Editor's note: Mark Ertel will be writing daily updates from the Gay Softball World Series this week.
Wednesday night's talent show was a monumental success, with over 14,000 dollars being raised for several local Aids Service Organizations. The show was hilarious with a good mix of comedic drag routines along with some outstanding vocal performances by several NAGAAA players. Former NFL great Esera Tuaolo performed a show stopping number much to the delight of the capacity crowd at the Pabst Theater in downtown Milwaukee. Every performer on stage gave the crowd their monies worth and funds raised went directly to many cash poor ASO's, whose funding levels have decreased as states try and cut back on services for organizations serving the Aids community.
Thursday night, the annual Hall of Fame dinner was held at the Potowatomi Casino which I attended as a guest of Hall of Fame member Ted Brozowski then it was a night on the town. We spent the afternoon at the Milwaukee County Zoo another courtesy given to every NAGAAA player was a half off admission card to numerous Milwaukee sight seeing attractions including the Zoo. The city of Milwaukee has a lot to offer it's a small wonder that this is the third time this small city has hosted the NAGAAA World Series. It's been a pleasure to be here even though our softball teams weren't as successful as we had hoped.
It was a tough day for the Southern New England Friendship League's two world series participants, both Hartford and New Haven would fall in two low scoring one run games. C division Hartord's offense struggled yet again losing to a tough San Jose team. The San Jose Spare Parts fell behind early after giving up three runs in the first inning on a mislplayed ball hit to deep right center. San Jose would play near flawless ball over the next six innings holding Hartford at bay until a nice rally by the boys from southern New England as time expired in the sixth inning. The rally would fall short when hard hitting Tito hit a ground ball to second ending the comeback bid, Hartford struggled throughout the series with runners in scoring position, to put it bluntly and using Tommy Lasorda's phrase Hartford "couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat". Hartford was put to the test throughout the NAGAA World Series tournament with injuries and absolutely no bench to draw healthy players from. Every player played to the best of their ability they just couldn't catch lightning in a bottle this week though they were in every game till the last pitch was thrown.
The D division New Haven team would suffer the same fate, losing to the Dallas Tomkats, 4-3. New Haven pitcher Geraldo Holmes pitched great but their hitting woes would ultimately result in New Haven going down like Hartford 'two and barbecue, they also battled it out in every game losing several games by just a run. All in all good games were played, and now it's time to explore the many attractions Milwaukee has to offer.
Last world series runner-up Philadelphia Tavern on the Comac's Triple Play looks like a favorite again this year. The team has a long winning history anchored by home run king Todd VanGunten. Philly's defense is led by Jeff Sotland. Next up for Triple Play is Friday vs. Long Beach.