July 6th Game Recap

July 6, 2021 -  On a night when storms were initially forecast so we felt fortunate to play, your Black Hats faced perennially challenging Metro/Doctor Dog.  One hour before game time, many attended the bris of newly named Chaim Benyamin Stein, son of Rabbi Levi and Leah Stein, at the Friendship Circle Cafe.  As I left the ceremony, Rabbi Stein issued the edict to “go out and win!” for his new son.  And immediately prior to the contest, to increase hitting discipline, Coach David Smulyan told each player they must take the first pitch or ride the pines.  David, having cut his managerial chops coaching Sam in Little League for 8 years, realized that even older players need a more disciplined plate approach.  The result: your Black Hats had a record number of walks on this night.  Levi Shmotkin clubbed a home run and launched a second ball even further that was caught in Kenosha by the left fielder.  Yossi Bassman had a two RBI hit.  Sam Smulyan nearly duplicated his surreal running catch from two weeks ago.  During the game, the Metro pitcher pulled a hamstring but remained on the field and also batted; with his last at bat, what would normally have been a base hit to left turned into an unusual 7-4-3 putout for the Black Hats.  Finally, the Black Hats infield has become more comfortable with each other and has grown accustomed to attempting double plays.

Superbly solid defense allowed Metro only one run in the first inning.  Your Black Hats brimmed with confidence and remained competitive for most of the game.  And while ultimately neither rabbinic edict nor coach’s ultimatum helped carry the squad to victory, the Black Hats earned Metro’s respect and delighted the crowd.  To my recollection, every player had at least one solid defensive play.

Around the horn: pitcher Avner (Jake) Lechter found his groove and created dust bowls with his strikeouts; Joel Altman-Shafer, catcher; Seth Brauner, first base (more on Seth below); Joe Prus, second base; Rabbi Yossi Bassman, shortstop; Andrew Gorman, third base; and Ross Abrams, Sam Smulyan, Levi Shmotkin, and Yossi Duboff in the outfield.

Faces in the bleachers included Craig Abrams, Sara Abrams, Lisa Glick, and members from the Brauner, Cabrera, and Avner Lechter families.  Special guests were Seth Brauner’s parents Mark and Cindy; Seth’s father even served as first base coach and did an excellent job (thank you!). 

This week’s Black Hats spotlight shines upon Seth Brauner.  While Seth grew up in Tucson, Seth and his family moved to Milwaukee in October 2020 from Orlando, FL for a job opportunity working with the VA.  Seth’s job title is Veterans Service Representative; he processes disability claims for veterans.  Seth's wife Stephanie will be the new social studies teacher at Bader Hillel Academy, replacing former Black Hat Michael Tepper.  The Brauners have already made a significant impact on the Shul by sponsoring several kiddushes, the most recent in honor of Seth’s 40th birthday and Jeremy’s 10th birthday.  The Brauners have one more son: Zachary, age 8.  The Brauners enjoy traveling, outdoor hiking, going to baseball and hockey games, and going to amusement parks like Disney and Six Flags.  The Brauners also enjoy getting together with other families so children and adults can make connections.  Seth stated the Brauners are thankful for the kindness everyone in the Shul has shown these past eight months in welcoming their family to the community. 

Seth has become adept at playing whatever infield position he has been called upon.  He also hit the Black Hats first home run of the season!  Welcome to Milwaukee, Brauner family!!  We are glad you are here!

Even though this was a 6PM game, the field was available afterwards for a kids game.  All kids got on base.

Next week starts the second half of our season with game times and locations To Be Announced.  Limited tickets are still available on a first come first served basis (or in this case bases).  Please join us and enjoy some quality baseball and friendship!