Friday February 3rd, 2023

2009 USSSA Major World Series



2009 USSSA Mens Major
World Tournament Recap!
Disney's Wide World of Sports
 in Orlando, Florida
September 23-27


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 Disney's Wide World of Sports Champion's Stadium
Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth won their 4th USSSA Major World Series Championship in the last 6 years.   They beat T&R Stucco/Worth 23-7 in the championship game and went undefeated in the tournament.   Resmondo DOMINATED this World Series and played with great effort, teamwork, and focus in each of their games.   Resmondo caps a 2009 season where they went 63-8, won 9 tournaments (including 5 in a row at one point), the Conference Championship, and now the Major World Series title. 
 2009 Major World Champions – Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth

 T&R Stucco/Worth finishes 2nd at the 2009 Mens Major World Series

The Great Bat Debacle!
(The accounts, descriptions, and opinions expressed in this article are soley the thoughts of Dale Weiser and are NOT representative of the USSSA or

Bat controversy
What began as a well played and entertaining tournament was marred in the winner's bracket semi-final game Friday night between Long Haul and Dan Smith when what appeared to be a bat protest by the Dan Smith team turned into a 17 minute debacle in front of the largest crowd in recent softball memory.   The end result appears to be the suspension of Long Haul's star shortstop Brett McCollum who argued after the game with USSSA officials who said his bat compression test was too low.   To set the stage for this scene, you have to realize that USSSA has been compression testing bats all year long.   At the World Series the testing was being administered right on the field behind homeplate so that it could be done as quickly as possible.   In the managers meeting teams and players were warned that bats that tested too low could lead to ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct and runs could even be removed from the score.
The game of mens slowpitch softball is rarely played in front of actual fans all year.   A few diehard fans in each city might come out to check out the Conference tournaments, but for the most part there are no fans.   This is not a spectator sport, it is an amateur participation sport. With that being said, the one night when the fans come out to check out the Major World Series is on Friday night of the tournament when the winner's bracket semi-finals are played just before and just after the Home Run Derby.   The crowd numbered more than a thousand and they came and watched the biggest debacle in recent Major softball history unfold before them.

Largest crowd of the 2009 season
Long Haul trailed Dan Smith 20-15 going into the bottom of the 7th inning.   After homeruns by McCollum and Blackburn narrowed the lead to 3, their bats were tested as all homerun bats were. Neither bat passed the test.   This prompted a bat protest by the Dan Smith management.   Long Haul players yelled that the bats should be cut open on the spot. Everyone knows that the bats would be cut open at a later date to determine if the bats had been altered in any way.   A bat that is shaved or rolled is considered to be a "doctored" bat and would lead to a one year suspension.   A bat that tests low on the compression machine but is NOT doctored is considered to be "hot".   It is not illegal to use a "hot" bat and there had been no precedent set to suspend a player for using a "hot" bat.
The umpires gathered and no suspensions were given, the homeruns were counted and play resumed.
After the ridiculous delay in front of a large crowd, Long Haul's bats were tested before they went to the plate and all tested fine.   Geno Buck homered, Matt King doubled, JD Genter was intentionally walked, and Jeremy Isenhower (in fine JC Phelps boowooping mode) hit a no doubter walk off homer.
After the game McCollum and a USSSA official had words and the result was a one year suspension of McCollum.
Long Haul took a team vote (9-4 in favor of) and decided to forfeit the remainder of their games to protest the McCollum suspension.
It is my OPINION that players were grabbing what they deemed their best bat for those at bats at the end of the games that meant the most, knowing those bats would probably be confiscated. Most of the teams were playing this game within a game.   McCollum had had 3 bats confiscated in this way, much like a number of other players.   This in itself is not a reason for suspension under the current rules and no players were suspended for this.   In talking to McCollum, he says he was just grabbing the next bat in his bag and one he didn't even think was that great.
USSSA has gone to great lengths to test bats in Conference tournaments which is exactly what we in the softball community have been crying for.   Has the testing had some bumps in the road…YES! Is it getting better…YES!   They set up the testing machine RIGHT ON THE FIELD OF PLAY. Cudos to USSSA for doing this.   When players began using their "hottest" (but still legal) bats in the most important situations, USSSA stepped in and made it so that in those final 3 games of the World Series the bats were tested BEFORE the games and kept out where everyone and the game officials could see them. In my estimation those last 3 games were most likely the cleanest games in upper level ball in a long time.

As a result of the bat controversy, bats were kept outside the dugout under the watchful eye of USSSA officials
Here is my take:
Can I understand Dan Smith's frustration with all of the Long Haul bats failing tests?   Yes I can.
Can I understand a player using his best stick in the most crucial situation, when there is no penalty to do so?   Yes I can.
Can I understand Long Haul's need to protest their player's suspension by sitting out the rest of the tournament?   Yes I can.
1) USSSA was wrong because the new "managers meeting" bat testing rules were not in writing.   By not putting them in writing it left a huge grey area for controversy and conspiracy theorists and gave the umpires no authority to uphold them.
2) Most of the Dan Smith team decided not to shake hands after their loss to Long Haul.   This was wrong, a knee jerk reaction to a frustrating situation, but wrong nonetheless. Note, Kendrick and Brown did shake hands, cudos to them.   Until I hear a reasonable explanation, I will not understand why you would do this, ever?
3) Long Haul was dead wrong to forfeit these games.   These players give up a seasons worth of time with their family's to play for this World Series Championship.   I also heard one fan in the food line at Champions Stadium that said he paid $13 to bring his kid to see the Resmondo vs Long Haul game and he was none to happy that Long Haul was forfeiting.
4) I just wrote that all of these people were wrong in the 3 points above.   But we all need to realize they are people, and people are human, and humans make bad decisions when making decisions in the heat of the moment.
The entire situation is yet another black eye on the upper level softball world.
Lets learn from this situation:
Work with the bat manufacturers to make a tamper proof bat for 2011 even if it means no more composites.
Get a firm voting procedure involving all paying Conference teams.
Get an outside panel to hear suspension appeals by players.   Lets have this panel review the supsensions of McCollum, Bean, and any others to make sure the punishment fits the alleged crime.   And lets go into the 2010 season with a firm bat testing policy in effect and in writing – penalties included.
Finally I want to remind the upper level players that it is a privilege to play softball that is paid for by the many great sponsors that we have.   There were over 8,000 mens players at World Tournaments this past weekend but only a few that actually had all of their travel expenses paid for in full.   Honor those positions on the top teams by playing hard, playing clean, and preserving that spot for another up and coming player someday.   If you cheat the game, use the grey areas of the rules, and don't hustle, those sponsors may go by the way side and you will regret it.

Team Breakdown: There were 16 teams from 10 different states in the tournament. 3-Major, 10-Class "A" and 3-Class "B". All 16 of the teams were Conference USSSA members.

Disney World Field notes: Disney's Wide World of Sports – Champion's Stadium is the place where legends are made in men's softball.   The facilities are first class and the fields are kept in good condition.   The infield did allow for a few bad hops as the number of games played on the field over the last month had taken its toll.   Field dimensions were 335 down the lines, 385 to the gaps and 400 to center.   Champions Stadium had 6 foot high fences in left and 8 foot high fences in center and right.   Two of the 31 games were played on field 27 behind the stadium.

Tournament Rules:   Home run rules were as follows: Unlimited homers for all teams.   The ball used was a .47 core, 450 compression and was perfect for the field and competition.

The rain came Saturday night and shifted the momentum back in the favor of T&R Stucco over Dan Smith

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Video of Champions Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports

Saturday morning back on field #27

Wednesday night – O&S vs Dan Smith

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Champions Stadium – Major World Series
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Champions Stadium – Major World Series
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Girls in mud entertaining us during the rain delay

Team by Team Comments:
1st Place Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth (Conf-M from Winter Haven, Florida)

Mens Major World Record 5-0
2009 Overall Record 63-8
Wins – AJS, GTL, T&R, Long Haul, T&R
Resmondo rolls through the field and their biggest threat (Long Haul) eliminated themselves when they decided to forfeit their games.   Resmondo was only tested briefly by a feisty T&R Stucco team that jumped out to an early 7 run lead on them in the winner's bracket game.   The one thing that most teams still don't get is that Resmondo out hustles them.   Not only are Resmondo players most of the top players in the game but they go the extra mile in the hustle department and that is why they are the champions.
A very impressive season considering we all called these guys old and incapable at the beginning of the season when they got off to that rough start in the Hall of Fame Classic.   Congratulations on proving everyone wrong and good luck in whatever next season brings?
If there is a downside to the championship it is the fact that Resmondo wins the title without ever having played another Major class team during the tournament.
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Resmondo infielder Todd Martin collects his record setting World Series hit!

Team Resmondo


2nd Place T&R Stucco/Worth (Conf-A from Polk City, Florida)

Mens Major World Record 5-2
2009 Overall Record 47-18
Wins – NW Combat, Jean Shoppe, Johnny Blaze, Dan Smith, Long Haul
Losses – Resmondo, Resmondo
T&R Stucco capped a strong 2009 season with a runner up finish in the big show.   Stucco winds up with a very impressive 22-6 record vs 'A' teams this year and featured a lineup that could hit solid stadium base hits all the way through the order.   Just ask Shoppe and Smith.
T&R survived a couple of close games against NW Combat and Jean Shoppe before losing to Resmondo in the 3rd round.   They then knocked of Johnny Blaze in the loser's bracket before their two day meeting with Dan Smith.   Against Dan Smith, in a game which started Saturday night, they jumped out to an early lead but let Smith creep back in and take the lead late.   As a heavy rain started to soak the field, T&R mounted a comeback and used a shifting wind to hit some homer's out of left field and take the lead just as the game was postponed.   The game resumed early Sunday morning with Dan Smith struggling offensively and T&R pitcher Oscar Shipley fought his way out of a dangerous bases loaded situation in the bottom of the 7th to hang on to the upset win.
In the championship against Resmondo, T&R never got the sticks going and faded to the run rule.
Congratulations to T&R, Troy, Tiny, and the players for a great season.   When I think about T&R, I think about solid hitting on the stadiums and homeruns on the 300 ft fields. Great job adjusting to the situations.   When that rain storm shifted the wind towards left, Stucco hitters couldn't wait to drive the ball out.
Team T&R

Troy tells a joke to Dustin Roberts and Jeff Turnbow

3rd Place Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters (Conf-M from Albertville, Minnesota)

Mens Major World Record 3-2
2009 Overall Record 41-16
Wins – Suncoast, Johnny Blaze, Dan Smith
Losses – Resmondo, T&R
Long Haul finished 3rd allegedly.
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Long Haul beats Dan Smith

Team Long Haul

Long Haul and GTL wore the JC Phelps tribute uniforms


4th Place Dan Smith-Menosse-Benfield-Combat (Conf-M from San Jose, California)

Mens Major World Record 3-2
2009 Overall Record 51-19
Wins – O&S, Taylormade, GTL
Losses – Long Haul, T&R
Dan Smith was not able to step on the gas when needed against T&R and they paid the price when they lost to a walk off homer by Long Hauls Jeremy Isenhower.
The Dan Smith team will finish the year 2nd in the rankings and had some great tournaments at the Hall of Fame Classic and Seattle.   They fall short of the prize but weren't going to double dip Resmondo this year anyways.
Dan Smith team


Tied 5th Place GTL Cartel/Stucco/Worth/Elite (Conf-A from Othello, Washington)
 Mens Major World Record 3-2
2009 Overall Record 49-27
Wins – Combat USA, O&S, Jean Shoppe
Losses – Resmondo, Dan Smith
GTL hammered Combat USA and then lost big to Resmondo.   In the loser's bracket they survived an early deficit against O&S before winning and outlasted Jean Shoppe 21-16.   GTL was knocked out of the tournament by Dan Smith when they ran out of gas.

GTL winds up tied for 5th but got the 4th place trophy when Long Haul forfeited

Tied 5th Place Johnny Blaze/Combat/Elite (Conf-A from Las Vegas, Nevada)

Mens Major World Record 3-2
2009 Overall Record 37-21
Wins – Bud Light, Blitz, Taylormade
Losses – Long Haul, T&R
Johnny Blaze is one of the bigger surprises of the tournament.   They survived an ugly game with Bud Light in their first round, then held Long Haul in check and could have beat them before losing 8-5.   In the losers bracket, Blaze escaped late against Blitz and won a big one over Taylormade before running out of gas against T&R Stucco.   The Blaze defense was improved this weekend and the team seamed to gell for the first time with this new group of players.

Team Johnny Blaze

Mooch kept Johnny Blaze in every game

Tied 7th Place TaylorMade / Titan / PAS / Mizuno (Conf-A from Spotsylvania, Virginia)

Mens Major World Record 2-2
2009 Overall Record 31-19
Wins – Wood Law, Combat USA
Losses – Dan Smith, Johnny Blaze
Taylormade run ruled Wood Law in their opener and played 7 solid innings against Dan Smith but lost 18-11.   In the losers bracket they clipped Combat USA by a run but came up short of Johnny Blaze eventhough Johnny Bailey hit a massive centerfield homer and had 7 RBI in the game.
Taylormade always plays well on the stadium fields and are an entertaining group to watch.

Team Taylormade
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Taylormade CF Chuck Koone makes a great catch
Taylormades Johnny Bailey cleans off the bases

Tied 7th Place JeanShoppe/Chaneys/Easton/Sports55 (Conf-A from McKenzie, Tennessee)

Mens Major World Record 2-2
2009 Overall Record 53-18
Wins – Blitz, Suncoast
Losses – T&R, GTL
Jean Shoppe run ruled Blitz in a game they controlled from the outset.   Then lost 18-17 to their nemesis T&R Stucco. In the loser's bracket they jumped out to a big lead and beat Suncoast before dropping to the Cartel.   Shoppe was lead by homerun derby champion Tim Cocco who was fighting for the tournament lead in homer's.
I'm sure Shoppe will retool and lead the 'A' division in 2010.

Jean Shoppe team awaits the national anthem

Jean Shoppe's Tim Cocco put on a show at the homerun derby

The legend Todd Joerling had a great 2009 season

Tied 9th Place Combat USA/Elite (Conf-A from Seattle, Washington)

Mens Major World Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 29-22
Wins – AJS
Losses – GTL, Taylormade
Combat USA never showed up offensively for their opening game against GTL Wednesday night.   They rallied with a barage of homer's late in their second game against AJS to win.   Then dropped a 15-14 game to Taylormade to finish.   Combat picked up WCS shortstop Carlos Vasquez but didn't grab any of the needed power hitters to help them out.
They played without Dexter Avery and Coach Stricklin.
Team Combat USA

Tied 9th Place Blitz/Watanabe/Weller/Minges/Easton (Conf-B from Cincinnati, Ohio)

Mens Major World Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 50-25
Wins – NW Combat
Losses – Jean Shoppe, Johnny Blaze
Blitz was run ruled by Shoppe in their opener, rallied to beat a good NW Combat team in their second game, and dropped a close one to Johnny Blaze at the end. Blitz had an opportunity to pick up some big name players to fill in for the 5 missing starters that couldn't make the trip. They however chose to go with local Ohio area players who all hustled and gave a great effort but wasn't what was needed. Winning one game was more than was expected and that win was over NW Combat which had to feel good after last weeks 'B' Championship losses.
Blitz team getting ready for their first game

Tied 9th Place Suncoast/Quick Roofing/Reebok (Conf-A from Sarasota, Florida)
Mens Major World Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 21-18
Wins – Bud Light
Losses – Long Haul, Jean Shoppe
Suncoast played a solid game against Long Haul in their opener but lost 26-16. In the loser's bracket they soundly beat Bud Light 24-17 and then gave up a 13-4 early lead to Shoppe and never recovered. Lee Trotter and Wade Casey continued to pace this teams offense. Randell Boone did not play, which hurt them.

Lee Trotter has been a table setting machine all season long

Tied 9th Place O&S/Povs/Hoffman/Combat (Conf-A from South St Paul, Minnesota)

Mens Major World Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 16-20
Wins – Wood Law
Losses – Dan Smith, GTL
O&S Cattlemen

Last Place Bud Light/TPS/LineDrive/Sports55 (Conf-A from Plymouth, Michigan)

Mens Major World Record 0-2
2009 Overall Record 38-27
Losses – Johnny Blaze, Suncoast
Bud Light had a disappointing showing at the Series.   They played without shortstop Tony Mack and left fielder Jason Wetmore but have the talent to play better than they showed.   I look for Bud Light to rebound and have a much stronger 2010 season.
Team Bud Light

Last Place Northwest Combat / Trojans (Conf-B from Seattle, Washington)

Mens Major World Record 0-2
2009 Overall Record 27-17
Losses – T&R, Blitz
NW Combat gave T&R all they could handle in their opener and almost pulled off the huge upset.  They were one defensive play away.  Great effort.
Then NW Combat lost the 'B' World rematch with Blitz 17-13.
NW Combats top hitter Francois Henry

Place Wood Law/Combat (Conf-A from Dallas, Texas)

Mens Major World Record 0-2
2009 Overall Record 61-27
Losses – Taylormade, O&S
Wood Law dropped two to teams I'm sure they feel they should beat.   Wood picked up softball legend Darrell Beeler to help out.
Team Wood Law
Wood Law pickup and Hall of Famer Darrell Beeler returned to the World Series

Last Place A.J.S./Easton/3N2/Dssbats (Conf-B from Fort Myers, Florida)

Mens Major World Record 0-2
2009 Overall Record 28-25
Losses – Resmondo, Combat USA
AJS played 7 innings with Resmondo and almost upset Combat USA before a barage of Combat homers put them away. I would have liked to have seen a little more of Adam Rockoff in these games but they must of had their reasons not to play him. 
Team AJS
AJS pitcher Billy Barrett hits a homer

I'd like to thank for their sponsorship of this tournament recap.



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