Jeff Blair 2015-11-24 04:40:56
Issue 1 of 2016 will have a full feature on the PoliceSoftball.com World Series XI. In this edition of Cop Corner, we’ll review some 2015 Police Softball honors! Butch Castor Named East Conference Player of the Year When Butch Castor came onto the police softball scene several years ago, everyone knew he would be a game changer. As we watched his stock grow in our circuit, it was obvious he was a special talent. To drive home this point, Butch was named to PoliceSoftball. com’s All-Decade team at World Series X. To go along with his All-Decade team title, Butch will now add a Player of the Year Award. Which one he values most is something he will have to tell us at World Series XI. Butch is hitting .810 on the season and as usual, his defense, intensity, and sportsmanship are always on display. We throw the phrase “Five-Tool Player” around a lot in this game, but if you want to see the epitome of this label, watch Butch play a few games at WS XI and pay special attention to his arm. You may only get to see it displayed once because as soon as it is out there, he won’t be needing to use it too often after that. Runners learn quickly in this game. In addition to his police softball exploits, Butch is a high level civilian softball player and accomplished Crossfit athlete out of Indiana. Butch joins an exclusive club, and he is so good and so young, we would not be surprised to see him on our next All-Decade team come World Series XX. Time will tell. Congrats, Butch! Past East Conference Players Of The Year: 2006 Donny Meyer - NY Metro; 2007 James Ruocchio - NYPD Blues; 2008 Doug Cullen - Jacksonville PSC; 2009 Scott Czopek - Michigan Lawmen; 2010 Butch Crozier - NYPD Blues; 2011 Donovan Delaney – Shamrock Enforcers; 2012 Scott Waxweiler - Great Lakes Lawmen; 2013 Jimmy Gnew - NYPD Blues; 2014 Allan Westfall- 3N2/Down to Earth Lawmen Eric Harryman Named West Conference Player of the Year For the two previous years, SoCal Alliance shortstop Eric Harryman has received nominations for Player of the Year. This year he received nominations from not only his team, but seven other teams, which is a new record for PoliceSoftball.com. There was no denying him this year as he was easily the West Conference Player of the Year. Per his coach Mick Hardenbrook, Eric is a model of consistency. What has separated Eric this year from past years is that he is playing at a personal all-time high level. He is playing at a level few in cop softball have ever seen or sustained. Eric is hitting .827 for the year coming into the World Series. The Alliance is a team filled with its share of outstanding players, yet Eric still leads the team in average, runs scored, hits, and doubles. On defense, Eric has been his usual self and has made the spectacular plays seem routine. When Eric first came on to the Alliance, he kept quiet and simply played hard. Now as a veteran, he is taking on leadership roles and is ready to lead the one loss Alliance into the World Series. Congratulations, Eric, you are now part of a very exclusive club of Players of the Year: 2006 Jeff Regino; Ryan Coe; 2008 Mark Tolliver; 2009 Ron Connor; 2010 Alfonso “Zo” Trujillo; 2011 Keith Habig; 2012 Mike Snyder; 2013 Frank Terronez; 2014 Ray Stieber. Kevin Mort Named West Conference Defensive Player of the Year A very short time ago rumors started circling about the new infielder the DEA was going to unleash on cop softball. That infielder is Kevin Mort, and he lived up to the hype. Kevin played shortstop for Ole Miss, where he was named team MVP. On the police softball circuit, Kevin has shown he is the heir apparent to Nate Baez, who was our first-ever defensive player of the year. If you saw the DEA run through teams at last year’s World Series, you were guaranteed to see some defensive wizard from Kevin. If you get a chance to watch some DEA games at this year’s series, be sure to stay a few innings and watch this youngster get it done. Congratulations, Kevin! NOTE: Kevin’s cousin, former HR Derby King Robert Mason, who also plays with the DEA, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2001. It looks like there are some good genes in that family tree. Ryan Theiss is named East Conference Defensive Player of the Year Ryan is in his fourth year with the NYPD Blues and has become the staple of their defense. Coach Tirelli realizes that the Blues have numerous weapons and everyone should receive credit for their success, but since Ryan’s arrival as a middle infielder, the Blues have taken their game to the next level. In addition to his physical play, Ryan brings an intensity to the field that is hard to match. This coupled with his work ethic and serving as defensive field general, Ryan is an easy selection for this year’s East Conference Player of the Year. David Levy Named East Conference Sportsman of the Year In November 2014, Officer David Levy of the Chicago Metro team responded to an accident with injuries call in the Chicago suburb and found 22-year-old Terrell White lying in the street, barely breathing after being struck by a vehicle. White spent several months in the hospital recovering. During his time there, White endured three weeks in a coma and five surgeries. In May of 2015, he showed up at the Flossmoor Police Department looking to retrieve his bike after walking several miles from neighboring Country Club Hills. He met with Levy, who broke the bad news that his bike had been mangled beyond repair, but he still requested it. Levy loaded up the bike in the trunk of his squad car and drove White and his bike home. As he drove away, he noticed White “just staring at his bike.” At the same time, Levy had set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for him to travel with Chicago Metro to the World Police and Fire Games in Washington, DC. He decided to take the money raised from the fundraiser and use it towards buying White a new bike. He contacted all of his friends and family and told them of his intentions via social media. Within only a few short days he raised nearly $1,700. Even though he never meant to draw attention to himself, he caught the attention of the Chicago news media. In a time where police officers are under high scrutiny, Levy was praised by his community and superiors. Through his efforts, Levy was able to purchase a new mountain bike from Good Speed in Homewood, Illinois, who also offered free tune-ups to White for as long as he owns the bike. White now uses the bike for transportation to and from his job at Pizza Hut in Matteson, Illinois, which is where he was headed the day of the crash. For making all of us look good during a difficult time and for thinking of the needs of someone else to the detriment of his own personal desires, Officer David Levy epitomizes what this award is about. He is our East Conference Shevy Wright Sportsman of the Year. Dan Potter Named West Conference Shevy Wright Sportsman of the Year When one thinks of a sportsman, we typically think of someone who stays cool and levelheaded when things get heated. We also think of someone who constantly gives of himself to others and expects nothing in return. When we looked at this award this year, Dan Potter immediately came to mind. Dan is a long-time fixture in West Conference police softball. He has been a World Series umpire for many years and now he is one of the brains, and definitely the looks, behind Code-3 tournament softball, which caters to public safety players only. For those who do not know, Dan is a huge supporter of police officers. He has many times run raffles at the various tournaments he has umpired with the proceeds going to local police officers who have been injured or killed in the line of duty. Dan also volunteers his umpiring skills for law enforcement events and he truly cares about our sport and the work we do. Last year PoliceSoftball. com was asked to put a team together against the Orange County Fire Authority as a fundraiser for fire fighters. When told about it, Dan volunteered to umpire, even though it was for one game and meant a 50-mile drive from his home. When asked to do it again this year, he immediately said yes. For all that he does to promote the sport of police softball and to assist officers in need, Dan Potter is our Shevy Wright Sportsman of the Year. (Although we still reserve the right to bad mouth any and all calls he makes at the World Series) Joe Monahan Named East Conference Manager of the Year! For several years the only team that represented the state of Missouri at the World Series was the St. Louis Top Guns. The Top Guns folded, and for many years Missouri had no representative on a national level. In 2012, Joe Monahan introduced a “new” team, the Missouri Lawmen, to the national stage. Through his leadership he quickly established the Missouri Lawmen as a Majors Division powerhouse and they have steadily climbed the ladder, going from a ranking of 15th in 2012, to ninth in 2013, to fourth in 2014. They currently sit at sixth going into the World Series this year. Not only has the team thrived in the rankings, Joe has made certain that they ahve done their share to support the circuit in general. In those short few years, Joe has taken his team to tournaments from coast to coast, including the New York tournament to the DEA Kickoff and all points in between. Additionally, Joe is on the Bacon Ball Board of Directors where he hosts one of the top tournaments the Midwest. Ralph Contreras Named West Conference Manager of the Year Ralph is a diehard softball player, but even more so a diehard supporter of the police softball circuit. Ralph took over a floundering and eventual defunct Alameda’s Most Wanted team and reinvented them simply as Most Wanted. The NorCal-based team is one of, if not the, most active teams in that region. Although the Major Division teams typically get most of the accolades, Ralph’s contributions to the Gold Division have not gone unnoticed. Going into the World Series, the 20th-ranked Most Wanted is certainly an underdog, but at the same time they are a team nobody wants to face. Behind the scenes Ralph is continually working for his team trying to drum up sponsors, hosting fundraiser tournaments and, of course, looking for talented free agents. With Ralph at the helm, it would not be a surprise to see Most Wanted crack the Top Ten rankings by mid-season 2016. Selection.com and Galls Named Sponsors of the Year Sponsors are the life blood of any team. If you look at many of the successful teams in the history of police softball, there is a good chance the team had one, if not multiple, sponsors. This year we received several nominations for this award and after reviewing the nominations, our award goes to Selection. com (OH50) for the East Conference Sponsor of the Year and to Galls (Sin City Aces) for the West Conference Sponsor of the Year. For the Sin City Aces, Galls has been an integral part of their success story as this team rebuilds and attempts to become one of the best in the West. Galls has helped the Since City Aces monetarily and they have also helped them with raffle items. For OH50, Selection.com and their owner John Hart have helped them become a formidable team in the East. Selection. com has helped OH50 attend five travel tournaments and numerous regional tournaments. It is this help that has propelled OH50 into one of the rising stars on the circuit. We would like to thank each of these sponsors for everything they do to help our sport thrive and to allow us to develop the contacts necessary. 2015 Hall of Fame Class Announced The following men are the newest members of the PoliceSoftball. com Hall of Fame. They were selected by the respective committees, led by Anthony Costanzo and Dennis Leonard. A lot of hard work was done during this process and out of it came the 2015 Class of the Policesoftball.com Hall of Fame. Congrats, gentlemen, and thank you to everyone who played a role in this process. We will formally recognize these men on Thursday night at World Series XI. John Sunia - DEA; Andy Williams - DEA; Rich Bengtson - LAPD Blue; Jeff Leikauf - Eldorado Cartel; Kevin Schoch - Texas; Rick Bass - LVMPD; Steve Buccellato - SAC Razorbacks; Eric Fisher - Steel City Lawmen; Bobby Mc- Ghee - Ohio Lawmen; James Ruocchio - NYPD Blues; John Scollo - South Florida Lawmen /3N2/D2E; Randy Thivierge - Great Lakes Lawmen; Don Truesdell - Suffolk Lawmen.
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