Panama City Beach Florida was the setting for the 2008 WSL Worlds. There were 211 teams who participated in this year’s tournament with Women’s, Class E, D, C, B & A. The Class A Division was played on a baseball field 330′ all the way around, using 80′ bases with a nine homerun limit. I can tell you all these are the best conditions to play Class A softball period. The ball used was a .44 375 core and it fit the size of the field perfect. Long Haul/Phonemasters/Miken won this Class A Worlds, but had to do it the hard way. Long Haul lost it’s first game of the tournament then came charging back through the losers bracket and double-dipped Specialty Tank/Creative Stucco. Long Haul was definitely the best team in this one, but Specialty Tank/Stucco and Fencebrokers were very close. Three military teams participated, the Air Force, the Navy and the Army played and were pretty competitive in most of their games. It certainly is a great gesture by John Daniels and his staff to invite these military teams to his tournament. These teams don’t get to play much and are picked from 25 players on each team and they bring 15 to play. Remember this these teams are made up of the men who defend our country and let us be able to have tournaments like this. There were some of the elite players in bigtime softball who participated in this Class A Worlds. JC Phelps, Dennis Rulli, Hank Garris, BJ Fulk and also one of the all time great hitters in the game for years Dewayne Frizzel played and hit it pretty good. Congratulations to Long Haul/Phonemasters/Miken on winning this WSL Worlds and good luck in the ASA Hooters Tournament in Oklahoma. Congratulations also to the runner-ups Specialty Tank/Creative Stucco, which was made up with players from Jean Shoppe and GTL. The Fencebrokers team had Dennis Rulli and Frizzel and they played well. Logo Express, who was forced to play up in A this year after winning the Class B last year played pretty good. Congratulations to all the teams who participated in the Class A WSL Worlds.
The Class B Division came down to of the best B teams in the tournament. Lighthouse from Orlando, Fla. got the win over Alabama Brick. These two teams played two very close games in this tournament. The Class B Division had some very good B teams. I believe the difference was Rick Sill’s pitching. I think Rick did a great job holding down Brick to get the win. Congratulations to Lighthouse on winning the Class B Worlds and to all the rest of the Class B teams who participated.. I watched the Class B championship game and I can tell you these two teams are legit Class B teams. These two teams could not win in Class A period.
The Class C Division was very competitive with about ten teams who had a chance to win. DLB/Shirts got the win. This Class C team is from Arlington, Illinois. I watched this bunch play and this is definitely a legit Class C team believe me. Congratulations on winning the Class C WSL Wolds. Runner-up went to EAP/Wessel/Easton. I am sure Jim was looking down on you guys playing in this one. This is also another legit Class C team. Good job guys. I know that these two could not win in Class B, I guarantee you. Congratulations to all the other Class C teams who participated.
The Class D Division was very competitive also with a whole bunch of good teams. Access American/CTS/Miken from Chickamauga, Georgia won this Class D Division. This was a pretty good Class D team who played very well. Congratulations on your win. Runner-up went to TPE/S&S out of Trenton, Ohio. This also is a good Class D team. Good job boys and congratulations to all the other Class D teams.
The Class E Division had a whole lot of good recreational type teams. These teams put on a good showing and are all legit E teams. CUZZ Softball from Richfield, North Carolina won this one and they played extremely well. I watched them play and I think there are a couple of players on this team who could move up to Class D next year. Congratulations to you guys on your win. Runner-up went to Team Balco from Morrisville, North Carolina. This was another good Class E team. Congratulations on your second place finish.
The Women’s Division was pretty competitive. Leftovers from Pensacola, Fl. won this WSL Women’s lover division worlds. This bunch played very good to get the win. Congratulations on your championship win. Runner-up went to Doc’s Softball Softes from Panama City, Fl. who also played very well. Congratulations to you girls on your weekend.
I would like to commend John Daniels on another First Class WSL North American Championship. I will tell you all that nobody gives and has done more than John and the ASA. The cash and prizes that these two partners give out to the teams are unbelievable. The trophies are the biggest and best given out in any Worlds played. The teams who participate in the WSL are very well taken care of I guarantee you. The teams that participated in the WSL/ASA Miken Championship this year were First Class. Yes there are always a few who don’t get it, by that I mean what it takes to put on a 223 team tournament. I know it is impossible to please everybody and that is the nature of the beast. I also know that Nate and Dan worked their butts off trying to make this the best tournament there is and also to please all the teams, and for the most part they did their job. Some of the little things just cannot be stopped period. The jobs that Nate & Dan have sometimes are not appreciated enough, but I know they gave their all. I took the time to talk to Richard Sanders about the conditions of the Frank Brown Park. I told Richard I thought that some of the teams think they should fix up the fields a little, and fix all the lights on all fields and the scoreboards on all fields for 2009. Richard informed me that next year this would be done, and he also told me they were planning to start the new 5 field complex over in the back of Frank Brown. I know this, there’s no better facility to bring your team and family to play ball like there is in Panama City Beach, Fl. Frank Brown is the perfect complex with all their fields, the beach is fabulous, the concessions are the best that Tom and his wife run and the friendly people at the Edgewater Resort top it all. It doesn’t get any better than that.
I heard some of the teams and the players complain about the umpires. I watched all divisions play and I did not see too many bad calls. I’m sure there were a few , that’s the nature of the beast. I know this, there were more players who booted balls, went 0-4 and their team lost and they all want to blame the umpire and that doesn’t surprise me. Remember the teams who don’t cry and the teams that lose blame the umpire. The players who booted the ball and did not hit 400 for the weekend should take a look at themselves, not the umpires believe me. I would like to commend James Woods on doing another great job as the umpire and chief. He doesn’t get enough credit for the job he does, Great Job James.