The best of Milton Keynes softball was celebrated at the recent end of season awards night at Brewhouse and Kitchen.
The event was hot on the heels of the League Final, Codebreakers Cup and planning for the new indoor season. Chairman Hedley Bevan’s speech ran through the achievements of 2019, which has been another fantastic year of softball.
Last winter, the Purple Panthers took the indoor title after a hard-fought season and the Diamonds team secured the plate at East Midlands Firstball. The Diamonds also reached the semi final at Windsor, while Jon Reynolds was selected for Great Britain Softball.
In April, the fourth outdoor league season got underway, while there were successful trips to D1 and Sefton. Beer lovers enjoyed a social at Brewdog and the 100th edition of the Softball Weekly was delivered to inboxes.
In June, the spoon was secured at D2 and several members of the club watched the New York Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox in the first ever MLB London Series. Hedley Bevan had the privilege of representing league at a training day at a BSUK event and Paul Severn showed the professionals how it was done at the Play Ball event.
In July, the Diamonds showed their best moves at Disco Ball securing the Jive trophy, and witnessed some of the best celebrations of the season (thanks Shosh and Marcie!)
At Labour Day, a strong performance was interrupted by the mother of all rainy days – as the team battled through Biblical downpours so heavy, they wiped out all known species in Leicestershire, apart from one survivor…
Team GB ladies were coached by our very own Liz Knight and our females took the title at the Nottingham Single Sex tournament, eclipsing the bloke’s third place finish.
In August, 2018 league champions represented our league in the Nationals, while, Jon and Jodie represented MK at the NSL Nationals and a number of MK players represented various teams in Edinburgh. Back at home in the league, the regular season ended with the Willow Lakers topping the table.
September saw another first as two Diamonds teams appeared on the same weekend at tournaments. The Silver title was won at Solent Lastball and a close final saw the Diamonds just miss out on the Hit and Run title. The Hornets saw off the Lakers in the outdoor final to win a third title and the trophy and medals were presented. Chris Flynn continued his remarkable ability to photobomb his own photos. He demanded this latest one was destroyed, only to discover his wife had already posted on Facebook.
On the subject of photos, many of Jodie’s Codebreakers snaps were on display, including this one, which as gone viral as a caption competition…
September concluded with the second Codebreakers Cup, expanded to 16 teams, which was won again by the Leicester Royals. At the Brewdog quiz social, Jules Peck displayed his awesome knowledge of early Barry Manilow singles and much more besides.
And finally, a successful season of tournaments ended with a fine win in the Cotswolds.
There were a number of thank yous which included:
SOCIAL TEAM – Katie and Rachel
PLAYERS – taking part, being committed to matches, filling in for absent players, for bringing family and friends to watch and be involved…for bringing new players to our club and sport.
NON-MK PLAYERS – Tigers, Northants and those MK players who all travel, for some, considerable distances to play.
NEW PLAYERS – for staying with us, and our sincere thanks to everyone for continuing to build such a welcoming club that always welcomes new faces.
EVERYONE WHO HELPS BRING KIT TO/FROM CONTAINER!
CAPTAINS – dealing with your teams and helping our league run smoothly.
COACHES/UMPIRES – those who commit own time and sacrifice playing to both grow and keep the league going – Craig, Chris Russell, Jake, Jodie, Jon, Leah, Trev, Ads…anyone else who has shown new players how to play during training/games.
TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE – Chloe and Chris Russell. Worked really hard this year to bring more tournaments than we’ve had before… a lot of work goes into this and they’ve been tirelessly working for the club.
CBC 2019 COMMITTEE (in addition to the exec) – Marcie, Shosh, Chloe, Sam, Paul.
PAUL SEVERN – invaluable media officer.
JON – Ever reliable President and compiler of fixtures and stats and Chief Financial Officer!
JAKE – Treasurer, incredibly hard working…the books don’t balance themselves! ….puts a lot of time into managing our accounts and transactions keeping us in good shape and with transparent accounting.
LEAH – for everything as usual, had twins and still presented incredible dedication, always there to assist and be proactive with any issues that arise.
JODIE – Has effectively ran and led the club this year, put so much effort especially with some of us having to take more of a back seat. She is our league commissioner and is always that independent, reliable voice of reason. She’s given so much of her time and effort into making sure all the small (and big) things keep working to make our league a success. For CBC she was up most nights until the early hours making final preparations so it all ran smoothly.
And finally, the award winners were announced:
Home run Kings - Chris Borah and Trev Morley
Home run Queen - Felicity West
Rookie of the Year - Nikki Welch
Most Improved Player of the Year - Jamie Armes
Female MVP - Robyn Hillyard
Male MVP - Trev Morley
League Member of the Year - Chloe Love