2005 USSSA Major World Series

The ice cream was being served, and Resmondo/Dan Smith/Menosse got a double dip on route to the most coveted crown in softball, the USSSA World Series Championship. I have seen a lot of USSSA Worlds played, and I can tell you this was as good as it gets. Resmondo and Bell Corp went at it like Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier. These two gladiators punched each other for 14 innings and left nothing on the field. They battled to the very end, but Bell came up a little short and had to settle for runner-up in this prestigious tournament. “The Sod Boys”, who lost to the “Chimers” in their third game, got up off the floor and played their best ball of the season and got back to the first game of the Championship. “The Sod Boys” were the visitors in both games won the first one, and then it was on to the “if” game to decide who would be the #1 team in 2005. Resmondo/Dan Smith/Menosse had something to prove not only to the Bell team, but to the softball world that they belong as the #1 team, and they did just that. Make no mistake, the Bell/Backman/Taylor/Easton team have no reason to hang their heads, as this team is one hell of a softball team who ranks right up there with the best of any. The way the game is today, this is the hardest game to ever play. The NIT’s are all restricted homerun tournaments except the Smoky. When these two giants play the A teams, it’s 12 homeruns. These great players have to adjust and be able to win. The players from the past played unlimited homerun tournaments on 300′ fields and the scores were very high. I know the bats were not as good as today’s, but they were good enough hitting .47 & .50 core balls. The players today play restricted tournaments and also play on baseball fields using 80′ bases, which makes it a total different game. The day of the 275 lb. outfielders are over. I can tell you , if you don’t have players that are great athletes and can play the game, you cannot win at this level. These teams who participated in this 2005 World Series, all have people who can flat-out play the game. The “Sod and Bell” teams have people who are great athletes and great players who can play the game both defensively and offensively, and that is the only way you can win in “Bigtime Softball” today. The outfielders for both of these teams are just unbelievable. Resmondo’s Kendrick, Striebel and Rainwater and Bell’s Helmer, Baker and Hughes ran down balls all day long. These guys just are simply the best in the world and can flat-out go get the ball in the biggest ballpark they played in all season long, 335′, 385′ & 415′.

These guys are good! The ball used this year was a very explosive ball, the Dudley 3N .47 core. I believe if this ball was tested it would of been about .600 compression. I can tell you there were some long homeruns hit this weekend. Wallace hit one over the dead center field fence some 475′ away. The scoreboard wall is 35′ high at center. Helmer hit some over the back wall, which is 60′ from the 335′ outfield fence. There were a lot of balls hit off the centerfield scoreboard for homeruns. The infielders just didn’t have much of a chance to make plays with that ball. There were about four pitchers who got hit very hard from hitters hitting it up the middle. I know this, if they’re going to use these balls, they’ll have to move the bases to 80′ and let the pitcher back off the rubber 3 ft. like some of the other associations allow. I can tell you we are very lucky that a pitcher didn’t get seriously hurt, or one of the infielders, that’s for sure. I guarantee you this is going to happen soon with these bats and these type of balls, no doubt about it.

This is one hell of a place to play, that’s for sure. I believe this is the greatest place for the best teams in the world to play. I know this, it would be a lot better using longer bases to stop the automatic doubles and balls being hit straight at the outfielders, giving no chance to keep the runners at 1st. base and to keep the double play in force. Something has to be done. There were some great plays made by infielders, who just got lucky at times. The ball was coming so fast at them, that they had to make the play or get the hell out of the way, because they didn’t have a chance to catch it. I can tell you Don Dedonatis Jr. and Dal Beggs made some plays, laying straight out that not very many players could of made. These two are the very best at shortstop, that’s for sure. I have to say, that the Resmondo win made their season a whole lot better. This team started out playing really good, and it sure looked like they would win everything. “The Sod” boys headed to the Dudley looking to win and then to the Smoky, but they went off track at the Dudley, and then lost at the Smoky. The next move was on to the NSA Major Worlds. They only managed to get the runner-up spot in that one. The only thing left was the USSSA World Series. I can tell you the pressure was on the players and sponsors to win this prestigious tournament. I know for sure if they didn’t win this one, it would of been the biggest let downs by a team who was expected to dominate the softball world in 2005. There’s no doubt that this team from the management to the players went into this one with one thing on their minds, and that was to win, and that’s exactly what they did. This is the 19th World Title for Travis Resmondo at the ripe old age of 31. Dan Smith and Ed Menosse have also racked up a whole bunch of World Titles. These three great sponsors have put together one hell of a talented team, that’s for sure. I can tell you it took most of the season to get this team to come together, but it did and it surely paid off winning the World Championship. Congratulations to Travis, Dan, Ed, Pat, John, Jerry, Sol, Frank & Shirl and the players who got it done and proved to the softball world that you were the “best team in 2005”. The Resmondo team got it done with one of the games all time great players, Rusty Bumgardner who just struggled hitting the ball this weekend. The management had to sit Rusty for the first time in his historic career. I’m here to tell you Rusty remained a total teammate cheering on his team, and when asked to pinch hit or go in and play defense, he was there. Rusty you still are a great player and I hope you come back in 2006 and prove it was just a bad weekend, good luck. I also want to say that Dennis Turner and Ed Rosado are two players who were a big part of the Resmondo team winning this USSSA World Tournament, and doing a great job when called on during the season. Second place went to Bell Corp, who just gave everything they had in this unbelievable World Tournament. This is one great softball team, who battled all season long and won the two biggest NIT’s in softball, the Dudley and the Smoky. I know that management and the players must be very disappointed about not winning the NSA or the USSSA, but you guys have nothing to hang your head about. This team has some of the best players in the world, and they all have the heart of a lion, no doubt about it. I know Woody, Jerry and Bill gave this team anything they needed to make this team go. John and Gary gave their all running this great team. I know watching this team play all season there wasn’t anything missing that would of made a difference from winning or losing this weekend. This team played even all season long against a team that had an all star player in every position, and it came down to a one inning game to settle the #1 & #2 teams for the 2005 season. I guarantee you it doesn’t get any closer than this. Congratulations to Woody, Jerry, Bill, John, Gary, Scotty and to all the players on a great season, and good luck to all for next year.

Third place went to Northwest Pipe/3N2/Easton, who just played very good this whole season. I know that some people will say “hey they had it made in this one”. I’m here to tell you that this team beat the teams they needed to beat, and lost to the two best teams in the world. They earned that 3rd place finish believe me. I can tell you this team had a great season winning the Last Chance and finishing in 3rd place in the grand daddy of them all. Congratulations to Larry and his son and to all the players for a great season, and good luck next year. Fourth place went to AM/Las Vegas/Benfield/Reece/Belcher/Shade/Easton who had to play Resmondo two times and lost to the best team in 2005. I know it was too bad the bracket had to come out like it did, but that is the way the USSSA does it, bracketed by the points and you guys just got caught up in it. I know this, you guys have nothing to feel bad about. You had a great season. I know winning the three World Championships is nothing to sneeze about, that’s for sure. I will tell you that this team had some of the best players in the world on it, and it sure proved it all season long. Congratulations to Tony, Benfield, Mike, Roger, Mel, Rooster, Cropper, Mac, Roger & Kevin on a great season. Congratulations to all the other great teams who participated in this years World Tournament.

I want to commend Don Dedonatis on the job he and his USSSA staff has done making this the best softball tournament in the world. The Wide World of Sports Cracker Jack Stadium is the most beautiful place to play the best teams in the world. I honestly believe that if this tournament was played with 80′ bases on this size field, the very good A teams would have a chance to win. They have no chance on 70′ bases. These good A teams who have great defense just cannot get out of an inning, because they can’t make many double plays and you can’t stop legit singles from being doubles. When 260 lb. players can beat out ground balls and take two on legit singles, these A teams cannot stop the big innings period. This is the only association that still uses 70′ bases in bigtime softball. They need to play with 80′ bases on baseball fields, period. I also want to say the umpiring was excellent. When you get the best teams, you’ve got to have the best umpires and they did. The USSSA absolutely did their homework getting over 240 D teams, 40 B teams and over 100 B, C & D Women’s teams to go along with the 16 Majors. It doesn’t get any better than this. The crowds were great all week. Sunday was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen on a Sunday. All I can say is this was truly a professional event ran by a professional association. I am just very happy to be a part of it every year and I hope my health will let me see many more. I love this game very much and I can’t wait until next year to see the best games and the best World Series in the world. Congratulations to Kirby Investment for winning the Class B USSSA Worlds. This my friends is one hell of a B team who can play with any B team in the world. Tim you are a “Class Act” and I’m privileged to have met you in Panama City, FL. I can tell all of softball that the B program in softball is the future of Bigtime Softball. The players playing B ball today will be the future of the Major World Series down the road. I believe that the good B teams should play in the Major NIT’s and the A Worlds to get better, and get more experience to get to the top level of Bigtime Softball. Congratulations to all the B teams who played in this one. Good luck next year.