Category: MABL World Series

Blues Before

The Madison Blues of Wisconsin

[The saga of the 2022 50+ Madison Blues travails down in the MSBL World Series, sung to the tune of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Updated lyrics by Steve Hill]

This legend starts now, from Mendota on down, to the Southwestern city of Phoenix
A bunch of old men, based in Madison, them, and New Jersey, and Tucson, and Yuma!
A Middleton lad, a Mazomanian dad, one from Monroe, 2 from Oregon;
A bloke from Beloit, Jefferson but not Detroit, but enough of that now for the story!

On Sat. they’d arrive, post a very long drive, for some players and some of their spouses.
The rest of them flew, ‘cause they’re not crazy too, and we all checked right into our houses!

Practice that eve would not happen, said Steve, as the rain gods had other ideas,
The next day it is true, we’re supposed to play two, Mother Nature was not in our favor!
Too wet was Tempe, so we made a plan B, found a place we could get in some practice,
Trespassed on school grounds, got our reps in, be proud, but then dragged the field with our own asses!
Reschedule they did, and this is not for the kids, we’d have 6 f@#$ing games in just three days,
That prospect did stink, but in it did sink, that it was the same for the others!

On Monday, you know, we would meet our first foe, on a field made of recycled plastic,
The mound for that day was a joke, some would say, as the angles were nothing but drastic!
The first team that we faced, Indiana Blue Jays, were a good crew with a very strong hurler,
We’d lose 6-5, but our hopes kept alive by great pitching by Wally and Ketter!
In the bottom of first, hopes turned from bad to worse, when a knee was tweaked during a throw down,
Catcher Brian Buol, could not continue the duel, his meniscus had spoken, we all frowned!
The Jays tied the game in the 7th, no shame, after reaching relief pitcher Adas,
They then scored one more in the 8th, short before, the clock ran out and they had slayed us!
Blues batters that day were led by Wallace, yey hey, with 2 singles and two batted in,
Pliner and Hill, Edwards and Mendivil, Schoney singled as did Andy Winn!

Our second game shortly after, there came, ‘gainst the New York Rochester Redwings
Fare well, we did not, but we took our best shot, scoring 5 in the very first inning!
Twenty two they would score, while we scored just one more, on two doubles by Adas and Schoney,
They had 21 hits to our 8 and that’s it, they stomped on top of our cojones!
Adas had two, hits Mark Tyler did too, and a triple was had by Tom Hopkins,
Roach and Oswalt had one, but this game was not fun, one could say it was kind of a flop…kins! [booo]

The weather was nice for the day known as thrice, as we battled the Sultanes Rockers,
Wallace toed the mound and made his parents so proud as he shut down the bats of those F…..players!
Steve Burd then came in, shut the door with a grin, allowing only two runs in his showing,
We’d win 10-8, which we all felt was great, off the schneid and our faces were glowing!
Hopkins known as Tom had 3 singles, no bombs, but neither did anyone else,
Schoonveld had two, and Mark Tyler did too, and 6 others managed a base hit!

The second game of two was against a tough crew, known as the Chicago Pinch Hitters
We needed to win, or our record would thin, and we’d fall right down into the Sh…toilet!
Adas on the hill was tossing the pill, one of 4 runs was earned through five,
Steve Hill in relief, Charlie Brown said good grief, but he kept the Blues chances alive!
Bottom of 9 you see, trailing 7 to 3, the Blues would mount a mighty comeback,
Eddie started it, with a one out base hit, followed by Roach who added another!
Steal second, Roach would, as Hopkins there stood getting ripped off on an outside pitch,
Omar scored Eddie on a base hit did he, and Roachy strolled home on an FC!
Hill rolled over on one, their third baseman (no gun) bounced one their 2B didn’t handle,
Then Foskett done rocked, knocking in pinky socks, and bringing the score to 7-6!
With two men on base and a breeze in his face, Mike Schoonveld stepped up to the dish,
They’d brought in their ace, Shoney’s pulse did not race, as ice water flows through his vessels!
A slider passed by, Hill and Foskett would fly, advancing to second and third,
The next pitch was hit, LC gap, holy shit! and the roars of the Blues fans were heard!
He walked-off the win, to Chicago’s chagrin, and we all raced to rejoice the victory,
It really was great to be part of this fate, which will always remain in our memory!

Third day in a row, and the gas starts to go, but we rallied together to beat it
Dallas (Fort Worth) had to deal with our mirth, and we met them with all we could muster!
Jason Foskett’s pitching, was a beautiful thing, allowed just one run through the fifth frame.
In the 7th they got 6, ‘twas a punch in our…face, and we lost by the score 10 to 6!
Randy and Glenn had two hits, and then, Baldon, Hill, Dargan, Roach, Ketter, had one,
Omar had one more, and two bruises (for shore) as he got plunked twice before game done!
Getting hit by a pitch is a son-of-a-bitch, but we know that they’re trying to miss us,
We pretend we’re fine, but man most of the time, we wish our mommies could kiss us!

Now back to the grind, our 6th game was the time, to decide upon our playoff chances,
Our foes would be this: California Fish, and we’d fight to see who wore the pantses!
Andy Winn got the start, showing all of his heart, as he battled this year with an injury,
He held them to 6, in 4 and two ticks, and the Blues bats matched so we were equal!
Sac-ra-men-to was shut down, don’t ya know, by a pitcher who’s last name was Oswalt,
This was not Roy, so stop being coy, it was Eddie who’d silenced the Marlins!   (oof!  Sorry)
Going into the 9th we were feeling just finth, as we were up 8 runs to 6,
But in the top half they grabbed 3 with their wrath to take the lead and make us worry,
But we did not sweat, Mr Oswalt did jet, with a single, two stolen base flurry!
9-9 tied the score, but we couldn’t play more, because MSBL don’t know how the game goes,
A tied game goes on until someone is done, having scored fewer runs than their game foes!

Nevertheless, this may’ve worked to our behest, as a tie did not eliminate us.
In fact, come what may, we would go on to play, another Californian posse!

The Southern Cal Tribe is who we’d battle while, coach Selje planned how we could win this,
And at 10 o’clock, we had pretty good stock, and we entered the game with a closed fist!
Hill pitched the first three, which surprised you and me, but the first batters went down in order,
Wally returned after Hill, imposing his will, keeping the Guardians in their place!
I should mention, you see, we got back our JP, who had left earlier with a calf strain,
We welcomed him back, and respected his sac, as he played through a lot of intense pain!
Then Schoney arrived for the last three, and thrived, as the Tribe could amass only eleven,
The Blues scored 15, and our smiles did gleam, as we moved on to the next playoff!
And at the dish, Andy Winn caught a fish, with a 4 singles for 5 performance,
Not to be outdone, Mendivil hit a ton, with a 4 for 5 showing and triple!
3 hits by Oswalt, Tyler, and Hill gave the 25 fans a thrill, as did 2 from Pliner, Tom, and Shoney,
Dargan got one, which was swimmingly fun, joined by Adas, and wily Dan Ketter!

Our next playoff game set a record, not lame, as the Blues bested all previous showings.
We met with what’s left an opponent, bereft of nothing but freshness and flowing!  
The AZ Cubs we met were a solid good bet for a team that would get to the trophy
Jeff Adas met them with a stoic ‘ahem as he fought back fatigue in his showing!
He shut their bats down save for an early renown as they picked up 4 runs in the first frame,
In 2, 3 through 5 he kept our hopes alive as the small bears would get only 2 more!
The Blues bats were hushed by a strong pitcher rush, as their starter made it through the first 5,
But in the top of Cinq, Foskett singled and I think, advanced when Tyler reached on an E-6!
A Sacrifice Fly scored Jason (know why?) ‘cause he hustled his ass off, slid head first,
They got two more in the 5th and 5 more in the 6th, to put this game out of reach!
We did what we could and shared at bats, ‘twas good as we realized that we had been beaten,
We gave ‘em hell, but exhausted we fell, and we wished them all well and departed!

Now let me just say we all enjoyed our stay, thanks to Selje and Dargan, and Pliner,
They planned the way, every single damn day, so that we could all fight and be finer!
Significant others really helped all us brothers to all have the best time ever,
Whether photography, sandwich assembly, keeping score or just supporting our druthers!

Now go heal your knees, arms, calves, ankles, and these other parts not including your Johnson,
We gave it our all and we proudly stand tall, for the Madison Blues from Wisconsin!!!

Madison Blues Fare Well in MSBL World Series

Debut Appearance as a team merits playoff spot

The 2019 Madison Blues

MABL Southern Wisconsin helped sponsor its first ever team at the MABL/MSBL World Series in Phoenix, AZ this October.  Thirteen players from our league formed the nucleus of a very competitive team in the 50 and over World Series.  Randy Gaber, Mike Schoonveld, Steve Hill, Mark Von Dem Bach, Mike Wallace, Brian Buol, Jim Pliner, Randy Olivares, Andy Winn, Steve Kelliher, Steve Hirshfeld, Eric Selje, and Jeff Knight, along with two friends from AZ, and two friends from Oregon helped form the Madison Blues.  The 50+ tournament included 28 teams from all over the world, and as you can imagine, several quality ballplayers.  The Blues played teams from Canada, Australia, St. Thomas Virgin Islands, California, and Washington DC Area and posted a 4-2 record during pool play, good enough for a nine seed in the 12 team playoff bracket.  Most of the Blues pool games were very competitive, including 3 one run games, one 3 run game, and two walk off victories.  The highlight of pool play was our “home” game when we played Australia at American Family Ballpark in Maryvale, the Spring Training Home of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Australia’s starting pitcher was a member of the Australian Olympic Baseball Team in 1988.  He baffled the Blues for four innings, but the Blues bats ultimately won out as they cruised to an easy victory.  The Blues matched up against St. Thomas Virgin Islands in their playoff game and battled throughout, holding the lead early.  St. Thomas battled back and took a three run lead into the 8th inning.  The Blues rallied and had the tying run at the plate but came up short in the 9th to end their run.  All in all, it was a great week of highly competitive baseball for our squad, and one that we can all be proud of.  With a few more Madison players, we have no doubts we can compete with teams very effectively from all over the world.    We highly recommend this experience and hope we can send more teams to AZ in the future across all age groups.

Madison Blues gather after a great run in the MABL World Series