The DEA Kickoff marks the beginning of the Police Softball Season on the West Coast.
Between the World Series and the DEA Kickoff, veteran teams folded, new teams formed, players moved to new teams, new players arrive on scene, and which team has the best new uniforms. But this year, it was much more than that.
On Friday, hundreds of PS players and their family members were in Chino, to pay their respects to Del. It was a fitting tribute to our brother.
On Saturday it shifted to Palm Springs where the brotherhood of Police Softball came to play the sport that Del and JB created. The weather was perfect and being surrounded by hundreds of Police Softball players, wearing Del’s tribute jersey, was unforgettable.
The tourney was set up similar to how the World Series will be. The bases are now 70 feet. It was an Easton bat provided tournament provided by Bret Helmer.
Round Robin had some great games and some teams made a huge statement right out of the box. DEA played the new San Diego team “GovX Silver Stars”. They may be a new team on the PS circuit, but they are going to be a tough team to beat. They put up 24 runs vs DEA and were only 3 runs away from beating them. The Goodyear PD also put on a great showing beating the J-Cats. In probably the best robin game, Cali Force squeaked out a win against the new west coast, I mean left coast power house, Empire 23-21.
Before playoffs began, all the players came out to the field to pay tribute to Del.
Michelle, JB and many other Police Softball members, from throughout the US and Canada were out there to show how much Del meant to all of US. The Cathedral City Color Guard was on the field. JB said a few words and then there was a flyover by a CHP airplane.
After the tribute, it was time to honor Del in the best way the Police Softball world could, play ball on the field.
8 teams made it to the Major Division and 14 teams in the Gold Division.
There was a wrinkle in the playoffs. The two major teams that went 0-2 in playoffs, were then bumped down to play in the Gold Division.
Gold Division results:
The first round had some great games, but the best game was Socal Riot beating LA Lawmen 24-23. GovX Silver Stars put on a hitting display which got them to the undefeated game vs BP Arsenal. GovX Silver Stars won 21-18 and they got to sit back and relax to see who would need to double dip them in the championship game. The losers brackets had some great games. The best would be J-Cats vs SoCal Riot. The game went into extra innings with the J-Cats winning in the bottom of the 7th with a walk off single.
The J-Cats then we’re able to beat Az Blaze, who beat the J-Cats earlier in the tourney and BP Arsenal, setting them up against GovX Silver Stars.
GovX Silver Stars apparently didn’t realize they were the new kids on the block because they beat the J-Cats 23-3. The Silver Stars had only one lose at the tourney, which was to DEA. They rolled the rest of the way. They will be a team to watch all season long and this may not be their only tourney win.
They won a prize package courtesy of Elite Sports.
GovX Silver Stars
MVP Kenny Belzer
J-Cats All Tourney
The Major Division kicked off with a great second round matchup. Empire defeated DEA 33-17. Setting up the undefeated game, Empire vs Blue. These are two of the best teams in the nation with arguably 3 of the top pitchers in Police Softball. LA Blue put up 31 runs which put them into the championship game. DEA was able to battle their way in the losers bracket for a rematch vs Empire. This time, DEA was able to get the win. This put DEA into the championship game against LA Blue.
The first game was won by DEA 24-22 forcing the “IF” game. In the IF game, LA Blue was up 20-0 after 2. DEA battled, but LA Blue was able to get the victory 27-22.
By winning the tourney, LA Blue will receive a prize package courtesy of Elite Sports.
LA Blue Tourney MVP
Mark “Tolly” Tolliver
DEA All Tourney
Special Thanks to Dan Potter. He was always the first guy there and last to leave. It can’t be easy for the umpires to deal with us cops, but Potter and his crew always work hard. We appreciate everyone you do Potter.
Special thanks to Bret Helmer and Easton for providing the bats. Great reviews on the bats all weekend long.
Special thanks also to Elite Sports for the prize packages. Also for making the shirts for Del’s memorial.
Finally, we want thank Jeff Blair (JB) and Del for everything they have done for us.