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WINTERBALL EXTRAVAGANZA

Winterball began as a concept in 2001 to exist the playing season. By adding an additional game the first weekend in December, the length of time leading to the next season would be shortened. Each year, the MABL battles the MSBL, regardless of temperature. Beginning in 2004, the game partnered with Toys for Tots and the United States Marines, requiring each participant to bring a toy for a child in need as their entry fee. Only once has snow stopped winter baseball.

GAME SUMMARIES

Year Result Temperature Locale
2008 MABL 5, MSBL 3 28° Wind 10MPH East Boston Stadium, E. Boston, MA
2007 MABL 7, MSBL 4 37° Boston English HS, Jamaica Plain, MA
2006 MABL 5, MSBL 1 (Game 1)
MABL 4, MSBL 4 (Game 2)
47° Boston English HS, Jamaica Plain, MA
2005 MSBL 6, MABL 3 35° Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
2004 MABL 7, MSBL 3 40° Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
2003 Cancelled - Snow 28° --
2002 MABL 6, MSBL 3 31° Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA
2001 MSBL 17, MABL 7 (Game 1)
MABL 6, MSBL 2 (Game 2)
48° Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

2008

Score: MABL5, MABL 3
Site: East Boston Stadium, E. Boston, MA
Date: December 13, 2008

East Boston Stadium was the site of the 8th Annual Winterball game. The temperature was a brisk 28 degrees with a 10mph breeze off the water. . Joe Tufo sparked the offense for the MABL with a 2 run double in the top of the 2nd. Mike Morgan led off the 5th with a double to right field. Kevin Bell hit a single to center with two outs, scoring Morgan. Ryan Bere tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate. The MSBL scored another run at the bottom of the inning making the score 3-2 MABL. Going into the 9th inning, it was 5-2 MABL. Bere came in the 9th to close the game out and allowed an unearned run to score. Final score was MABL 5, MSBL 3. .

Bell, Jay Thomas, and Bryan Healey led the way for the MABL pitching staff, holding MSBL hitters to 2 runs over six innings of work. Thomas pitched two scoreless innings. MSBL pitcher Chris Allen allowed 3 runs over three innings of work, none of them earned. Jeremy Roberts, only 14, pitched one inning for the MSBL, striking out two MABL batters. Key contributors to the MSBL offense were Rob Linn and Mike Hyde both going 2 for 3. Rob Mercer also added to their offense with an RBI. MSBL pitching staff fanned 16 batters to 14 for the MABL staff. MSBL Boxscore Photos

USMarineJohn "Smokey" Moore and Ryan Bere with a real All-Star.
BallersBMBL Players brave 29 degrees for Toys for Tots
2007

Score: MABL 7, MSBL 3
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 8, 2007

For the 7th annual Winterball Extravaganza, Boston English High School was covered in snow and it was just 37� at game time. More than 30 players donated toys and Boston's Finest were on hand for the festivities. The MABL defeated the MSBL, 7-4, led by Kevin Bell and Jay Thomas (both of the Orioles) who both homered to lead the way.

Tim FishBoston's Finest with MABL & US Marine Tim Fish.
Kevin BellKevin Bell pitches through the snow.
2006

Score: MABL 5, MSBL 1 (Game 1), MABL 4, MSBL 4 (Game 2)
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 2, 2006

The doubleheader was played in 45 degree cold. All 57 participants had to donate a toy to Toys for Toys in order to participate.

Game 1 began at 10:30 AM and was won 5-1 by the MABL (the young guys), led by the pitching staff of Chris Allen (Reds), Bryan Healey (Orioles), Steve Maycock (Grays), Rich Wlodarczyk (Tigers) and Jay Thomas (Orioles) who combined for 17 strikeouts. Game 2 began immediately afterward. With the MABL leading 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning, the final out of the inning was made at the plate to preserve the score. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the MSBL plated a run to tie the score 4-4. With the bases loaded and 1 out, a seemingly game-ending line drive was hit down the thirdbase line. Pedro Gil (A's) dove and double-up the runner at third to end the inning. The game ended in a 4-4 tie due to darkness.

Two members of the United States Marine Corps stationed out of Ft. Devens came down to collect all the toys. Thanks to John "Smokey" Moore (Winthrop Black Sox) for securing the Toys for Tots angle and for Charity Hop (a baseball fundraising firm) for coordinating all the details. Additionally, Boston Police Captain Kelley McCormick (Somerville Senators) was on hand to assure everything went smoothly.


Boston Police Chief Kelley McCormick, John "Smokey" Moore, Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps and Brett Rudy.

James "Santa" Barnes and Smokey Moore.
2005

Score: MSBL 6, MABL 3
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 3, 2005

With the temperature 35 degrees at game time, the 5th Annual Winterball Extravaganza was played, Saturday, December 3rd at 11:00 a.m. at Kelly Field in Hyde Park. The MSBL defeated the MABL, 6-3. Players who participated donated a toy to Toys for Tots, a charitable toy drive held by the U.S. Marine Corps. Countless toys were donated and more than 40 players suited up for the contest.

The MSBL scored 6 runs off just 3 hits, drawing a rediculous 12 walks and 2 hit batsmen. Andy Lewis (Randolph Grays) and Dickie Pacino (Somerville Cubs) had key RBIs. Tony Catalano (Lexington Astros) started the game on the mound and notched the win. For the MABL, the squad picked up 7 hits, of which Pedro Gil (Athletics) had 3 of them, including a triple. Jay Thomas (Orioles) took the loss, though he struck out 7 in just 3 innings of work.

Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marines, Jack McDonald and Paul Nolan, pose with Tim Fish of the MABL Orioles, who is also a 6-year veteran of the U.S. Marines.
Eric Merryfield Eric Merryfield swings 42 inch stick.
2004

Score: MABL 7, MSBL 3
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 4, 2004

New in 2004, those who donated a new toy for Toys for Tots had their entry fee waived. 27 players donated toys and the Marines were on hand to collect the donation. In this 12-inning contest, the MABL battled the MSBL with 49 players overall in attendance.

The MSBL jumped out to a quick 1-0 in the second inning after a walk and a pair of doubles. In the bottom of the seventh inning with the game still 1-0, Sean Magee (Reds) led off with a triple and scored on a Jay Thomas (Orioles) fielder's choice to tie the game. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the MABL scored 5 runs via hits from Joe Dunne (Reds), Matt Giblin (White Sox), Ron Viola (Astros) and Mike Lembo (White Sox) to take a lead they would not relinquish. Magee, who also pitched the 7th and 8th innings, was the winning pitcher of record and struck out 6 batters in two innings of work. Magee also scored an insurance run in the 9th inning, when Jay Thomas, who also caught all 12 innings, doubled him home. In the 12th inning, the MSBL rallied for 2 runs, but ended the game with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. Chris Allen (Reds) made his second consecutive Winterball start for the MABL and received a no decision.


Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marines, Jack McDonald and Paul Nolan, pose with Brian Bennett ad John Breslin.
Dave Joseph, Brockton, A's
Dave Joseph of the Brockton A's goes several innings.
2003

Score: Cancelled due to snow.
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 6, 2003

The 3rd Annual Winterball Extravaganza was canceled due to almost 3 feet of snow. Ironic.

2002

Score: MABL 6, MSBL 3
Site: Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA
Date: December 1, 2002

The game was a 7-inning baseball contest played Sunday, December 1st at 11:00 a.m. at Fallon Field in a 31 degree chill. Across the MABL and MSBL, 24 players showed up for the freeze-fest. Ump Jim DeGraaf called the balls and strikes.

The MABL jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and never looked back after a leadoff single by Pedro Gil of the Red Sox and singles by Mike Lembo and Hugh Guilderson of the White Sox. Lembo, Joe Dunne of the Reds, Brett Rudy of the White Sox, Chris Allen of the Braves and Jason Hanson of the Dodgers each collected multiple hits on the day. On the mound, Chris Allen (3 IP, 6 K -- including 4K in the first inning!) notched the win while Garret Fisher of the Dodgers (also 3 IP, 6K) and Jason Hanson (1 IP, 1K) kept the MABL in the game. The MABL won the game 6 to 3.

Murray Reed
Murray Reed shovels out home plate.
Chris Allen
Chris Allen gets MABL start on mound.
2001

Score: MSBL 17, MABL 7 (Game 1), MABL 6, MSBL 2 (Game 2)
Site: Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA
Date: December 2, 2001

More than 35 baseball players across the Boston MSBL and MABL battled in the First Annual Winterball Extravaganza. The game-time tempurature was 48 degrees.

The inagural Game 1 was a 3-3 battle going into the fifth inning when the MSBL collected 5 runs, making the game 8-3. However, the MABL battled back with a grand-slam off the stick of MVP Jeff Coveney (who earlier tripled), making the score 8-7. But 11 MSBL hits in the final two innings allowed them to be victorious 17-7. In Game 2, nine MABL hits in the first inning allowed the squad to score all 6 runs they would need to win, 6-2. The game began with back-to-back triples by Jeff Burns and Dave Mitrou. Dave Joseph (borrowed from the MSBL for Game 2) pitched the complete game for the young guys getting the win.


2001 Inaugural MABL Winterball Team.

2001 Inaugural MSBL Winterball Team.