The SoCal Alliance defeat the Buckeye Lawmen 30-12 in championship game.
The biggest and best Police World Series to date with 50 teams in the desert.
The Policesoftball.com World Series is firmly established as the most anticipated weekend in the cop softball season. The Worlds are played in October and mark the official end of the season by crowning a world champion. This year, 50 teams descended on the Palm Springs, Ca. region for a shot at the crown. It was a three-day event that featured two round robin seeding games followed by a double elimination tournament. The event was sanctioned by USSSA and officially sponsored by Easton Sports.
The weekend started off with the Golf Tournament where 16 foursomes competed for bragging rights and the team led by Mark Jackson ended up winning the event with a 19 under par.
Later that night over 70 poker players laid down there money and in the end, Roger Akiki and XXXX from Dap shared the 1500.00 pot when they declared themselves co-winners of the event.
The most popular feature of the event was the Friday night opening ceremony where the Big League Dreams facility reported a gate count of 1700. There was literally standing room only as attendees packed around the replica Wrigley field where the event was officially opened with the National Anthem played by the Palm Springs High School marching band. A moment of silence was observed for all the fallen officers who lost their lives this past year including NYPD Shields player Ari Figueroa. As Ari’s jersey was hung behind home plate a bag piper bellowed Amazing Grace to a silent crowd. Twenty-one officers were inducted into the Policesoftball.Com Hall of Fame and the year end awards were presented. The following is a list of those recognized:
Hall of Fame
Kevin Naylor – Suffolk County/NY Metro
Jim “JD” Dexter – Wayne Oakland
Richie Malek – NY Metro
Denny Braun – Kettering/Dayton Metro
Keith Glasgow – Jacksonville Police Softball Club
Terry Dugan – Virginia Beach
Joe “Jake” Jezior – Cleveland FOP # 8
Roland Marsh – New Jersey State Police/ G-Boys
Rich Butler – Cleveland FOP # 8
Christopher Wouters – Warren Police Department, Michigan
John Mack – LASD Red
Rick Record – LAPD Blue
Tommy Chevolek – LAPD Blue
David Clark – Arizona Softball Horrors
Mike Jones – LASD Red/Sac. Razorbacks
Donnie Byers – Arizona Softball Horrors
Darin Ries – San Diego Gray
Darrel Williams San Diego Gray
Kevin Wise – Concord Police Softball
John Birtcher – SoCal Alliance/Easton
Angel Delgadillo – Sacramento PD
Manager of the Year
East: Chris Moore and Tom Siedlecki, Buckeye Lawmen
West: Carl “Hollywood” Gaskins, Concord Combo
Zada Enterprises Sponsor of the Year
East: Minute Men Staffing Services
West: Easton Sports
Sportsman of the Year
Keith Benjamin, DEA Combo/Easton
Player of the Year
East: James Ruocchio, NYPD Blues
West: Ryan Coe, SoCal Alliance/Easton
If you were to encapsulate the event into one moment it would be when Sportsman of the Year Keith Benjamin escorted the honorary Master of Ceremony Shevy Wright to the pitching rubber to throw out the first pitch. Shevy is the young man profiled in the last Cop Corner article and he has been battling terminal cancer. There were very few dry eyes in the bleachers as Shevy wound up and fired off the first pitch to Keith. For many, it was them most touching moment ever experienced on a softball field. But, it wasn’t a downer by any means. It was a display in courage by a tough young man and what followed was a celebration of the brotherhood shared by all in law enforcement.
After the awards ceremony, the third annual East vs. West All-Star game was played. For the first two years the East has dominated the game but tonight it was all about the West who cruised to a 20-6 victory behind the coaching of D. Longmire, Tom Laroque, Anthony Costanzo and Skip Stephenson.
After the All-Star game, the 50 best long ball hitters in the game squared off to see who would be crowned the 2007 Home Run Derby Champion. This year included all the past HR Derby Champions and also included every winner of HR Derbys that were held throughout the year. In the end
Scott Czopek of the Ohio Lawmen out bombed West Champion Andy Williams of the DEA Combo/Easton for the title. Scott won a new Easton Stealth+ bat for his efforts along with PS.com gear. Scott also earned the right to have his photo on the home page of PS.com for the year proclaiming him King Czopek.
On Friday morning the round robin began. There were very few upsets in the round robin so teams that posted 2-0 records were afforded a bye to begin the playoffs. Lower seeded teams such as Illinois State Police, Dirty Berdoo, Sacramento Probation, U.S. Secret Service, Cranston Rhode Island, Folsom-Sac J-Cats, Seattle Officers Only, OCSD Hitmen, Nevada Combo, Chicago Metro, Central Ohio, Cal-Syndicate and the Las Vegas Shields lost their first game and made an early trip to the loser’s bracket. For any of these teams to claim the title they would need to string together eleven straight wins against the best cop teams in the nation. This year nobody would make a miracle run and all were eliminated in the next round of games except for Seattle and Central Ohio. Seattle advanced by defeating the Dirty Jersey Boyz who had been sent down from the winners bracket by Delaware and Central Ohio scored a nice semi-upset over the St. Louis Top Guns who had earlier lost to the revamped Michigan Lawmen. This early exit had to be disappointing for St. Louis because they had just come off a great performance in Sterling Heights, Michigan the previous month.
While the loser bracket was being played by teams clinging to life support, other teams were rolling in the winner’s bracket. South Florida Lawmen defeated the Sierra Cartel 28-21 in a slugfest. San Diego Force sent the NYPD Shields into the loser bracket in a 34-31 nail biter. The SoCal Alliance/Easton needed some late inning magic to defeat the DEA Combo/Easton 29-27. Miami Metro Red scored a convincing victory over Maryland State Police. Concord notched a big upset over the reigning 2006 champion California Quake. 2005 World Champions the Ohio Lawmen bested Direct Impact. LAPD Blue/Easton looked impressive over Sacramento Razorbacks. Buckeye (Ohio) Lawmen downed the CHP Choir Boys. Team Texas sent the Kentucky Bluegrass Lawmen into the loser bracket. A skeleton crew in Wayne-Oakland (Michigan) posted a solid win over A-1 Towing/Hardcor. NY Metro defeated their cross-country twins the LAPD Lawmen. Minnesota took down RSO Red in a lopsided affair. The pumped up NYPD Blues posted an eye popping 28-3 win over the Central Valley Kings. And finally the highest ranked team in the East, Jacksonville PSC did not disappoint with a convincing win over the Tompkins County Choir Boys (New York).
The next round of the winner’s bracket witnessed the following: South Florida sent the San Diego Force into the loser bracket, the SoCal Alliance/Easton defeated a very solid Miami-Red squad, the Ohio Lawmen nipped Concord, the Buckeye Lawmen bested the LAPD Blue 9-7 in a defensive battle, Team Texas downed Wayne-Oakland, the juggernaut known as the Michigan Lawmen scored a big upset over the NY Metro, the NYPD Blues were on a mission when they defeated the Minnesota Lawmen, and the Jacksonville machine rolled over Delaware.
By late Saturday night some very good teams had been eliminated, most at the hands of other very good teams. The CHP Choir boys were sent home courtesy of their NorCal rivals the Sacramento Razorbacks. Direct Impact scored the biggest win in their existence by besting the Cal-Quake. Maryland State Police defeated the DEA Combo/Easton while the Tompkins County Choir Boys ended Seattle’s hopes of seeing Sunday. In one of the most entertaining games of the evening, the Sierra Cartel defeated the NYPD Shields 11-10. RSO Red eliminated the Central Valley Kings and the LAPD Lawmen scored a win over Central Ohio. A determined Kentucky Bluegrass squad handed A-1 Towing/Hardcore their final loss. There was no rest for the weary, as the winners of these games had to go again. Minnesota ended Direct Impact’s Cinderella story. Maryland State Police sent a stunned NY Metro home while another upset took place with the Tompkins County Choir Boys eliminating the LAPD Blue/Easton. The Sierra Cartel’s ju-ju wore off and this time they were on the other end of a one run affair after Wayne-Oakland defeated them 18-17. Concord defeated RSO Red, Miami Metro Red bested the LAPD Lawmen and the San Diego Force managed to win a 40-30 slugfest over the Kentucky Bluegrass squad. Finally, Delaware notched a convincing victory over the underdog Sacramento Razorbacks.
Come Sunday morning all that remained were the Sweet 16. In the loser’s bracket Minnesota eliminated Delaware. Wayne-Oakland dashed the dreams of the Maryland State Police who still had a much improved showing over their ‘06 efforts. Miami defeated the San Diego Force. With the elimination of the Force, Concord was one of two California teams remaining and they continued to roll with a win over the Tompkins County Choir Boys.
In the winner’s bracket there were still eight undefeated teams, but that was soon to change. SoCal Alliance/Easton caught fire early and pushed South Florida into the loser’s bracket. The Buckeye Lawmen won the battle of the Buckeye State with a victory over the Ohio Lawmen. The Michigan Lawmen continued to be the talk of the tournament after they defeated Team Texas. The resurgent NYPD Blues could not match the firepower of Jacksonville PSC as the Blues were bounced into the loser’s bracket.
It was getting down to crunch time in the loser’s bracket. Minnesota eliminated South Florida, Texas downed Concord, Miami Metro Red defeated the NYPD Blues and Wayne-Oakland pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a win against the Ohio Lawmen. Wayne-Oakland ran out of steam in the next round and were sent home by the Minnesota Lawmen. Meanwhile Team Texas could not withstand the Miami Metro Red attack and they were also eliminated.
Four teams still had unblemished records and all had aspirations of being crowned World Champions for the first time. The SoCal Alliance/Easton engine continued to fire on all cylinders with a win over the Buckeye Lawmen while Jacksonville PSC brought the Michigan Lawmen back to Earth.
Now that the Buckeye’s and Michigan were bumped into the loser bracket they knew they would have to get the hot hand again to see the final dance. The Buckeye’s recaptured the spirit by defeating Miami Metro red. Michigan did not miss a beat and upended the Minnesota Lawmen. If this were football the game between the Michigan Lawmen and Buckeye Lawmen would have rivaled that of Michigan vs. Ohio State. On this day the Buckeye Lawmen were the better team and they advanced to the final three and were waiting on the loser of the SoCal Alliance/Easton vs. Jacksonville PSC game.
The SoCal Alliance/Easton was 0-3 against Jacksonville in the past two years so they had a monkey they needed to get off their back. It was one of the most anticipated match-ups of the tournament as both teams came into the event with solid leads in the West/East rankings. It was a see-saw battle but when the dust cleared the monkey was gone. SoCal Alliance/Easton was in the final dance waiting for a partner to tango with. The smart money would have been on Jacksonville PSC who have consistently been one of the most dominant teams in cop softball for the past 5 years. Not only that, Jacksonville PSC was currently the top ranked team in the East division points standings. But, there is a reason games are played on the field and not on paper. The Buckeye magic was still strong and during the past year they were the monkey on Jacksonville’s back. This time when the dust settled the monkey was still there as the Buckeye’s had done the improbable and that was defeat Jacksonville.
The championship game was played between two teams that had rolled strong all weekend. Both teams started off feeling each other out as two heavyweight boxers do before they start throwing haymakers. Finally the teams started exchanging offensive barrages at the plate but the SoCal Alliance/Easton team began to pull away mid-game. When the final out was recorded the SoCal Alliance/Easton stood victorious 30-12 with a perfect 8-0 record on the weekend and were crowned 2007 World Champions. The team now felt that same magic that the Cal-Quake and Ohio Lawmen felt in past years. It was the icing on the cake for the SoCal crew who won six of the eight tournaments they played in this year and finished in second place in the other two for a final record of 59-5. In a showing of mutual respect both teams exchanged hugs afterward and the Buckeye’s gathered at the mound and hollered out a team cheer, “SOCAL” as a tribute to the Alliance. Meanwhile the Buckeye’s solidified their position atop the East division cop softball totem pole and gained positive momentum rolling into the off-season. SoCal Alliance/Easton coach Del Pickney was obviously proud of his team’s accomplishment and stated, “The key to our success is that we had 14 individuals working toward one common goal.” Although only one team won, the weekend was about much more than merely a softball tournament. It was about friendships and the brotherhood shared by all law enforcement officers who routinely put their lives on the line so American’s can sleep soundly at night.
2. Buckeye Lawmen
3. Jacksonville PSC
4. Michigan Lawmen
5T Minnesota Lawmen & Miami Metro Red
7T. Wayne-Oakland and Team Texas
9T. NYPD Blues, Concord, Ohio Lawmen, South Florida Lawmen
13T.San Diego Excessive Force, Tompkins County Choir Boys, Maryland State Police and Delaware Association of Police
Other participating teams:
Kentucky Bluegrass Lawmen, LAPD Lawmen, RSO Red, LAPD Blue/Easton, Sierra Cartel, NY Metro, Direct Impact, Sacramento Razorbacks, A-1 Towing Hardcore, Central Ohio, Central Valley Kings, Seattle Officer’s Only, NYPD Shields, DEA Combo/Easton, Cal-Quake, CHP Choir Boys, Las Vegas Shields, Cal Syndicate, St. Louis Top Guns, Chicago Metro, Nevada Combo, OCSD Hitmen, Dirty Jersey Boyz, Folsom-Sacramento, Cranston Rhode Island, Secret Service, Sacramento Probation, Dirty Berdoo, Illinois State Police
Ryan Coe SoCal Alliance/Easton
Tim Morris - SoCal Alliance/Easton
ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
Alfonso Trujillo - SoCal Alliance/Easton
Kris Ulibarri - SoCal Alliance/Easton
Jeff Blair - SoCal Alliance/Easton
Chris "Poppy" Warner - Buckeye Lawmen
Tom Siedlecki - Buckeye Lawmen
Charlie Miller - Buckeye Lawmen
Tim Cannon - Buckeye Lawmen
Paul Cullen - Jacksonville PSC
Brad Gidcum - Jacksonville PSC
Doug Cullen - Jacksonville PSC
Robbie Freitas - Jacksonville PSC
Eric Christensen - Michigan Lawmen
Marty Campbell - Michigan Lawmen
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
Bubba Baldwin - Jacksonville PSC
CJ Holden - Buckeye Lawmen
Scott Spalding - SoCal Alliance/Easton
2007 FINAL RANKINGS
1 SoCal Alliance/Easton
2 A-1 Towing/ HardCor
3 California Quake
4t Concord Police Softball
4t DEA Combo/Easton
6t Sierra Cartel
6t RSO Red
8 LAPD Blue/Easton
9t CHP Choir Boys
9t San Diego Excessive Force
11t Central Valley Kings
11t Team Texas
13t Dirty Berdoo Boys
13t LAPD Lawmen
15 Above The Law/ATL
16t Cal Syndicate
16t Direct Impact
16t Nevada Police Combo
19 Sac County Sheriff's Razorbacks
20 Sac Probation
21t Folsom-Sacramento J-Cats
21t Inglewood Outlaws
21t Stanislaus Sheriff
24t Palm Springs Lawmen
24t DVI Gladiators
24t SoCal ELITE
24t Redding PD
1 Jacksonville Police Softball Club
2 Buckeye Lawmen
3 Minnesota Lawmen
4 Michigan Lawmen
5 New York Metro
6 Ohio Lawmen
8 Miami Metro-Red
9t Maryland State Police
11 South Florida Lawmen
12t NYPD BLUES
12t NYPD Shields
12t St. Louis Top Guns
12t Bluegrass Lawmen
16 Central Ohio Lawmen
17t New Jersey Dirty Boyz
17t East Coast Lawmen
19 New Jersey G-Boys
20 Chicago Metro PSC
21t Illinois State Police
21t Steel City Enforcers
23 Tompkins County Choir Boys (NY)
24t Tri-State Lawmen
24t Macomb County Michigan