VERA CHINESE PHOTO | The Times/Review Newsgroup team celebrates its victory in the first ever East End Media Kickball Tournament. From left: managing editor Joseph Pinciaro, northforker.com editor Matt Kapelas, reporter Cyndi Murray, executive editor Grant Parpan, reporter Rachel Young, reporter Paul Squire, reporter Carrie Miller, account executive Erica Brower, account executive Tina Volinski, reporter Tim Gannon, classified executive Kim Volinski and publisher Andrew Olsen.
It was a tournament with home plate collisions, a triple play, trash talking, several controversial foul calls and requests to verify players’ documentation. No, not the Little League World Series or the Major League Baseball postseason. We’re talking about the first ever East End Media Kickball Tournament.
When the final run crossed home plate the Times/Review Newsgroup team, featuring staff members from the Riverhead News-Review and The Suffolk Times, was presented a trophy as the undefeated champion of the three-team double elimination tournament.
“We were a great team both on and off the field,” declared Times/Review reporter Rachel Young, the team’s self-appointed spokesperson.
The idea for the tournament, which was played at the North Sea Community House in Southampton, was first conceived by editors of The Press News Group of Southampton and Times/Review Newsgroup at a hotel bar in Saratoga, N.Y. last spring. Representatives of fellow East End newspaper The Sag Harbor Express agreed to field a team and the event was organized by Press executive editor Joe Shaw.
Mr. Shaw said despite his team’s loss in the championship round, he was excited to see the tournament run smoothly.
“I’m glad nobody twisted an ankle,” he said afterward. “I definitely thought we were going to have to call an ambulance.”
While no 911 call was ever placed, several calls were made at the last moment to secure an actual kickball after Mr. Shaw showed up at the field with several rubber supermarket bouncie balls.
“You can’t play kickball with those,” protested Sag Harbor Express publisher Bryan Boyhan.
By the start of the second inning of Game One, the useless rubber ball was replaced with an actual kickball and the action continued.
The Times/Review squad won the championship with victories of 7-1 over Southampton, 4-1 over Sag Harbor and 12-9 over Southampton in the final game. Southampton defeated Sag Harbor 6-4 in the semifinals.
Times/Review left fielder Kim Volinski was awarded tournament MVP by an unofficial vote of the awards committee. The classified executive and former college soccer player kicked a home run and wowed the crowd with several dazzling outfield catches.
Northforker.com editor Matt Kapelas won the Golden Hands award for his stellar play at third base for Times/Review.
The Play of the Tournament award was given to the Sag Harbor Express infield for turning a triple play against Times/Review.
Press News Group account executive Keith Schultz was awarded the Silver Slugger award for his dramatic home run in the semifinal game.
Sag Harbor Express account executive Terry McShane of Mattituck was awarded Potluck MVP honors for arriving with one of his Lickitty-Splitz Ice Cream Cartz.
Also of note from the tournament was the absence of Southampton Press Western Edition editor Frank Costanza, who was said to sit out the tournament as he begins his annual Festivus preparations. Times/Review web editor Joe Werkmeister, an absolute sports fanatic, was also curiously absent from the tournament, but a World Adult Kickball Association source said he was “werking.”
“We came in saying we just gotta take it one game at a time,” said Times/Review captain and executive editor Grant Parpan. “It’s a shame there had to be a winner, really, but I’m glad it was us.”