2005 Dudley/Budweiser Major NIT

The bells were ringing loud and clear this past weekend, as the “Bell Boys” beat the #1 team in the land. Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor Bros/Easton did it the hard way by winning the “if” game. I watched every inning between these two great teams, but Bell clearly outplayed Resmondo/Dan Smith/Menosse in all phases of the game this weekend. Bell was led by MVP Brett Helmer, who hit the hell out of it, but it truly was a total team effort. This is a very good softball team that has a whole lot of talent. I said earlier that Resmondo may be the best team ever, but I’m not sure now. Resmondo has been beat four times this season by Bell Corp. Bell has lost five times to Resmondo. The only other losses Bell has is to two A teams. I said that Warren Motors had the best overall record at 92-2. The next best record was the Long Haul/TPS team, which went 72-6. That Long Haul team holds another record, as they went 17-0 in the four World Tournaments that season. Resmondo will have to play a whole lot better, if they expect to break the Long Haul record. This NIT was a 34 team event, with 12 of the Top 15 teams entered in the nation. The “Bell Boys” beat all comers until the first game of the championship. They lost a very good game, 40-37. The “if” game was very close until the bottom of the 5th., when with two outs and Bell trailing by ten and a ground ball hit to the infield with the throw being low, the play was not made, and from that point on the “Bell Boys” took control and never looked back. The Bell team, I guarantee you will give Resmondo all they want the rest of the year. I believe when they play in the stadiums in the Worlds it’s going to be a battle in everyone they play, we will see. Third place went to Team Stucco/TPS, who just flat out played great all weekend long. The Stucco team picked up JD Genter and Ricky Robbins, who really gave this team a big lift. The “Stucco Boys” needed one more out in the bottom of the 7th. to beat the #1 team in the land. This was one of the best games that I have ever seen at the Dudley, as the “Sod Boys” scored eleven runs to beat Stucco. I know it was a let down for the Stucco boys, but they have no reason to hang their head as they played terrific! This bunch played their butts off, coming out on Sunday after losing that tough game and won two before falling to Resmondo. Once again congratulations on a great tournament. I can tell you all now, look for this team to be very tough in the A Worlds. Fourth place went to Aubrey’s/Resmondo/TPS, who also played very well in this one. Believe me, this is one solid A team, and they will be a force in the Class A Worlds, that’s for sure.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “the A World’s are going to be a battle between 8-10 very, very good A teams, and I guarantee you anyone of them can win one, it’s that close. I can’t wait to see these teams get it on.” I will once again tell you the Dudley is a First Class Event. I call it an event because it’s a lot more than just a softball tournament. This tournament has a carnival like atmosphere, with lots of great food, beer and music. It is one terrific weekend. If you haven’t ever been there, you should definitely make plans to attend next year. Warren Bellm has done this for 23 years, and it just keeps getting better and better each year. I would like to see more directors try to make their tournaments like the Dudley and the Smoky. I believe that if the directors would try to make their events with more things to do than just the softball. I think it would be a benefit to them.

I’ve said in earlier reports that we need to cut down the number of NIT’s, there’s just too many. There are only a few events that are getting good responses to their tournaments. I would like to see the USSSA have the Dudley, Euliss, Texas, Florida, Detroit, Concorde, California, Seattle, Washington, Milwaukee and the Cajun. The NSA should have Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Seattle and Canada. The ASA should have the Twitty, the Smoky Mtn. Classic, College Station, somewhere in California and Little Rock, Arkansas. That’s a total of 18 NIT’s. There should be five Class A Worlds and three Super Worlds, the USSSA, NSA, ISA remember there is no AA teams left, it’s only Super and A and that should be it, making 23 tournaments in all. If that was done, with the amount of teams playing today at the upper level, I believe that these NIT’s would get much more participation giving them bigger numbers in their events. Remember this is only my opinion. We definitely must cut down.

Once again thanks to Warren and Jerry for a great weekend of “Big Time Softball”. I really enjoyed the weekend. It surely was another Great Dudley, and I hope I’ll be around to make another one next year.