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By: Policesoftball.com
Oct 15, 2023
LAPD Blue, Suffolk Lawmen, Chicago Metro and Sin City Saints all are crowned World Champions!
World Series XVIII Full Recap
LAPD Blue - PoliceSoftball World Series XVIII Major Division Champions
World Series XVIII was played the 2nd weekend of October in Las Vegas as usual. And as usual, it was a big success with over 70 teams participating in two divisions, Uppers and Lowers. Only 5 Upper teams (Elite 8) were earmarked for the 16 team “Majors” division while the remaining teams had to play their way in via the 3 game round robin or be designated as “Mid Majors.”
In Lowers, teams used to simply proclaim they were a “Gold” team but this year they had to battle for that title. 42 teams had to earn the title of Gold through the 3 game round robin. The cream of the crop made the Sweet 16 for the playoffs, whereas the remaining 26 teams played in the largest division, Silver.

The Opening Ceremony featured a players party co-hosted by Hall of Famer Terry Dugan and Garrett Metal Detectors representative Kevin Schoch. Over 1000 guests were treated to unlimited free beer and the opportunity to watch an on-filed ceremony that culminated with the HR Derby Finals and the “Battle of the Boots” rookie All-Star Game.

The Canadian Honor Guard featuring members of the Canadian Lawmen and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department Honor guard participated in the presentation of colors and national anthems sung by Dan McIntyre of the Midwest Heat and Megan Michon of Houston Hustle.

Our season ending award winners went to the following:

Vaughan Garrett Outstanding Police Officer of the Community- David Levy, Chicago Metro

Dan Spinelli 52 Strong Award- Rafael Trinidad, San Antonio Law

Del Pickney Award- Mick Hardenbrook, LAPD Blue

Sponsor of the Year- Bay Equity, State 48 Syndicate

Defensive Player of the Year- Brandon Hoehner, Midwest Heat

Walt Conry Manager of the Year- John Gilliam, Suffolk Lawmen

Shevy Wright Sportsman of the Year- Brandon West, South Florida Lawmen

Player of the Year- Justin Higley, Sacramento Razorbacks

These winners of the first two awards were presented plaques courtesy of Vaughan Garrett and Jimmy Wolters. The remaining winners were presented with plaques courtesy of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff Association. On field presenters included Nate Seger from SCDSA, Kevin Schoch and Marieo Foster from Rawlings Sports.

Hall of Fame East Committee member Andy Wurm greeted the incoming Hall of Fame Class and presented them with an official challenge coin. All current Hall of Famers came onto the field to welcome the 2023 class which included:

Adam Oroczo- Great Lakes

Mike O'Neill- Chicago Metro

Joe Monahan-Missouri Lawmen

Mike Dicicco- Detroit PSC

Tommy Wigand- NY Metro

Mark Barnes- LAPD Blue

Robe Done- Utah Metro

In a special presentation, Dan McIntyre from Midwest Heat presented a Great Lakes player with a check for $1,000 in order to assist with bills accrued due to his daughter undergoing a life threatening illness. Former Sponsor of the Year Paul Chavez matched that amount and reigning HR Derby King, Marieo Foster also matched it. In the blink of an eye, $3,000 dollars was donated to assist with bills, food, or whatever the family needed as they stood by their daughters side in her valiant fight. Many tears were shed as this showing of generosity is truly what the spirit of police softball is all about.

Moving on to the Dr. Charles Garrett Memorial Home Run Derby, we had an official “first.” This year for the first time ever, we had a champion successfully defend his title. 51 year-old Marieo Foster of the Mid Atlantic Lawmen (and Rawlings ambassador) overcame 70+ challengers to successfully defend his title belt. Last year, Marieo won an AR-15 rifle courtesy of Bud’s Gun Shop. Marieo donated the rifle to the Del Pickney Scholarship and that gun was raffled off later in the evening. After winning this year, Marieo, ever the philanthropist, once again donated the AR-15 rifle courtesy of Bud’s Gun Shop to assist in raising more money for the daughter of the Great Lakes player who was battling her illness. We are very fortunate to have Bud’s Gun Shop as a title sponsor. Marieo was also presented a custom Rockwell watch courtesy of sponsor Paul Chavez who has been a supporter of the event for several years.

Our marquee game for the evening was the “Battle of the Boots”, East vs. West All-Star Game. The game featured players who were playing in their first ever Police Softball World Series. The term “boot” is commonly used by some agencies to refer to rookie officers. Although many of these players were not rookies at work, they were rookies to the event. The idea was to put them on the big stage in front of the biggest crowd to let them showcase their skills, and hopefully get hooked on the sport. One challenge we face for our sport is generating interest from the younger generation who are less interested in team sports and more interested in video games, internet and virtual interactions. Throwing out the first pitch was former SoCal Riot coach Henry Ornales. Henry’s team folded this year and just a few weeks ago, their pitcher and original Riot member, Felix “Fig” Figueroa lost his battle with cancer. In the honor of the gentle giant Big Fig, Henry tossed out the first pitch and a few of his longtime Riot teammates were present to receive the pitch. Although the team has folded, the spirit of SoCal Riot and presence of Big Fig will forever be imprinted into the DNA of police softball. It was an exciting exhibition game and in the end, the East All Stars led by Connecticut Lawmen Coach Thomas Eldridge bested the Westerners with South Texas Gunslinger shot caller Jude Patterson at the helm.

SILVER DIVISION

This was the first time we featured the Silver Division in a standalone double elimination format. In past years, teams that went 0-2 in the Gold Division playoffs would drop down into the Silver Division which was basically a consolation format. This year, of the 42 “lower” teams, we only allowed 16 to play in Gold and they had to earn it via round robin play. Teams that went 3-0 advanced to the Sweet 16, while the remaining 26 teams competed in Silver. Based on this format, Silver was far from a consolation because it was actually the biggest division. Silver teams had to compete against 25 others, whereas every other division had, at most, 16 opponents.

As the bracket progressed and teams were eliminated, among the final teams standing were the Texas Fugitives. They brought a much stronger team than past years who had to face the NorCal based J-Cats. The J-Cats were loaded with veterans and they went on a great run though the loser bracket but ultimately they gassed out and were eliminated by the Fugitives. Aftermath were eliminated by a solid Reloaded (NorCal) team as which has been an ongoing rivalry for the past 2 years. Aftermath stayed hot and eliminated the Fugitives and the impressive Necessary Force squad out of New York. That put them in the championship game against the unbeaten Sin City Saints. The Saints were not to be denied and maintained their unblemished playoff record by defeating Aftermath and earning the Silver Division World Championship. For the Saints, this was their first World Championship and word is they are trying to reclaim some Vegas natives who had ventured off to other teams the past few seasons. If Sin City does put together this Vegas area all-star team, they will be a heavyweight contender next year.

Results

1. Sin City Saints
2. Aftermath
3. New York Necessary Force
4. Texas Fugitives
T5. NorCal Reloaded
T5. J-Cats
T7. SB Hit Squad
T7. LASD Slaps
T9. Oakland PD
T9. Team Louisiana
T9. Nitro2Go
T9. Az. Blue Heat
T13. Las Vegas Battle Born
T13. Lock & Load Texas
T13. Toronto Takedown
T13. Team Omerta
T17. Guard Dawgz
T17. Mixed Nutz
T17. Lockdown Laced Up
T17. PA. Enforcers
T17. 413 Peacemakers
T17. Houston Hustle
T17. Norsemen PSC
T17. Dayton Metro

Player Honors:
MVP- Austin from Sin City Saints
Pat Hill Inspirational Award- Simmons from Sin City Saints
Defensive MVP- Larson from Sin City Saints
All World- Koglin, Baca, Thomas from Sin City Saints. Adam Wat, Troy Burrud, Saigun Gainey from Aftermath. Pat Richardson and Matt Tait from New York Necessary Force.

GOLD DIVISION

Teams can no longer proclaim themselves as a “Gold” division team. They have to earn that title by running a 42 team round robin gantlet and finishing inside the “Sweet 16.” The one team everyone had on their radar was Chicago Metro who came into the event as the clear cut favorites. One thing they learned was, teams that dominate their opponents tend to accrue haters. It seems everyone in the complex was pulling for anyone BUT Chicago Metro to win it. Chicago playfully embraced their newfound “bad guy” image as they flew New World Order/nWo flags and “Say hello to the bad guy” shirts. Why did they go from the team everyone was pulling for, to the team everyone was rooting against? Because earlier this year they picked up 6 former Ohio Lawmen/L&I Express players from Indiana when that team folded. These players were all upper division players and most had been very successful in the Majors division. Normally that would not give anyone heartache, except they opted to stay in the lower division rather than bumping to uppers. They were already a top Gold team with one World Championship on their resume, so adding a half dozen Majors players definitely made them the favorites, and didn’t gain them any brownie points with their competitors.
Chicago did not disappoint as they posted a perfect 3-0 record in the round robin and then cut through the playoff bracket like a hot knife through butter. They suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of Utah Metro that sent them into the loser bracket, but they regrouped and managed to eliminate New York’s Finest before redeeming themselves in a grudge match game against Utah. After defeating Utah, they were full of energy as they stepped onto the field to face the undefeated Metro Detroit’s Finest. MDF also had a World Championship on their resume so one team would become the first two-time World Champions. Chicago caught MDF flat in the championship game which forced an “IF” game. Ultimately the bad boys lived up to their billing and double dipped MDF to claim their 2nd Gold Division World Championship. As a result of an amazing showing by Utah Metro, Metro Detroit’s Finest and Chicago Metro all three teams will get a national bump to the upper division next season.

Results

1. Chicago Metro
2. Metro Detroit's Finest
3. Utah Metro
4. NYPD's Finest
T5. West Coast Lawmen
T5. United Kansas City
T7. Canadian Lawmen
T7. Lonestar NEP
T9. Midwest Heat
T9. 305 Elite
T9. South Texas Gunslingers
T9. Honolulu's Finest
T13. Northwest Shakedown
T13. Connecticut Lawmen
T13. Degenerates
T13. Front Line Enforcers

Player Honors:
MVP- Josh Ulery from Chicago Metro
Pat Hill Inspirational Award- Anthony Valera from Chicago Metro
Defensive MVP- Alex Nuefeld from Chicago Metro
All World- Jake Tranchant, Casey Bell, Travis Morgan from Chicago Metro. Alan Reichenbach, Dan Zuchowski, Joe Saunders from Metro Detroit’s Finest. Austin Rowberry and Blaine Ibey from Utah Metro.


MID-MAJORS DIVISION

The only thing that separates Mid-Majors from our Majors division is the round robin results. Mid-Majors are upper division teams that simply did not go 3-0 in the round robin. That said, it is a shock when a lower division team beats and upper division team, but never a shock to see a Mid-Majors team drop a Majors team. The designation simply comes down to pool play results.

Last year, the Suffolk Lawmen wore the Cinderella slipper by coming into the event as the lowest seeded upper team (32nd), earning their way into Majors, albeit with the lowest seed (16th) and then promptly upset the top seed in the nation and defending World Champions LAPD Blue in their first bracket game. This year there would be no Cinderella story. Instead, Suffolk went into bracket play as the #1 seed and stayed undefeated all the way into the championship game. Once in the ship they would need to be double dipped and it is a good thing they had that advantage because the Miami Metro Dawgz were playing like a team possessed before losing to Suffolk in the undefeated game. The Dawgz dropped down into the loser bracket and dispatched the former World Champions, Mid Atlantic to earn a re-match with Suffolk. In the first game, the Dawgz continued their hot hitting and solid defense to force an “IF” game. Suffolk gathered their wits about themselves, dug their cleats in, and showed a lot of heart to defeat the Dawgz for the second time that day. The final out was a line-drive at the pitcher and team leader John Gilliam (also Manager of the Year) which he snapped up to seal the victory. The win earned the Suffolk Lawmen an automatic berth into the Elite 8 for the 2024 season, as they are guaranteed a Majors berth in the World Series.

Results

1. Suffolk Lawmen
2. Miami Metro Dawgz
3. Mid-Atlantic
4. Nassau Blues
T5. Center Mass
T5. North Florida Showdown
T7. Miami 5-o
T7. RSO Force
T9. Stanislaus Combo
T9. Ca Classick Sports
T9. Border Patrol Arsenal
T9. NorCal Lockdown
T13. San Antonio Law
T13. I-80 Cartel

Player Honors:
MVP- John Gilliam from Suffolk Lawmen
Pat Hill Inspirational Award- Kenny Defelice from Suffolk Lawmen
Defensive MVP- Nick Bredy from Suffolk Lawmen
All World- Billy Boyd, Jaime Torres, Alex Porcello from Suffolk Lawmen. Jose Gutierrez, Rob Pence and Antonio Gomez from Miami Metro Dawgz. Marieo Foster and Kevin Light from Mid Atlantic.

MAJORS DIVISION

These elite 16 teams are the best our sport has to offer. These are the heavyweight contenders and the teams that wins this division sits atop the Police Softball totem pole for the entire year.
Last year’s runners up, Great Lakes were clearly on a mission by winning all three of their pool play games by run rule. As a result, they were the top seed and drew the lowest seed, Missouri Lawmen. On paper it sounded good, but just last month, Missouri defeated Great Lakes twice in Texas to claim the Keepers of the Peace Championship. Some in attendance felt that Missouri had the Great Lakes number and even though they were the lowest seed, some felt Missouri was the favored team. Great Lakes stormed out of the gates to take a 10-0 lead after the first inning. Then their jets cooled and they only scored 9 runs over the next 6 innings, but their pitching and defense was strong enough to keep the Missouri bats at bay and the final score was 19-15 in favor of Great Lakes.

The New York Empire (formerly the Hounds) could not have scripted a more difficult path to the championship. The first team they drew was the defending world champions, The Connection. The Connection finished 2nd just two years earlier before claiming their first championship last year. It is said that it is easier to win a championship than it is to defend it, and the Empire “upset” The Connection and sent them into the loser bracket early. Next, the Empire drew last years runners up, Great Lakes. Great Lakes was definitely favored in this matchup but the Empire played inspired ball. Their new coaching battery of Eric Theiss (father of the player Eric) and Scott Waxweiler seemed to know exactly how to strategize against Great Lakes and the Empire delivered a huge upset victory. Who was next for the Empire? How about last years 3rd place team and 2-time former world champions, the LAPD Blue. Somehow the stars aligned and the Empire managed to draw last years 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in order! This time they could not recapture the magic and LAPD Blue won that game to move into the undefeated game.

On the lower half of the bracket, the Minnesota Lawmen, a team that had undergone a makeover and almost didn’t make the World Series defeated the defending Mid Major champions, Angel Armor (Colorado), and perennial heavyweight contender Max Elite to face 172 Combo. Who are the 172 Combo? That was a question that was asked a lot as this SoCal based team has lived in the shadows of LAPD Blue, DEA Combo, Connection and other West Coast powerhouses since their inception. If you did not know of the 172 Combo you will now after they earned a Majors berth and then defeated the DEA Combo and Kentucky Blue before finally falling to Minnesota.

LAPD Blue did not have their normal 20 man roster as usual because many of their usual players were in Florida playing in the USSSA civilian worlds. That didn’t stop them from gutting out a victory over Minnesota and earning them a ticket to the dance. The two-time champions would need to be double dipped and there was no way team leader Dave Braun would allow that to happen. Dave pitched for the team and willed his team to victory.

Great Lakes bounced back and defeated 172 Combo and Minnesota to return to the championship game for the 2nd year in a row. Jeff “Biscuit” Graus pitched a gem and team leader John Zintak played lights out in the championship game to for an “IF” game against the LAPD Blue. The problem was, Great Lakes had already had to play the DEA Combo, Thin Blue Line, 172 Combo, Max Elite, and Minnesota all in a row. Asking them to win a 7th game in a row was simply too much. LAPD Blue stood toe to toe with Great Lakes and exchanged haymakers. When the dust settled the LAPD Blue were left standing and claimed their 3rd World Series Championship. They celebrated with a champagne shower on the field and Great Lakes went home knowing they battled like warriors, but would need to wait an entire year for the opportunity to win another title for themselves. For LAPD Blue, it was another jewel to their already impressive crown.

Results

1. LAPD Blue
2. Great Lakes
3. Minnesota Lawmen
4. Maximum Elite
T5. 172 Combo
T5. New York Empire
T7. Thin Blue Line
T7. Kentucky Blue
T9. DEA Combo
T9. Angel Armor Colorado
T9. Sac Razorbacks
T9. Connection
T13. State 48 Syndicate
T13. Maryland Outlaws
T13. South Florida Lawmen
T13. Missouri Lawmen

Player Honors:
MVP- Dave Braun from LAPD Blue
Pat Hill Inspirational Award- Michael Dacken from LAPD Blue
Defensive MVP- Daulton Caba from LAPD Blue
All World- Daniel McClement, Adam Nikolic, Ricky Delgado from LAPD Blue. John Zintak, Jeff Graus, Jon Tibaudo from Great Lakes. Jeremy Whaley and Jerod Powell from Minnesota Lawmen.

Winning and 2nd place teams were awarded an amazing prize package consisting of: Bats, roller bags, backpacks, batting gloves courtesy of Rawlings Sports through Brett Helmer and his designated ambassador Marieo Foster. Store credit from Elite Sports. Custom MVP and team watches from Rockwell courtesy of Paul Chavez. Apparel from PS.COM, and for the first year ever we awarded rings to the winners of the Majors, Mids and Gold division along with the customary stone obelisk trophy for all divisions along with individual player medals.

On behalf of policesoftball.com we want to thank all those who assisted us over the weekend and all the teams that attended. We put a lot of pride into making the event the BEST softball experience possible and we hope you all make it a priority to attend next year. As always, we will be in Las Vegas the 2nd weekend of October! Stay safe and enjoy the off-season.



POLICESOFTBALL.COM WORLD SERIES XIX
Host: policesoftball.com
Oct 10-13, 2024
Big League Dreams Complex LAS VEGAS, NV.
West Coast Championship
Host: Policesoftball.com
June 1 & 2, 2024
Sportsplex USA in San Diego County, Ca.
52nd Annual NPSC- East Coast Championship
Host: Kentucky Blue
June 22-23, 2024
Union County Complex, MARYSVILLE, OHIO
51st Annual NPSC
Show Me Classic
Host: Missouri Lawmen
Aug 9-10, 2024
O'Fallen Family Sports Park ST. LOUIS, MO.
Keepers of the Peace National Police Softball Championship
Host: San Antonio Lawmen
Sept 6-7, 2024
Waxahachie, Texas
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