The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 46 - September 11, 2013


Island Gourmet Rays Softball World Series Champions

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Matt Ray | submitted

Island Gourmet Rays, 2013 AMICC Adult
Co-ed Softball World Series Champions

The Anna Maria Island Community Center held the first annual 2013 adult co-ed softball World Series Friday night. The Island Gourmet Rays team squared off against the Tyler’s Ice Cream Twins team for the chance to be crowned champions.

In the top of the first inning, the visiting-team, Tyler’s Ice Cream Twins, sent eight batters to the plate. Troy Shonk led off with a double and later scored; Rob Manderine hit a homerun. Rob Alderson hit a triple and later scored, and Erin Vogal hit an RBI single to give the twins a 3 to 0 start.

In the bottom of the first inning, the home-team, Island Gourmet Rays, did one better. They came out and almost batted through the entire order. Kelsea Bachman, had a single and later scored; Max Gazzo hit a homerun; Greg Ross hit a single and later scored; and Mike Brusso hit a triple and later scored to give them the early 4 to 3 lead.

In the top of the second, the twins were only able to push one run across on a single by Laura Alderson and an RBI triple by Rob Manderine. This tied the game 4 to 4.

The bottom of the second was a biggie for the Rays. They were able to bat through the order this time and were able to score seven runs. Maggie Martinez led off with a single, then the parade of doubles ensued. There were back to back to back doubles by Shonk, B.J. Keim, and Gazzo. Ross then cleared the bases with a homerun. Paige Gillunwater got it going again with a single and then scored on Brad Laudicina’s double. Billy Malfese then hit the final double of the inning to drive Laudicina in for the seventh run of the inning. This gave the Rays the 11 to 4 lead.

The Tyler’s Ice Cream team’s defense total stepped up and shut the Rays down for the rest of the game. The Twin’s, incredibly, only allowed four more hits the entire game and allowed their offense to slowly begin chipping away at the lead.

The Twins picked up one more run in the third on a base hit by Michelle Laade, who later scored. They picked up three more runs in the fourth inning from Laura and Rob Alderson and Rob Manderine, but were unable to score in the fifth or sixth inning.

So with the score 11 to 8 and the Rays ahead in the top of the final inning, the Twins had one last chance to tie or take the lead. Shonk led off with a single and later scored on an RBI double by Manderine. Manderine then scored on an RBI double by Rob Alderson to make the score 10 to 11.

The World Series softball game was on the line with only one out and Alderson in scoring position to tie the game. It looked good for the Twins, but was not meant to be. The Rays got the next two hitters out and won the championship game 11 to 10.

Rays highlights:

Max Gazzo went 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs and a homerun; Greg Ross went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs and a homerun; Billy Malfese went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs and B.J. Keim went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

Twins highlights:

Rob Manderine went 4 for 5 with a homerun and 4 RBIs; Rob Alderson went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs; Michelle Laade went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs; Troy Shonk went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs and Laura Alderson went 2 for 4 and scored 2 runs.

Adult co-ed Basketball

Adult co-ed basketball schedule:

Sept. 17, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., The Island Sun vs. Bowes Imaging Center
Sept. 17, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Southern Greens vs. Waterfront restaurant
Sept. 17, Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., Gator Man Pools vs. Beach to Bay Construction


Facebook – the ultimate people finder

It was 1980. I was a lowly reporter at the NBC affiliate TV station in Miami. I loved it, but had just accepted a job doubling my salary in my hometown of St. Louis.

The progressive news director, who was destined for the network where we all wanted to work eventually, was hiring the best in the business. He promised me a staff to head up an investigative/consumer reporting unit. Miami paid in sunshine, as the saying went. All of my family was still in St. Louis, and as so many hometowners say, “It seemed like a good place to raise a family.”

The day after I accepted the offer, I turned in my two-week notice and returned to my desk to answer a call. It was a woman whom I had done a story with six months prior. The story was about her daughter who had flunked the third grade because she didn’t pass the Florida standardized equivalency test, even though she had made all As and Bs. Mom was mad.

Mom worked at a plumbing supply company, and she said, “I remember you listened well and seemed like you really cared. I have another story. Meet me in the stairwell of the plumbing building. Just pass by me and don’t say a word.”

After I received a large envelope during our clandestine meeting, I went to the car where my photographer waited. Inside was a purchase order signed by the school superintendent, Johnny Jones, and the principal of a technical high school. The purchase order was for $9000 worth of gold-plated plumbing including faucets, a bidet and a Jacuzzi. Also enclosed was a plumbing store catalogue of everything listed on the purchase order. The photographer shot all of it.

I knocked on the door of the president of the plumbing store. On camera he said, “Yes, they said they wanted to use the fixtures to teach underprivileged children at the tech school how to make plumbing repairs.”

I asked if the $25 damaged white porcelain bathtubs in the back wouldn’t do the job.

“They wanted the best,” he said.

Next stop – the school superintendent and principal’s office. They gave the same alibi. Before I got back to the station, all Miami stations had received memos from the school district saying that anyone trespassing on school property would be arrested. We ran the story.

The Miami Herald didn’t pick up the story until day three. That morning, I woke up to the Herald quoting my story that aired the night before. Every day before I left, I had another breaking story including finding the Naples summer home where the builder showed me the construction site that was six weeks away from having the purchase order items installed.

The Herald would say on the morning of my departure two weeks later that I had the story well ahead of anyone else and that the reporting had been “vigorous, first-rate and forthright.” The nomination of the popular superintendent of the country’s fifth largest school district for US Undersecretary of Education went south. During my last days, up to 200 picketed the station and said we were racist. We would have done the story if Jones had been purple. I had death threats.

Jones would go on to get convicted by an all-white jury. The verdict was overturned. Rudi Juliani came to Miami to re-prosecute the case. Jones was eventually convicted and served time for jury tampering. I assume mom went into the federal witness protection program.

Before I left, a Miami Herald editorial cartoonist drew a cartoon called “The Royal Flush.” It was the inside of a flushing toilet with a hand and three middle fingers emerging from the center of the whirlpool. The comparison was Jones not adhering to the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.”

The first day on the job in St. Louis, my news director presented me with a framed, signed copy of the cartoon in front of the newsroom staff. He was a class act. I had reservations about leaving Miami, but that helped.

The cartoon got lost in many moves. But I found the cartoonist this week on Facebook. He is still at the Herald and says after the move from the old newspaper building is completed, he’ll start digging for the cartoon. We shared many memories of those times. Ah Facebook – who can’t you find?

You can follow Island resident Ellen Jaffe Jones on her Facebook page and keep up with her just released book:,"Eat Vegan on $4 a Day," or her website: www.vegcoach.com. She is also a nationally certified personal trainer and running coach. For training in a gym or private hire, contact Ellen at ejones@vegcoach.com or 941-704-1025.

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