I think the Dan Smith boys wanted to start the 2002 season letting Long Haul know they were not about to roll over this season. People will say “it was only a “one pitch” tournament and they had a one hour time limit for their game”. The bottom line is that it was fair for both teams and Dan Smith won their first meeting between two of the Giants of Big Time Softball. The amazing thing is that it took an incredible 8 run rally by Long Haul in the bottom of the 6th inning and with the time already ran out to win their game against Hague Resmondo to even get to play Dan Smith. These “3 Giants” are very close. Dan Smith was led by MVP “Big” Scott Brown, the young pitcher who can hit it with the best of them and will prove to be a big part of this team in 2002. I know it’s hard to judge a team in a one pitch game, so I won’t do that. I can tell you that this 2002 Dan Smith team is a lot better than last year’s team, with the pick-ups of players like Demond Thomas, Larry Carter, Scott Brown, Shane Dubose, David Hood, Robin Higgenbotham and of course one of the games best all around players Jason Kendrick would make any team better. This is going to be a great season in Big Time Softball. The merger with some of the best A teams getting together and Dan Smith and Hague Resmondo both having better teams will definitely make for great competition and a fun game to watch. Because of the bad weather the WSL and NSA staff had to make some hard decisions on how to get this tournament in and I totally agree that they did it right. Jim Kimmel and David Lancaster got it done, and that is what it’s all about, trying to make things work, and that is what they did. I said this format of playing travel expenses to the four highest finishing teams, other than the big 3 was a great idea, and I believe it has been awesome so far. Holland/Terry’s/Mizuno, a very good A team out of North Carolina finished in second place and picked up the $2,000 prize money. They earned it by playing extremely well all weekend. Felts, another good A team also played very well and earned the $1,500 they picked up. Both Audio Jungsion and Smokes picked up $750 each for their very good efforts in this tournament. The Felts sponsor had this to say “Gordie I’ve been in this game as a sponsor since 1967 and have never had anyone give me any expense money, this is absolutely awesome and is worth it for A teams to come out and play for a chance to earn travel expense money”. Another quote from the Jonesboro personnel “our team didn’t know if we would like playing on baseball fields with 90′ bases, but I can tell you now that we loved it and are thinking about going to Richmond, Indiana in two weeks. The good thing is we had a chance to compete and play a full game against one of the best teams in the world Dan Smith, but 90′ might be a little too much Gordie, but I understand on some of these nice fields they wouldn’t want you on their good grass”. The order of finish in the tournament itself was like this; Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton, 2nd. place went to Holland/Terry’s/Mizuno, 3rd. place was Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS and 4th went to the Felts team. I have to say that the WSL/NSA has been very exciting in their first two events and it’s only going to get better. Don’t miss the next stop in Richmond, Indiana. I would like to say that David Lancaster ran a First Class tournament. The ball fields were excellent. David and his staff did a great job of getting the fields ready after all the rain. The City of Spartanburg was a great host for this “Big Time” softball tournament with good hotels, good restaurants and good people.
I would like to say a special thank you David from myself and my wife Joan for a great weekend, you are a “Class Act” and I’m glad you took the time over a year ago to call me and ask me about you putting on a tournament in Spartanburg,S.C. All I can say David is that the “rest is history, Great Job”!!!!