USSSA Major World Series

Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat ended Resmondo’s three year run on winning this prestigious tournament. Dan Smith is now the # 1 team in the country and world champions for 2008. The Smith boys did it the hard way, as they lost their first game Wednesday night and then set sail to get back to the finals. This team had to battle through eight games and win the “if” game to take Resmondo off the king of the hill. Smith not only had to battle Resmondo, but also the heat and energy it took out of the players to get back to the final. Smith reached the first game of the championship Sunday, won that and then finished it off winning the “If” game 30-29. This win was definitely a total team effort, although I thought the big difference was Resmondo did not get the two scooters out, Nastally and McGavin. These two got on most of the time, and then came the top of the order and they were off and running again. I believe one of the best things they did was hit 10. I know that Kendrick and Brown were hurt and that left them hit 10.

I have said all season long that these two giants would be very close, and it sure played out that way. Fifteen times in 2008 Resmondo and Smith played each other. Resmondo won 8 and Smith won 7. Resmondo played thirteen tournaments, winning ten and losing three. Smith played twelve tournaments winning six and losing six, but they won the one that really counts the USSSA Worlds. I know both teams had players who were playing hurt, but they gave their all. I believe this was not your typical USSSA World tournament. Smith put this year’s tournament into a spin when they lost to T&R Stucco. Jean Shoppe/Worth also lost early and that was another “not supposed to happen” game, but that’s why they play them.

The two final games of this years worlds were pretty much how Resmondo & Smith played each other all season long, very close. Resmondo was down 10 coming into the top of the 7th of the “if” game, managed to score 9 and lose by 1, but Smith still had a bat left. I thought the play of Johnny McCraw was a big reason why Smith is the 2008 World Champions. Johnnie, this year’s MVP absolutely deserved to be named that. Rusty Bumgardner also played his best tournament of the season. I also believe that Scott Nastally did a terrific job pitching throughout the whole tournament for Smith and he deserves a lot of credit for this win also. Brett Helmer had his typical great tournament that he always has at Disney. Brian Wegman certainly showed why he’s one of the best players in the world, as he hit it and caught everything in sight. I said that I didn’t think that Smith could win with three or four catcher AH’s and I was wrong, they won. I don’t believe they had a very good season playing 500 ball in their twelve tournaments, but the bottom line is they won when it counted and they are the best team in softball in 2008. Congratulations on your win and I sure know you guys gave a great effort playing all those games in getting the job done. Great job boys!! I can’t wait to see what type of team Dan Smith will have in 2009.

Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth has no reason to hang their heads for they were the best team all season long, but came up short in the USSSA Worlds. I still believe and it’s my opinion, that the 2007 Resmondo team was the best ever to play this game. I also know that some of the heart and soul left and went over to play with Dan Smith in 2008. Rusty Bumgardner, a nine time USSSA World Champion told his team mate Jason Kendrick “I got one finger left to put another ring on and I hope I’m able to do it.. That’s one of the players who left. Kendrick, a seven time USSSA World Champion also left, along with super star Bryson Baker and super star Dal Beggs. When you lose that caliber of a player and still have a great season like Resmondo did, you certainly have no reason for hanging your head after losing this USSSA World. I say “it’s over and start thinking about 2009 and how to get back to the top again”. Congratulations on a great season and a great effort in the USSSA Worlds.

Combat/USA finished in third place in this year’s USSSA Worlds. I am here to tell you all “I don’t think anybody would have picked this team to finish in the top four. I know this, you don’t ever know what the outcome will be,,,,,,Look what happened to Dan Smith when T&R beat them early, and that’s why they play the games. Combat played extremely well. Combat hit it very good all weekend, played good defense and gave a great effort. They deserve to be the third place team in this year’s World. Congratulations on your great weekend and I’ll be looking for you guys to come back in 2009.

Taylor Made/Mizuno just is the story of this year’s USSSA Worlds. I know the softball world knew this was a good B team and they played very good all season. This team was very competitive in conference play and competing with most of the teams all year. I cannot say enough about the job Scotty O’Neal did running this team in 2008. Scotty instituted a program for this team and the players bought into it and it worked. The players believed in what Scotty wanted and they became the only Class B team to ever finish in the top four in the 37 year history of the USSSA World Series. Scotty is one very proud softball man. He gave his all and so did his players. I hope that there might be a person down in the North Carolina area who might be interested in helping sponsor with this years sponsor, so that this team can come back in 2009. I sure hope so. Congratulations to Scotty, to his sponsor and all the great players who made up this Taylor Made/Mizuno team. Great job boys.

I would like to congratulate all the other teams that participated in this years USSSA Worlds. You all earned your way to this prestigious tournament and you deserve a big applause for what you accomplished this season. Good luck to all you guys in 2009.

I want to thank Don Dedonatis, Sr. for letting me be a part of this year’s USSSA series. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart I care about this great game and appreciate what you have done to keep this great game going. I’m getting older now and probably won’t be around too many more years with my health problems, but I still love this game and I will always give what I can to promote this game for the sponsors and the players who make it up. Thanks for the great weekend, I really loved it. I also want to thank Travis Resmondo for what he has done for me over the years. I will never forget you Travis. I also ant to thank Dan Smith for what he has done for me over the years, and congratulations Dan on you winning the USSSA Worlds, you deserve it. I also want to thank my very good friend John Daniels for being a great friend to me and my wife Joan, thanks buddy. I know that there are some people who don’t always agree with me about what I might say or I might write about, but remember this is only my opinion. Everybody has a right to their opinion, but I can tell you all I do care a lot about the game and the people who play it and the people who pay for it. I know this, it has been a big part of my life and I would like to thank all who have been a part of it.