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for: ‘2015 Season’

2015 Season Wraps : Tournament Edition

Going off the words I was hearing around the diamonds on Saturday, it would appear that everyone pretty much enjoyed having the Tournament at Union Park as an alternative to Grant Park this season… For the League, it was great to finally get in there… I’ve been trying for years, particularly in past years when we were forced out of GP post-Lolla and had to have those double-header nights at Lincoln Park which is prohibitively expensive… at very least, I’ve been able to establish  a relationship with the staff running Union, so from here on out we’re a known entity… I even broached the subject of moving the League in its entirety to Union just in case circumstances were to get worse at Grant Park at some point in the future… and he seemed really open to that… but right now it won’t get any serious consideration primarily because the lack of posted bases is pretty much a deal-breaker for me… I’ve also heard from some that play 12″ there that the lights more or less suck and on a lesser note, the manner in which the trees encroach upon Diamond 2 is a minor pain-in-the-ass… but I’m always looking to stay fluid with options open… it’s also a bit more expensive to play at Union over Grant believe it or not.

So now to the 2015 Tournament itself… one anomaly right off the bat was that we had (4) ties this Tournament Day… I can’t remember that ever happening before… amongst those four, the Dogz and VOA were able to play an extra-inning to try and break one to no avail… and one of the others was a 7-7 tie awarded to Ruder Group/Skender for failing to report their score in a game that didn’t mean anything in the 1 o’clock hour… that said, regardless of whether the game means anything towards continuation in the Tournament itself, it does mean something towards the final standings for the season… it now bothers me that this years final standings are perhaps not an accurate record of what happened… but it is what it is… the rule was instituted this year and these two teams chose to ignore it, which was disappointing… but on to happier tales…

A long time coming… Perkins&Will, a charter member of the Chicago Design League at Grant Park with teams stretching all the way back to the Lincoln Park days… yet no Championships in the recorded era… until this year… their epic run to a title began by overcoming a tie in pool play with JC Anderson with a 7-5 win over the 4th seeded Reservoir Dogz in the 2pm game… they rode that momentum to a 10-2 rout of 1-seeded Old Stylin’ in the Final Four… and then down 8-4 entering the 7th inning against defending Champs Clune ConstructionP&W was able to dig down deep for one last go unleashing an onslaught of hits that was nothing short of legendary… when the dust had settled they put a crooked 6 on the board for a 10-8 lead heading to the bottom half of the 7th… and then as if nothing else would do, they needed to get through Clune’s 2-3-4-5 murderers row which has wreaked havoc across the League over these last few seasons… each at bat in the bottom of the 7th was a long one as Clune’s best waited for that perfect pitch to smash… and smash they did, but sans one solitary base hit, P&W’s outfield was able to make the plays necessary to secure the win and the 2015 Championship. Happy for this team. Happy for their Captains, Rick and Bobby became the tandem at the helm back in 2012 and were able to reach the top of the mountain here in their 4th year together…

I’d also be remiss this year to not mention the multi-talented Clune Construction team, that this year at least, had to swallow the bitter pill of being on the wrong end of the amazing softball Perkins&Will was able to conjure up, especially there in the 7th inning of the Championship Game… it blew me away that Clune’s first move after shaking P&W hands after the game concluded, was to give a dozen or so bottles of champagne they had on ice to their victorious opponents… class move of the highest order, as sportsman-like as it gets and the mark of a great champion. Kudos to Joe, Wes and the entire Clune team who you can bet will be back next year in their role as one of the primary teams to beat.

Looking back to the regular season for a minute, it was an odd one in terms of how things played out in that we were able to play through Week 9 without a single rainout… at that point we had (10) more game day slots to play (6) more games and things looked golden… but the rain patterns through Chicago this year had different plans as after the conclusion of games on June 6th, we weren’t able to take the field again until July 2nd… whenever that happens, at least to me, the season feels like it had a hole in it in retrospect… even though we were still able to play our typical 13 of 15 games… I was hoping very hard that we would have gotten to play on July 16th for the whole 15, which I think would have made the regular season feel a lot better as well as provide the opportunity for the Tournament seedings to be in-flux one last time with those closing day match-ups… but as it turned out, the rain that day showed up 2 hours earlier than we needed it to and all said, I’m sure Perkins&Will is more than grateful things went exactly as they did.

One last observation I wanted to mention regarding the League in general that I really haven’t said enough over the years… is to say how many truly fantastic softball players I see amongst our ranks as I walk around the diamonds on Tournament Day… usually I don’t get that chance, but I always make a point of it during the Tournament… amazing plays made by infielders and outfielders alike, day in day out in the Chicago Design League… the level of play and of competition has never been better and it’s really fun to see and be a part of… on a similar note of things I should say more often would be my kudos to ALL of our teams for our continued ability to play without umpires and for the most part, work all of our disagreements on the diamonds out amicably… a testament to our tradition with roots stretching all the way back to the squatting days. More and more, Captains are policing their own rosters and arbitrating issues out between themselves to satisfactory conclusions… as it should be.

So that’s about it for 2015… I’ll be posting some pictures to the Facebook page sometime soon from around the diamonds on Tourney Day… Congratulations one more time to Perkins&Will… everyone have a great off-season and I’ll talk to you again early Spring 2016.

 

Week 3/4 Wrap-Up

Alright then, as is our custom, Forum updates begin here at the conclusion of week 4… wrap-up, look forward, discuss league issues when appropriate… as always, if you’re receiving auto-notifications when posts are made to this Forum and you’d like those to stop… simply send the email address that’s receiving them to <info@chicagodesignleague.com> and I’ll remove it… that said, current Captains don’t have this option and must stay on the list.

So the first double-header Thursday came a week earlier this year, the consequence of moving opening day up a week this season… as it turned out, an absolutely beautiful evening on Lower Hutchinson where by all appearances, some good softball got played… a handful of 1-run games, a handful of blow-outs and the rest somewhere in between. Perkins & Will beat Ruder Group in their early game on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 7th… Three of the late games went only 6 innings, while Skender and Thornton-Tomasetti went to extras and needed 8 innings to determine a winner.

After 4 weeks, 3 unbeaten teams are all that remain… and one of them will fall this coming Thursday when Clune Construction meet the Reservoir Dogz in the late game on Diamond 11, a re-match of last years Championship Game as well… so that should be a good one. Also next week in the late game, our only remaining winless teams meet as SOM faces VOA… so something’s gonna give there as well… should be a good week overall.

A reminder and a couple general notes;

• This coming Saturday, June 6th will be our 2nd Annual Triple-Header Saturday on Lower Hutchinson following regular Thursday games on June 4th… You’ll want to have your teams out on the diamonds no later than 8:30 warming up ahead of a 9 AM start time. Horn will sound at 8:55… Immediately following your first game you will need to corral your entire squad and line them up in the queue to get your Team and Captain’s pictures taken… the location will quickly become obvious by where I’m set up with the camera on a trip-pod… the goal here is to keep the line organized and moving, we want to get pictures taken as quickly as possible. Once complete, the second horn of the day will sound for the start of game 2, approximately and hour and five minutes after that, the 3rd horn for the final game of the day… all normal regular season rules will apply… you’ll get another reminder email from me for this following Thursdays games, but now is the time to make sure you line up as many of your players as possible.

• For those that are not yet aware… a new rule, Rule A14 has been added to the Design League Rules. It deals with diminishing daylight for the late games…

• Everyone should be aware the discussions remain ongoing with Union Park… my desire is to hopefully move our Tournament to the weekend of August 8th to disconnect it from Lollapalooza as I’m aware that some of you may have roster problems caused by teammates with tickets to that event… nothing at all is guaranteed at this point, but I’m doing my best… everything in the scheduling arena comes down to availability, permitting and cost… I’ll let you know more once I know more…

Thanks all, 5 games to play over the next week… good luck to all.