WINTERBALL EXTRAVAGANZA                     

Winterball began as a concept in 2001 to extend the baseball season. Beginning in 2004, the game partnered with Toys for Tots and the United States Marines, requiring each player to bring a toy for a child-in-need as their entry fee. Only once has snow stopped winter baseball, and 2012 will mark Winterball's 12th year!

2013

Teams: French Hens 7, Turtle Doves 5
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 7, 2013 at 11:00 AM
Temperature: 37°

In the 13th Annual Winterball baseball game, the French Hens defeated the Turtle Doves, 7-5, in 37°, but otherwise perfect conditions. This annual snow hitter benefits the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots program, as each player donates an unwrapped toy for the cause.

The French Hens jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Chris Deane (Astros, Yawkey League) tripled in the second inning. The Hens hatched 4 more runs in the 3rd inning behind a couple of walks and singles by Kevin O'Leary (Giants, MSBL) and Ryan Bere (Blue Jays, MABL), bringing the score to 5-0. The Turtle Doves flew back into the game, making it 5-2, in the 4th inning with hits from Jeff Cabral (Dodgers), Peter Amico (Cantab Warriors, MSBL) and Brett Rudy (Brewers, MSBL).

The game went into the 9th inning with the French Hens now up 7-4. The Doves chalked up a run and put the tying run on base with singles from Walden, Dan Sweet (Senators, MABL) and Brandon Wright (White Sox, MSBL) single, but the partridge settled onto the pear tree with a final of 7-5. See the Winterball XIII Photo Album.

2013 Winterball - Mike Hicks
Mike "Santa" Hicks Scoops Up Grounders At Second.
2013 Winterball Master Gunnery Sergeant McCorkle
U.S. Mgy. Sgt. McCorkle Delivers First Pitch
2012

Teams: Baystate Blizzard 8, Atlantic Frost 5
Site: Maplewood Park, Malden, MA
Date: December 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Temperature: 28° and snowing!

The 12th annual Winterball was a treat. The Rivier University Baseball Team was on hand to assist with collection of toys for Toys for Tots, and also to shag baseballs during batting practice for the participants.

The game began with about 30 players ready to brave the crisp 28° snowy conditions. The Baystate Blizzard consisted of players aged 16-29, while the Atlantic Frost consisted of those aged 30+. The starting pitchers were Jay Thomas (MABL Blue Jays) for the Blizzard and Paul Anderson (MSBL Middlesex Brewers) for the Frost. In the final frame and trailing 8-3, the Frost made a comeback run as Steven Walsh (Yawkey's Beacon Hill Dodgers) doubled, Chris Deane (MSBL's Scituate Tides) got on, and Tommy McDonough (alumni from Yawkey's Somerville Alibrandis) hit one to the wall to drive 2 runs in. But the rally fell short, and the Frost froze at five.

Thanks to all the volunteers, players, and umpires for their generous contributions of time and toys to support Toys for Tots. As a result of this game, lots of boys and girls will have a better holiday season. And there are plenty of 2012 Winterball Photos.

Winterball 2012, Chris Deane
Chris Deane works on his candy cane.
Winterball 2012, Jay Thomas
Jay Thomas does his best Santa, delivering baseballs.
2011

Score: Young Bucks 6, Aging Stallions 5
Site: Maplewood Park, Malden, MA
Date: December 3, 2011 @ 11:00 a.m.
Temperature: 39°

The 11th annual Winterball was a huge success, drawing dozens of amateur adult baseball players from local baseball leagues across New England to play a game to benefit Toys for Tots. With a game-time temperature of 39 degrees, the Young Bucks (players aged 18-29) defeated the Aging Stallions (players aged 30+) in a 10-inning contest by a score of 6 to 5.

With the score 6-2 in the 10th inning, the Aging Stallions rallied for 3 runs before the game-tying run was called out at the plate to end the contest. Sgt. Major Rick Peterson of the United States Marines was on hand to collect the toy donations, and even threw out the game’s first pitch. See 2011 Winterball Photos.

Winterball 2011
Sgt Major Rick Peterson of the US Marines loads the toys.
Carl Rodriguez
Carl Rodriguez shows off his hand-made Candy Cane bat.
2010

Score: Snowmen 10, Snowflakes 8
Site: Maplewood Park, Malden, MA
Date: December 4, 2010
Temperature:41°

On a day when Red Sox Nation was involved in hot stove talks, amateur athletes from across Greater Boston were actually playing 9 innings of baseball - all to benefit Toys for Tots. U.S. Marine Sergeant Jonathan Chan was on hand to thank the athletes for their contribution, and root them on during chilling 41 degree conditions, that even saw a few flurries in the game's early innings.

This year's game featured players from many local leagues, such as the Boston Men's Baseball League, Yawkey League, Park League, BABL, CNEBL and several others ranging as far south as Rhode Island and as far north as New Hampshire. Younger players came from high school and AAU teams, led by players on the New England Stampede.

The contest was quite a thriller. With the score tied 8-8 in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Snowmen broke out with 2 runs to take a 10-8 lead. In the top of the 9th inning, event co-organizer Smokey Moore, age 43, came out of retirement to go for the save. He proceeded to pitch to his son on the opposing team, Zach, age 13, to get the inning's first out. The event came to a close when Snowmen manager, Ryan Bere, tried to stretch a double into a triple and was thrown out at 3rd base - leaving the tying run an the plate!

Winterball Baseball 2010
Festive Rob McDonough, Smokey Moore and James Barnes.
Winterball Baseball 2010
Winterballers with U.S. Marine Sergeant Jonathan Chan.
2009

Score: Team Rudolph 8, Team Santa 6
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 5, 2009 @ 11:00 a.m.
Temperature: 42°

For the 9th straight year, amateur baseball players throughout the Boston area took part in Winterball, a freeze-fest baseball game held to benefit Toys for Tots and the United States Marine Corp. Temperature was 42 degrees at game time with a steady mist. The field was muddy and the turf was a mess. But more than 50 athletes, two umpires, and about two dozen fans were in attendance to watch Team Rudolph defeat Team Santa, 8-6. Patrick Slattery of the Boston Fire Department was on hand to address the athletes, collect more than 50 toys, and delivery the Ceremonial First Pitch. Read more.

Winterball Baseball 2009
2009 Winterballers.
Patrick Slattery of the Boston Fire Department
Boston Fire Department's Patrick Slattery.
2008

Score: MABL 5, MSBL 3
Site: East Boston Stadium, East Boston, MA
Date: December 13, 2008
Temperature: 28°

Today at East Boston Stadium, teams from the Boston Men's Baseball League gathered for the 8th time to play baseball in perfect winter weather. With a temperature of 28 degrees, the athlete's went at it -- all in the name of charity. Each participating player brought an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots as their entry fee.

The MSBL jumped out to a 1 run lead at the end of the 1st inning. Joe Tufo sparked the offense for the MABL “Young Guns” with a 2 run double in the top of the 2nd. Mike Morgan led off the 5th with a double to right field. Kevin Bell hit a single to center with two outs, scoring Morgan. Ryan Bere tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate. The MSBL scored another run at the bottom of the inning making the score 3-2 MABL. The “Young Guns” scored their final run at the top of the 6th. Going into the 9th inning it was 5-2 MABL. Bere came in the 9th to close the game out and allowed one run to score it was unearned. Final score was MABL 5, MSBL 3.

Bell, Jay Thomas, and Bryan Healey led the way for the MABL pitching staff, holding MSBL hitters to 2 runs over six innings of work. Thomas pitched two scoreless innings. MSBL pitcher Chris Allen allowed 3 runs over three innings of work, none of them earned. Jeremy Roberts, only 14, pitched one inning for the MSBL, striking out two MABL batters. The cold allowed the MSBL pitching staff to fan 16 batters verses the MABL staff with 14.

Winterball, Toys For Tots
Smokey Moore & Ryan Bere with the USMC.
Winterball, Chris Allen For Tots
Chris Allen bundled up for his appearance.
2007

Score: MABL 7, MABL 3
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 8, 2007
Temperature: 37°

For the 7th annual Winterball Extravaganza, Boston English High School was covered in snow and it was just 37 at game time. More than 30 players donated toys and Boston's Finest were on hand for the festivities. The MABL defeated the MSBL, 7-4, led by Kevin Bell and Jay Thomas (both of the Orioles) who both homered to lead the way.

Tim FishBoston's Finest with MABL & US Marine Tim Fish.
Tim FishKevin Bell pitches through the snow.
2006

Score: MABL 5, MSBL 1 (Game 1), MABL 4, MSBL 4 (Game 2)
Site: Boston English High School, Jamaica Plain, MA
Date: December 2, 2006
Temperature: 47°

The doubleheader was played in 45 degree cold. All 57 participants had to donate a toy to Toys for Toys in order to participate.

Game 1 began at 10:30 AM and was won 5-1 by the MABL (the young guys), led by the pitching staff of Chris Allen (Reds), Bryan Healey (Orioles), Steve Maycock (Grays), Rich Wlodarczyk (Tigers) and Jay Thomas (Orioles) who combined for 17 strikeouts. Game 2 began immediately afterward. With the MABL leading 4-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning, the final out of the inning was made at the plate to preserve the score. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the MSBL plated a run to tie the score 4-4. With the bases loaded and 1 out, a seemingly game-ending line drive was hit down the thirdbase line. Pedro Gil (A's) dove and double-up the runner at third to end the inning. The game ended in a 4-4 tie due to darkness.

Two members of the United States Marine Corps stationed out of Ft. Devens came down to collect all the toys. Thanks to John "Smokey" Moore (Winthrop Black Sox) for securing the Toys for Tots angle and for Charity Hop (a baseball fundraising firm) for coordinating all the details. Additionally, Boston Police Captain Kelley McCormick (Somerville Senators) was on hand to assure everything went smoothly.


Boston Police Chief Kelley McCormick, John "Smokey" Moore, Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps and Brett Rudy.

James "Santa" Barnes and Smokey Moore.
2005

Score: MSBL 6, MABL 3
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 3, 2005
Temperature: 35°

With the temperature 35 degrees at game time, the 5th Annual Winterball Extravaganza was played, Saturday, December 3rd at 11:00 a.m. at Kelly Field in Hyde Park. The MSBL defeated the MABL, 6-3. Players who participated donated a toy to Toys for Tots, a charitable toy drive held by the U.S. Marine Corps. Countless toys were donated and more than 40 players suited up for the contest.

The MSBL scored 6 runs off just 3 hits, drawing a rediculous 12 walks and 2 hit batsmen. Andy Lewis (Randolph Grays) and Dickie Pacino (Somerville Cubs) had key RBIs. Tony Catalano (Lexington Astros) started the game on the mound and notched the win. For the MABL, the squad picked up 7 hits, of which Pedro Gil (Athletics) had 3 of them, including a triple. Jay Thomas (Orioles) took the loss, though he struck out 7 in just 3 innings of work.

Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marines, Jack McDonald and Paul Nolan, pose with Tim Fish of the MABL Orioles, who is also a 6-year veteran of the U.S. Marines.
Eric Merryfield Eric Merryfield swings 42 inch stick.
2004

Score: MABL 7, MSBL 3
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 4, 2004
Temperature: 40°

New in 2004, those who donated a new toy for Toys for Tots had their entry fee waived. 27 players donated toys and the Marines were on hand to collect the donation. In this 12-inning contest, the MABL battled the MSBL with 49 players overall in attendance.

The MSBL jumped out to a quick 1-0 in the second inning after a walk and a pair of doubles. In the bottom of the seventh inning with the game still 1-0, Sean Magee (Reds) led off with a triple and scored on a Jay Thomas (Orioles) fielder's choice to tie the game. In the bottom of the 8th inning, the MABL scored 5 runs via hits from Joe Dunne (Reds), Matt Giblin (White Sox), Ron Viola (Astros) and Mike Lembo (White Sox) to take a lead they would not relinquish. Magee, who also pitched the 7th and 8th innings, was the winning pitcher of record and struck out 6 batters in two innings of work. Magee also scored an insurance run in the 9th inning, when Jay Thomas, who also caught all 12 innings, doubled him home. In the 12th inning, the MSBL rallied for 2 runs, but ended the game with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. Chris Allen (Reds) made his second consecutive Winterball start for the MABL and received a no decision.


Toys for Tots representatives from the U.S. Marines, Jack McDonald and Paul Nolan, pose with Brian Bennett ad John Breslin.
Dave Joseph, Brockton, A's
Dave Joseph of the Brockton A's goes several innings.
2003

Score: Cancelled due to snow.
Site: Kelly Field, Hyde Park, MA
Date: December 6, 2003
Temperature: 28°

The 3rd Annual Winterball Extravaganza was canceled due to almost 3 feet of snow. Ironic.

2002

Score: MABL 6, MSBL 3
Site: Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA
Date: December 1, 2002
Temperature: 31°

The game was a 7-inning baseball contest played Sunday, December 1st at 11:00 a.m. at Fallon Field in a 31 degree chill. Across the MABL and MSBL, 24 players showed up for the freeze-fest. Ump Jim DeGraaf called the balls and strikes.

The MABL jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead and never looked back after a leadoff single by Pedro Gil of the Red Sox and singles by Mike Lembo and Hugh Guilderson of the White Sox. Lembo, Joe Dunne of the Reds, Brett Rudy of the White Sox, Chris Allen of the Braves and Jason Hanson of the Dodgers each collected multiple hits on the day. On the mound, Chris Allen (3 IP, 6 K -- including 4K in the first inning!) notched the win while Garret Fisher of the Dodgers (also 3 IP, 6K) and Jason Hanson (1 IP, 1K) kept the MABL in the game. The MABL won the game 6 to 3.

Murray Reed
Murray Reed shovels out home plate.
Chris Allen
Chris Allen gets MABL start on mound.
2001

Score: MSBL 17, MABL 7 (Game 1), MABL 6, MSBL 2 (Game 2)
Site: Fallon Field, Roslindale, MA
Date: December 2, 2001
Temperature: 48°

More than 35 baseball players across the Boston MSBL and MABL battled in the First Annual Winterball Extravaganza. The game-time tempurature was 48 degrees.

The inagural Game 1 was a 3-3 battle going into the fifth inning when the MSBL collected 5 runs, making the game 8-3. However, the MABL battled back with a grand-slam off the stick of MVP Jeff Coveney (who earlier tripled), making the score 8-7. But 11 MSBL hits in the final two innings allowed them to be victorious 17-7. In Game 2, nine MABL hits in the first inning allowed the squad to score all 6 runs they would need to win, 6-2. The game began with back-to-back triples by Jeff Burns and Dave Mitrou. Dave Joseph (borrowed from the MSBL for Game 2) pitched the complete game for the young guys getting the win.


2001 Inaugural MABL Winterball Team.

2001 Inaugural MSBL Winterball Team.