May 18, 2024
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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The summer 2015 Teaneck 8-and-Under All-star baseball season has begun. After getting off to a 2-1 start with victories over Saddle Brook (twice) and a walk off 7-6 away-loss to Paramus, the team has battled to a 5-3 record—courtesy of a road victory over Ramsey Blue, twin wins over Elmwood Park and losses to Paramus at Teaneck and Wayne on the road.

The Elmwood Park road victory was most notable in that Teaneck rallied from an early 2-0 deficit by tallying 4 runs, each in the fifth and sixth innings, on the way to a 10-3 drubbing of the home team.

This summer’s team is comprised of eager rookies and savvy veterans—if you can call an eight-year old a veteran. Returning from last fall’s playoff finalist team are starting pitchers righty Zev Weiner and lefty Liev Wolin. They have been the “bread and butter” of the pitching roster, but have been ably assisted by Noam Eckman and Issac Kantowitz. Akiva Rotenberg has emerged as a new infield presence this season, bringing his steady fielding to both first and third base during the early going. He has also shown an ability to drive in runs with consistency in various game situations. Ezra Berkowitz, or “Berko,” has brought big-league power to the lineup as well as his cheery disposition to the dugout; some of his recent “clouts” at bat have been memorable. Kantowitz has developed multiple skills as a returning player, giving the coaches a dependable player who can hit, run and field several positions equally well, including catching and pitching in tight spots.

The main catching duties have fallen to Ryan Buchsbayew who works as hard as any player on the team and is a fan favorite. Ryan recently came on to pitch a crucial relief inning in Teaneck’s thrilling 4-3 win over Elmwood Park at home. (Those fans who miss Ryan’s trademark long hair this season need not worry. He has assured me he can grow it back whenever he wants.) Josh Rothenberg is another young veteran on the team whose speed on the base paths, and courage and effort at bat and in the field, are notable. Rookies Gamms, Reich, Keiser and Mauskopf have all contributed to the Teaneck squad’s early successes as well and continue to gain experience and improve.

The team is led this season by the inimitable Norm Blumenthal, a rare combination of knowledge and coaching skill. He adds years of experience to a modest, low- key, fun approach to playing baseball that is a marvel to watch. With his patient hand at the controls, you can be assured every player on the team will improve this season. Blumenthal is ably assisted by Ross Rothenberg and Josh Buchsbayew, themselves veteran, successful coachines.

The week of July 12 sees the team playing two games as the regular season nears its end and playoffs commence.

By Joe Rotenberg

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