.

Robots Off

The Robots didn’t play this weekend because the league took the day off.

Ball Busters Rained Out

The Ball Busters didn’t play on Sunday either. April showers washed out my two softball games this Sunday