New York Opens Its Doors Sunday
Well the season is finally upon us ladies and gentlemen. It’s been a chilly winter but the spring thaw has given way to green fields, warm breezes, and wiffle fever. Coming off a sick promo video from Bleacher Report, GSWL is looking to once again take a step forward and embark on its best season of Wiffle® Ball yet.
18 teams will trek to the fields at Eisenhower Park on Long Island this Sunday, many of them will be returning veterans. Teams like the Screwballs, Hammerheads, and the Usual Suspects return the same rosters as 2016 and look to improve their positions from last years nationals. Other veteran teams like the Americans (formerly known as the Playaz) and the Throwbacks will have some new faces on their rosters as they look to compete and challenge for a regional title and even more in Staten Island later in the summer. Traveling teams like the Minutemen and Way too Beautiful return to the wiffle landscape looking to build upon their successes from the former PA region and beyond.
By far the most talked about team in NY over the offseason had to be The Dark Knights. Daily and weekly videos and posts on social media have driven a lot eyes over to the knights as they prepare to make that jump into the elite teams of NY. Other squads like the Royals, Booya and the MOB have made some tweaks to their rosters and look to finish in the top half of the regional standings. Teams like SOM and the Game Changers will have FUN squads to start off the season as they continue to work and retool their rosters to prepare for a deep summer run.
The Crusaders franchise is making its triumphant return to the wiffle landscape this season in the form of two new squads at the onset of play. Andrew Montero is a local guy that has found GSWL in his backyard and couldn’t be more happy to bring down 7-8 new guys and 2 new teams to the fields on Opening Day. their arrival shows that there is still untapped potential on Long Island and around the region for wifflers to come play the game they grew up loving.
The weather is projected to be 60 degrees and partly cloudy, a stellar day for an opening day. Start time 9am (830am check in).
Location - Eisenhower Park - East Meadow, NY
Pre-Season Power Rankings
#1 Hammerheads - Owner: Rob Longiaru
Roster also includes; Tom Polly & Frank Kollias
After a 3rd place finish at the 2017 OPEN, and back to back Regional Championship appearances, the NY Hammerheads start the season on top of the Power Rankings. The Hammerheads are as athletic as any team in the country, but streakiness at the plate is their downfall, even though they have a solid veteran lineup. The depth and talent of the NY region will rear its head come Sunday; and the Hammerheads may not be on top for long.
What to watch for - Can Rob Longiaru have a bounce back season on the mound?
#2 Usual Suspects - Owner: Dan Lanigan
Roster also includes; Scott Alford, Mike Sciame, and Ryan Wood
After a solid first season together in Yard League, the Usual Suspects had a decent run into Sunday at the OPEN in 2017. This team is packed with veteran talent from every wiffle format known to man. Years of Wiffle-up, Fast Plastic, and Golden Stick has given this squad all the experience they need to compete in New York. Aside from attendance issues, this team is a frontrunner week in and week out. Expect to see them near the top of the standings at seasons end.
What to watch for - Did Mike Sciame really find a Knuckleball?
#3 State of Mind - Owner: Matt Ventimiglia
Roster also includes; Jay Ventresca & Jordan Robles
This team can MASH. Jay Ventresca might be the most lethal hitter in the region due to his insane ability to handle pitches at all different areas of the strike zone. He his a pitcher's worst nightmare, as there’s almost no one better with two strikes in the region. I expect this team to go as far as their attendance allows. Jordan Robles, a full-time in Palisades player will need to make the most of the weeks he shows up, in order to be relevant come playoff time. Week to week, they’re as strong as any team in the region. I just feel their attendance could hold them back.
What to watch for - Will Jay Ventresca show up enough to win Nasty Bat?
#4 Screwballs - Owner: Jerry Ceccio
Roster also includes: John Ceccio, JR Coop, and Rich Buscarino
The timeless Screwballs…..the 2016 Regional Champs….the wiffle elders of this great region. Well folks, they’re back again; and fully stocked up on Cake Bites, Bloody Marys, and Tanning Oil in 2017. As if their Hollywood-esque tans weren’t enough, they’re fantastic wiffleball players as well. This team knows how to grind, and claw their way to victory, and I expect nothing different coming into this season. That is the reason they are ranked as high as they are. They do everything well enough, and nothing poorly---expect losing---they do not enjoy that.
What to watch for - Will age EVER catch up to them?
#5 Throwbacks - Owner: John Denaro
Roster also includes: Daniel O’Connell, Vincent Denier, & Craig Caras
The Throwbacks; or TB17; or Team 11040 will hit the streets with authority this season and are thrilled to release the hounds on the competition in NY. Galvanized by local entrepreneur John Denaro, this team has the skills up and down to get the job done. This team is all about momentum; if they find some--watch out; and without it you’ll see them in a lot of close games. JD and X can hold down the pitching, and with a powerful veteran lineup led by Denier, the Throwbacks are a threat every. single. week. They won’t let you forget that either…
What to watch for - Will this veteran squad run out of gas on long days?
#6 Americans - Owner: Anthony D’Auria
Roster also includes: Dan Erhardt and Drue Santora
Wow, just wow. Who would have thought owner Anthony D’Auria would ever relinquish his Playaz franchise logo. With Carlo DeGiovine departing for Arizona, D’Auria reached out to former Spades teammate Dan Erhardt about playing some Yard this season. He was happy to oblige and the Americans were formed. Then, resigning Drue Santora gives the Americans that familiar look in the field to try and compete for a regional title. Although perennial Players’ Cup participants and champions, the Americans have their eyes set on a deep run at the OPEN this August in Staten Island.
What to watch for - Can the Foodman by the ACE this pitching staff?
#7 The Dark Knights - Owner: Dan Hargaden
Roster also includes: Mike, Matt, and Nick Valenti, and Tyler Cann
Please see their feature article here…. (include link to DK article)
What to watch for - Will the off-season MVFitness plan translate to wins on the field?
#8 Royals - Owner: Tony Lipovec
Roster also includes: Anthony Aguilar and Joe Mauro
With the departure of long time member Tyler Adelle, the Royals will look to make some significant jumps in the standing this season. Tony Lipovec proved last season as well as during the fall season that he is capable of shutting down any lineup and Mauro and Aguilar have proved to hit anybody in the league. If that's the case this season, don't be surprised if the Royals are in the top 5 in points at some point in the season. While pitching depth could be an issue, there is no reason to believe that the Royals can't be competitive and challenge for some big money this season.
What to watch for - Can Maaaaaaaami finally get some time on the mound?
#9 Booya - Owner: John Shea
Roster also includes: Rob Desz, Kyle Price, and Tyler Adelle
The acquisition of long time Royal Tyler Adell this offseason has given Booya the much needing pitching improvements they have needed since entering the league a few seasons ago. Robbie Desz swings one of the best sticks in the league and John Shea is as motivated an owner you will find in the league this season to get his team back on track and move up in the standings. Rounding out the roster we have “Hater Shades” Kyle Price who will patrol the Booya outfield and use those shades to shag as many fly balls as possible to keep his team in the game.
What to watch for - Will Robbie Desz maintain that NASTY knuckle he found in Fall League?
#10 MOB - Owner: Joe Cavaliere
Roster also includes: Nick Pepe and Nick Arenare
Joey Cavs, and Pepe are back, and theyve added a quality 3rd new to the circuit in Nick Arenare. It’s yet to be seen how they will mesh, but the RD’s saw this newcomer as a bright spot in the new rookie class, and felt it would be a great fit. Nick, also from Suffolk County like Cavaliere, at least shares location, age, and a love for the game. I expect some bumps, but expect a competitive showing from this young squad
What to watch for - Will the persevere, or get down on themselves during the bumps in the road?
OPENING DAY SCHEDULE & FORMATTING *****UPDATED AS OF 8PM*****
Here it is fellas LFG
830 CHECK IN DONT BE LATE I DONT CARE ABOUT HOW IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST BE THERE EARLY
Greens Fees are $125
Also bring $$$ for league fee ($50 for rookies, $100 for returning veterans)
Order forms for Hats and other gear will available to fill out
Over 500 wiffleballs available for purchase
Modified Yellows also available for purchase (rookie's have first dibs)
POOL 1 (Fields 5 and 6)
POOL 2 Fields (7 and 8)
Blue Dragons (FUN)
CRUSADERS 1 (Montero)
POOL 3 (Fields 1 and 2)
CRUSADERS 2 (CORALLO)
POOL 4 (Fields 3 and 4)
Americans vs. SOM
Blue Dragons vs. W2B
Screwballs vs. DK
HH vs. Royals
STORM vs Minutemen
Crusaders 1 vs. Suspects
Crusaders 2 vs. Booya
MOB vs. TB
Americans vs. Minutemen
Storm vs. SOM (Fun)
Blue Dragons vs. Suspects
SB vs. Crusaders 2
HH vs. TB
W2B vs. Crusaders 1
Booya vs. DK
MOB vs. Royals
Americans vs. Storm
MM vs. SOM (Fun)
Blue Dragons vs. Crusaders 1
SB vs. Booya
HH vs. MOB
Suspects vs. W2B
DK vs. Crusaders 2
Royal vs. TB
1. Everyone will play 3 pool play games
2. 4 POOL WINNERS will advance to Quarterfinals; Remaining teams seeded 5-12 will play an elimination game to fill out the remaining 4 teams in the Quarterfinals; Bottom 6 teams (seeds 13-18) will play an EXIT GAME for $50 and will be done for the day.
3. 4 Quarterfinals winners will advance to Semifinals; 4 teams eliminated from Quarterfinals will play an EXIT GAME for $50 and will be done for the day.
4. 2 Semifinal winners will meet in the finals, 2 semifinal losers will meet in a 3rd place EXIT GAME for $125 and be done for the day
MAX GAMES THAT CAN BE PLAYED IS 7, MINIMUM 4
ALL GAMES ARE 4 INNINGS EXCEPT SEMIFINALS and FINALS will be 5 INNINGS
POOL PLAY; MAX 2 Starts, 8 innings
ELIMINATION GAMES thru FINAL, PITCHERS CANNOT START BACK TO BACK