A Decade of Mix-ups and Dust-ups

Posted March 10, 2010

A Decade of Mix-ups and Dust-ups

We’ve all done something or had someone do something on the other team that got us fired up. Sometimes, however, it can be mistakenly assumed a team is running it up or taunting you, when it’s just not the case.

Other times, a war of words gets a group of ball players riled, and in the end more often than not, cooler heads prevail in the PBL.

But here’s a look at a few funny stories that stood out over my 10-year career – a smattering of mix-ups and dust-ups since 1999.

One-hit wonder

Nick Mizera, in a 9-run ball game in favour of the Armena Axemen, knocked a Texas leaguer into short left field for his first hit of the 2005 season on July 4 in Tofield at its annual tournament.

The Axemen bench exploded in delight and cheered as Mizera notched his first hit after going an incredible 0-for-24 to start the season in his comeback after retiring a few seasons earlier.

A mumbling Steve Ofrim at third base for the Camrose Roadrunners mentioned plunking the next batter under his breath.

I had to let him know it was Nick’s first hit of the year and it was not rubbing in the victory. You could see where the mix-up could occur.

Crown Royaled

Last season, with the Armena Royals up by several runs on the Ryley Rebels late in the game, an exuberant Ben Lyseng broke for home from third with only runners on second and third and one out – after a come-backer to the pitcher.

He was out by a mile, but attempted to slide through the ankle of generally laid-back Bryan Toles at the plate – that is off-the-field anyway.

It sparked some comments from the burly core of Ryley Rebels, including Toles. Coaching staffs tried to calm the situation, only to realize Lyseng had gotten the worse of the incident – severely spraining HIS ankle and leaving him on the IR for the remainder of the season.

Rebel without a cause

Up by a dozen or more runs in the Armena Royals days, I was pitching against the ol’ Ryley Rebels one night in Ryley.

Upon a come-backer to the mound to end the sixth inning, instead of tossing it over to Scott Peterson (yeah, he was playing first base that night), I marched over with a crap-eating grin on my face and literally handed Peterson the ball to end the inning.

He promptly tossed the ball back at me and gave me a glare. Back in the dugout, the veteran men’s player voiced his wisdom:

“I didn’t want them to think we were rubbing it in,” he said. “It would kind of piss me off if someone did that to us.”

Good point Peterson. Noted for future reference.

Bald ambitions

With the Armena Axemen up by a few, third baseman Wes Harrison burst into a heckling tirade of sorts on Chipman Crackerjack Chad Cossy’s father who was at the plate batting in the nine-spot.

The verbal sparring match came to an end with Cossy’s father retaliating from Harrison’s “This guy can’t hit,” comment with, “Well at least I’m not bald.” This was followed by the infamous Harrison bombshell of…

“It’s better to be bald than fat!”

Chipman, fueled by the exchange, mounted a comeback but came up one run short, ironically after Chad Cossy tripped on third base rounding for home on what would have been the game-tying hit.

Cossy would get the last laugh, drunkenly heckling the Axemen at a Canada Day game in Tofield against the Lamont Steelers. The Axemen gave up a walk-off dong to end the day, with Cossy shouting, “Way to go Six-Shooter!” (a reference to Scott Peterson, whom I coined midway through the year after throwing his second no-hitter of the season – one of them against Chipman). “You suck baldy!”

Blades of ‘Steelers’

Facing off against the Lamont Steelers in 2001, a high school-esk Armena Royals team with Scott Peterson and a couple other players in their early 30s were the victim of an attempted bullying each and every night the teams clashed.

A game would generally feature a threat or a bump of the first baseman or catcher of Armena. One tournament in Camrose, “Weeder” from Lamont mowed down unsuspecting Ryan Faulk at third base – maybe the softest spoken nicest guy you’d ever meet – resulting in Doug Bowie giving him the heave-hoe for the day.

It all came to a head one July evening in Lamont when the teams threatened to duke it out in the parking lot, after Armena Royal, and Joel Boettger’s cousin, Greg Kucy was run over at first base.

The two teams then became cordial in the latter years of the Steelers franchise, when the Axemen added former Roadrunners in the subsequent seasons.

Share your past incidents that rightly or wrongly almost led to a dust-up. Luckily, for the most part, a lot of the Yahoos have left the league, and most guys get along pretty good now to avoid anything major. We always like to avoid these now, as it puts a black-eye on the league and makes umpires leary, but it has created some pretty funny memories in the past decade.

Posted on March 9, 2010 by Jason Buzzell 

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