2005 USSSA Hall of Fame NIT

The 2005 NIT’s got under way this weekend in Kissimmee, FL. I can tell you this USSSA NIT was as good as it gets. Resmondo/Dan Smith/Menosse won this one by winning the “If” game, run ruling Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor Bros/Easton. The Bell boys lost the winner’s bracket final game 40-37. The Bell boys then played a very good A team, AM Las Vegas/Benfield/Reece/Belcher/Shade/Easton team that finished third in this one. The Vegas boys beat another very good A team Aubrey’s/Resmondo/TPS who finished in fourth place. The first USSSA NIT of the season had twelve teams entered, two Supers, two A’s, two B’s and six C teams. I can tell you that most of the Super NIT’s in 2005 will need these B and C teams to play or these will end up being four or five team tournaments. The problem is from what I can see, there’s too many NIT’s and not enough A teams who can afford to travel this much. The only way that there will be a lot of A teams entered in these Super NIT’s is if the tournament is within driving distance or in their own area. I know this, I’ve got approximately thirty A team rosters this year, and only about ten of them will be able to travel out of their area, that’s it. The directors who are running Super NIT’s this season better hustle and get some of their local B & C teams to their events. There will be some great tournaments when the two Super teams and ten or twelve of the good A teams show up, but few and far between. I think ten to twelve A teams is about the best you can get on any given weekend, except the Smoky and the Dudley. The Thoroughbred and the Twitty will get about 25 A teams, as usual. This one this weekend came out just how it was expected too.

The Resmondo/Dan Smith/Menosse team is going to be very hard to beat in a tournament this season. I believe they have a chance to have the best record in a single season, other than the Warren Motors team from years back that went 92-2. Make no mistake about it, this is a very talented bunch. This team has an All-Star at every position, and two bench players who can start on any good A team in the country. I will tell you also, they have power 1-11 who can bust it anywhere they play, they also can base hit it in the homerun restricted tournaments and can hit it when they play in the stadiums. This team also has great defense in every position. This bunch as they say, has “all the tools”. The Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor Bros/Easton team are also very talented, but may lack one or two players at key positions. They can base hit it very well, play very good D, but may lack some power, especially in the big stadiums where they play the Worlds. They played very good this weekend and can and will be very competitive against Resmondo all year long. I believe they will have to play their best to win a tournament when Resmondo is entered, we will see. I know one thing for sure there’s no quitters on that Bell team and they’re going to get better. I haven’t seen Team Combat yet, but I can tell you they will have to be very good to beat the two “big boys” or AM Las Vegas/Benfield/Reece/Belcher/Shade/Easton. The Vegas boys are very good believe me. They also have “all the tools”. They can base hit it, hit for power and play solid D. This bunch will be knocking on the door all season long, I guarantee you.

I can say this, that playing on the 300′ fields, using hard rock balls with the homerun limit is a great game for the A teams, but they will have a very tough time beating the two big teams that’s for sure. There are maybe three or four A teams that will be very competitive in these conditions, but cannot win a tournament when the two giants are entered period. I still believe these good A teams have a better chance to win with a homerun limit on baseball fields, using 80′ bases, but remember this is just my opinion. When they play the Worlds on baseball fields using 70′ bases these A teams don’t have a chance. Too many doubles, too many triples and too many inside the park homeruns, with no double plays made, not being able to get out of a big inning are the problems with the 70′ bases. When using the 80′ bases these good A teams can turn the double play, stop the big innings making them able to hold runners at first base to keep the double play in order, period.

Don Dedonatis and his USSSA staff once again did another great job running this tournament. The umpiring was great and for the most part the games were on time. That’s the way they should all be run. The USSSA voted to let B teams who participate in their program play in the USSSA A Worlds in 2005. I for one totally think this is a great move on by the Board of Directors of the USSSA. I want to especially thank Jim McCarron for his dedication and hard work on posting all the scores and tid bits keeping all the fans abreast of what’s going on in these USSSA NIT’s, thanks again Jim. I also would like the softball world to know that one of the great guys in the history of our game, Woody & Pat Bell are putting on a fundraiser in Woody’s hometown Aurora, Ohio for a man whom they have known since Woody was a kid, who has Down Syndrome and is now 55 yrs. old. This guy would always attended the softball games at their local park where some of Woody’s sponsored teams played back in those days. He very much loved going to the softball games. Woody is having a street named in his honor at the local ballpark. It’s people like Woody and Pat Bell who make this great game the “softball family” that it is. I’ll keep you all informed on when this event is taking place and how it turns out. Maybe some of the softball fans in that area could turn out for the fundraiser and help Woody & Pat make this a great event. Woody, all I can say is you and Pat are truly a “Class Act” and have made all the people involved in softball very, very proud to know you. Good Luck in your endeavor.

Bryson Baker – Smith/Resmondo/Menosse – MVP
Rusty Bumgardner – Smith/Resmondo/Menosse
Tim Cocco – Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor
Albert Davis – Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor
Don DeDonatis Jr – Smith/ResmondoMenosse
Jim Devine – Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor
Jeff Hall – Smith/Resmondo/Menossee
Brett Helmer – Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor
Jason Kendrick – Smith/Resmondo/Menosse
Scott Nastally – Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor
Kris Ohara – AM Las Vegas/Benfield
Andy Purcell – Smith/Resmondo/Menosse
Scott Striebel – Smith/Resmondo/Menosse
Dennis Rulli – AM Las Vegas/Benfield
Brian Wegman – AM Las Vegas/Benfield