July 13, 2021 - The morning of July 13 was overcast and saw intermittent rain; the night turned out to be ideal for baseball!  Your Black Hats faced the squad loosely defined as Temple Emanuel.  Dissatisfied with its home grown talent, Emanuel recruited far and wide to secure some of the area's best athletes; despite these efforts, after the exhibition first inning your Black Hats electrified the crowd with a record setting performance and outscored Emanuel the rest of the way including a season high five run outburst to end the game!  Unfortunately, after some consultation it was decided the first inning would count.  All kidding aside, your Black Hats have come together and more often than not we are a competent team that relishes playing together.

Around the horn (with some eventual switches): pitcher Avner (Jake) Lechter; Joel Altman-Shafer, second base/catcher; David Iancu, first base; Seth Brauner, catcher/second base; Yossi Duboff (more on Yossi below), shortstop; Andrew Gorman, third base; and Ross Abrams, Sam Smulyan, Josh Liberman, and Aaron Arbiture in the outfield.

First, the Black Hats would like to extend thanks to major league baseball for postponing their all star game start time to allow us to play first and for permitting Sam Smulyan to miss his all star selection so he could play with our team.

A few of many highlights:

  • Sam went 3 for 3.
  • "Jake" smacked two RBIs and his pitching was around the plate the entire night; he also set a personal record for most men tefillined with 10.  
  • Yossi cranked a bases loaded triple for 3 RBIs!  
  • Andrew was a vacuum at third base and his defense included a couple of sparkling putouts.  
  • For the first inning after many years behind the plate, Coach Smulyan placed yours truly at second base.  Despite feeling like a fish out of water, I managed to not make any errors; Seth then upgraded the position with great instincts and nimble fielding.  
  • After an Emanuel line drive hit to the outfield, Sam scooped it up, made a terrific throw to cutoff player Jake, and Jake threw it to Seth at second base as the hitter attempted to stretch his single into a double; this was recorded as a rare 8-1-4 putout and an example of quintessential teamwork!   

With all of these highlights, while team performance and not individual accolades is most critical, this night belonged to Josh Liberman.  After a few weeks absence that clearly made him hungry to return to the field, with one of his kids in attendance Josh displayed absolute excellence both in the field (infield AND outfield) and at the plate.  Josh set a personal record with four sensational putouts.  Josh is a long time Black Hats player; I have never seen him play as well as he did last night.  Kudos, Josh!!

Faces in the bleachers included Craig Abrams, Sara Abrams, Lisa Glick, and members from the Brauner, Liberman, and Avner Lechter families; the Cabrera family was sorely missed.  I have also been remiss for not sufficiently thanking camp counselors for regularly attending games and making their presence felt.  Both the Black Hats and Emanuel felt everyone's presence.  Thank you to all!

This week’s Black Hats spotlight shines upon Yossi Duboff.  Yossi was born in New York and lived the first two years of his life in New Jersey.  He moved to the west side of Milwaukee a few months before his third birthday and then moved to Mequon at age five where he has lived since.

He learns in yeshiva full time and has learned in Postville, Iowa since 8th grade.  This past year, he was in a yeshiva in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  He spent the past four summers in Iowa until he reached out to Rabbi Avremi.  Rabbi Avremi gave him a counselor job at CGI Milwaukee; Yossi is counselor and Golan Altman-Shafer (my son) is co-counselor for the Pioneers, boys grade 5-7.

Yossi comes from a family of eight kids where he is the second oldest.  Yossi's brother in law is Noach Linton.  Yossi is spending the summer with most of his family including his three youngest siblings and his parents which he finds to be a wonderful experience.

Yossi enjoys sports in general and loves to learn and meet new people.  We have admired Yossi's significant increase in plate production; he can also efficiently play numerous fielding positions.  Yossi has been a terrific addition to the Black Hats.  Welcome to the team, Yossi!  We are very glad you are here.

A kids game took place after our contest with more smiles all around.

Next week starts the second half of our season on Tuesday, July 20th at 6:00pm at Brown Deer 2.  The Black Hats WILL crack the left side of the ledger some time this season.  Come join us and witness history!