announcements

WOODSTOCK VII
 
The annual ECBA summer convention was held in Woodstock, MD June 17-23, 2013, the seventh consecutive at the rural confines of the home of Larry and Sandy Fryer. In attendance were 9 of the 12 league members, to wit:
 
  
L to R: (standing) Al Ringland, Mark Gratkowski, Jim Sebastian, Warren Ringland
 
2nd Row: Steve Pow, Larry Fryer, Thomas Beltz
 
Back Row: Kevin Fisher, James Beltz
 
 
250 games were played during the week-long festivities, which included the annual wiffle ball homerun derby, East vs. West game, and the presentation of the championship bat from incumbent ECBA champion (James Beltz, T’Runners) to the new (Jim Sebastian, Surf).
 
Per tradition, father and son team, Warren and Al Ringland drove in from Texas, arriving Tuesday at noon, with Californians Jim Sebastian and Kevin Fisher flying in Monday afternoon. Pennsylvania attendees, Jim and Tom Beltz arrived Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Marylanders’ Steve Pow played 35 games on Wednesday and Thursday, prior to departing for his gala 30th birthday party weekend, and Mark Gratkowski was engaged all week, turning in a stellar 2nd place finish in the convention standings.
 
Convention Standings
Team, Manager

Wins

Losses

Pct.

Jerseys, Warren Ringland

45

30

.600

Mayhem, Mark Gratkowski

30

25

.545

Bootleggers, Tom Beltz

29

26

.527

Sickies, Al Ringland

26

24

.520

T’Runners, Jim Beltz

28

27

.509

Comets, Steve Pow

16

19

.457

Sabres, Larry Fryer

18

22

.450

Fisher Cats, Kevin Fisher

33

42

.440

Surf, Jim Sebastian

25

35

.417
 
ECBA Standings as of June 29, 2013
 
Eastern Division
Team

Wins

Losses

Pct.

GB

Trailrunners

68

42

.618

 

Comets

43

32

.573

 

Sabres

68

52

.567

5

Bootleggers

68

62

.523

10

Mayhem

62

73

.459

18.5

Mass Maniacs

48

112

.300

45
 
Western Division
Team

Wins

Losses

Pct.

GB

Jerseys

59

41

.590

 

Sickies

53

42

.558

3.5

Skanks

30

30

.500

9

Fisher Cats

52

58

.473

12

Surf

48

62

.436

16

Fan Four

 

 

 

 
 
With a full week of brotherhood and 250 games, it is difficult to choose from the many highlights as THE best. However, the Maryland Mayhems’ consecutive scoreless streak of 38 innings being quickly matched by Jim Beltz’s powerhouse Trailrunners, was one. In the midst of this streak, brother Tom noted Jim was so affected, he was “shaking his head like an old man”, as Tom mimicked the behavior to the delight of those in the basement at the time. In honor of this “feat”, Jim Beltz was presented with a bobblehead doll in his likeness. Jim (aka Willie Lutz) exclaimed, “How come I get this, Mark did it too!”
                                               
In the 2013 wiffle ball homerun derby, Jim Beltz ousted the 2012 champion, Larry Fryer in the finals by a hefty 12-4 margin.
   
The West beat the East 7-6 in four innings, with Kevin Fisher hitting a 3-run homer in the 4th. Mark Gratkowski blasted two homers for the East in a losing cause. Warren (Wilbur Wood) Ringland fanned 8 batters in his four innings of work.
 
Pictured below is Jim Beltz, sporting the homerun derby champion’s Burger King crown.
 
  
 
Other highlights of the convention included the previously mentioned Mayhem scoreless streak. After winning 20 of his first 30 games against the West, the Mayhem were swept by the Boots, incurring the 38 inning consecutive scoreless streak. While statisticians demanded a tie-breaker by thirds of innings in comparing the T’Runners later accomplishment, we now know the “people’s choice” went to Jim Beltz.
 
Equipped with not one, but two iPads for the convention, Kevin Fisher was aptly nicknamed, “iPad Man.”
It was another sublime week of brotherhood for the longest running (39 years) PBM league in the country! Begun in 1974, the ECBA continues as the premier Strat-O-Matic league in the world.