Beloli’s/Transat/Holidays, a team out of Taunton, Massachusetts continues to dominate this tournament as they won for the 6th time in 2001. It doesn’t seem to matter what players they put together, they just always seem to find a way to win this prestigious Canadian/American Tournament. This year a couple of players who have been on five of these wins, Doug Roberson and Darryl Beehler didn’t make it to this tournament. Beloli’s replaced them with Paul Brannon from Hague/Resmondo/TPS and Jeff Wallace and Mike McColman from Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corps/TPS, but this year the show was stolen by a Wallace named David. All David did was hit over .800 with 5 homeruns to lead Beloli’s to the Championship. Oh yeh, Jeff and Paul did their job also, along with Long Haul’s and Canadian player Mike McColman who also hit it well this weekend for Beloli’s., as they contributed 14 homeruns between the three, 6 from Paul , 5 from Jeff and 3 from Mike on the big baseball field. They also got great play and good hitting from shortstop Tom Napoli, who came along with David Wallace to play this weekend. Beloli’s also got a great performance from veteran pitcher Rick Weiterman, who also hit the ball very good over the weekend. Finishing in 2nd. place was Lloyd’s Boys, a Canadian team from Ontario, Canada who played extremely well all weekend long. They were led by this years MVP, Tim Bentley and also got great play from the rest of the squad throughout the tournament. They had to battle the 3rd. place finisher, Marriott/Vacance/Air Tran, another very good Canadian team out of Montreal, Quebec who had former Steele’s player Jacque Millier. Jacque hit it very well for Marriott this weekend, but was not able to hit the long ball due to an injury he got playing Hockey this past winter separating his shoulder and it hasn’t healed properly yet. Jaque told me “it’s coming along and I should be able to start hitting it a long ways again soon”. Paul Brannon from Hague/Resmondo/TPS won the Homerun Derby Friday night by hitting 5 in a row in the second round playoff against Mike McColman and Nelson Potter.
This year it was the 27th addition of the “Pif”, which is done in memory of Yvon Pif Depatie, who was surnamed “Pif” and was a remarkable athlete in many disciplines. This year the American contingent was only 3 American teams. I believe that the problem is because of all the NIT’s in the states and the costly expenses for these teams playing as many Nit’s as they can trying to qualify for World Tournaments in the states is a big factor in teams not being able to make it to this prestigious tournament in Canada. Hopefully next year some of the Nit’s in the states will be cut out and more American teams will be able to make this a yearly tradition. I can tell you this year the competition from the Canadian contingents was much better than I’ve seen in the past few years. There are some very good Canadian teams who are getting better every year. I think that if the committee of the Pif Tournament would make some changes for the betterment of the teams you would see that this tournament would continue to grow and get back where it belongs with 16 teams, 8 American and 8 Canadian. I have talked to a few people this weekend and I am willing to sit down with the powers to be and make some suggestions to try and get this tournament back where it belongs. This year with the fabulous entertainment having two bands, “Okoume” who played Friday night after the game, and the “Boogie Wonder Band”, an unbelievable show they put on for the Saturday night crowds after the Homerun Contest, made this the most unbelievable weekend in softball that I have ever seen. Our “northern neighbors” really did it up right, a First Class Act. I’m telling all you teams out there now who have been there before, and for the teams that have never been there, make plans for the 2002 “Pif”, you won’t regret it!! You can call me and I will make the contact and get you information of what will be done by the Board of Directors of “The Pif” to help you make your plans for 2002. They are starting to work now on format changes for the betterment of their tournament. I hope to be meeting with their people to help recruit some American teams and also to suggest some changes to benefit everybody. There’s no doubt in my mind, that this tournament must get back to full
strength, and with some hard work and the dedication from the people who run The Pif, I know that this tournament will be bigger and better in 2002. Let’s not forget the Women’s Division, who put on a fine show all weekend long. There were 12 good teams from Canada and the USA. Pennies, a team from Maryland won this tournament. This is their 2nd. year attending this tournament finishing 2nd. last year and they weren’t denied this year, as they captured the Championship over Vacances/Air Transat a good Canadian team. Pennies drove 12 hours each way to participate in this tournament. Congratulations Pennies on your “big” win. The girls also had their Homerun Derby before a tremendous crowd. I didn’t get the winner of that as I was watching the men play, but I’ll post it when I receive her name. I want to thank Mike Forrest and the Board of Directors for their Hospitality to my wife and myself all weekend long and commend Mike for a terrific job that he did running this Tournament and to the Board for putting on an unbelievable weekend of entertainment to complete this whole event.