June 22nd Game Recap 

with Guest Columnist, David Smulyan!

June 22, 2021 - On a beautiful summer evening your Black Hats, with a strong player turnout of 14, took on a small but very talented BBYO crew of just 9 players. The player turnout this year has been phenomenal. Our player roster has over 20 players. Moreover, the energy and enthusiasm of the Black Hat players and the growing fan base is second to no other team in the league. On this night the Black Hat bleachers were filled with a number of families as well as a large contingent of Camp Gan Izzy counselors who showed up to cheer on the team.  

After the first inning, the Black Hats played the BBYO’ers fairly even for the next five innings, with BBYO tallying 9 runs and the Black Hats garnering 6 runs.  Three of the Black Hats runs came on a towering 3-run homer by Levi Shmotkin.  However, on this night, the longest Tuesday of the year, it was the stellar defense that stood out most for the Black Hats.  Yossi Bassman was a vacuum cleaner at shortstop.  There were many ground balls hit his way during the game and he scooped them up with the ease of a seasoned veteran.  The infield highlight of the game was a double play where Yossi fielded a ground ball and tagged the runner going from second to third base and then threw to our second baseman who got the runner going from first to second on a force out.

The Black Hats outfield is made up of some budding superstars, all of whom are teenagers or in their early twenties. I’m here to tell you, with players like these, the future of the Black hats looks bright.  Ross Abrams, making only his second appearance this year, continued to impress in left field. Sam Smulyan playing left center showed he could cover a lot of ground chasing down fly balls, even with an injured foot. Levi Shmotkin playing right center made several nice plays and showed real determination in tracking down fly balls, including a diving attempt to snag a ball that left him just short and with a bruised knee to show for it. Out in right field Yossi Dubov rounded out this defensive quartet by providing solid defense. The outfield highlight of the game came on a play where the most powerful BBYO batter smashed a shot to deep left field very close to the trees.  It flew over Ross’s head and looked like it was a home run for sure.  But at the last second, Sam Smulyan came sprinting from left center field at full stride, and with his right arm fully extended, he dived and caught the ball in a miraculous fashion, robbing the bewildered batter of a home run and bringing the Black Hats fans to their feet.

Next Tuesday June 29, the Blackhats play Emanu-El at 7 PM at Brown Deer #2. And your favorite baseball columnist Joel Altman-Shafer will be back with his witty writing and signature player spotlight.

Editors Note:  Be sure to join us for Family Night with the Blackhats!  More information here.