2019 All-Star Game Recap
The much anticipated 2019 all star festivities went underway last night as all of BSL Nights brightest stars were under the shining lights, chatting, laughing and just enjoying each others company. We had some notable drop outs such as Ismael “guys my flight is delayed” Akhtar, Farooq Sani, Khizer Channa, Mo Kala “Jadoo” and Neal Irfan.
The game started off very relaxed as guys were merely jogging after hits rather then sprinting at full speed, making jokes at each other, laughing at drop catches. We all know that mood never lasts in BSL as the competitive juices eventually start pumping through out veins and all everyone wants to do is win. It took about 2 innings for guys to get serious but after that, we weren’t messing around. Jay “Smash” Ahmed making his All-Star Debut smoked his first dinger out of the park on his best friend Riyad Ramjaun bringing in a couple of RBI’s. He walked over to first base, touched it like a pro and walked off to go fetch his ball like he’s been doing this all year… Great hit!! Hamid Malik thought he knocked one out of the park as he stood there admiring his handy work, pointing/waving to the adoring fans (o there were tons!) only to see it drop and hit the fence. What could’ve been an easy triple turned into an “OMG the guys are gona yell at me double”.
Other notable homerun hitters were the usual suspects in Bilal “Miandad” Javed, Ahmed “crazy” Ammad, Waseem “Patience is a virtue” Kala, Zane Sheikh and Bis Bass (Baseer).
Both teams were having a great time until the game started getting close. Defense was getting tighter and guys were trying to find the gap. There were some pitching changes throughout the game as Ali Chaudhry, Riyad Ramjaun, Zahid Merchant and Safwan Khan all tried their hand at pitching on this windy night. Riyad had a superb game on the mound, striking out countless all-stars with his fancy pitching. That being said, It was a rough night for all pitchers as hitting the plate was extra diffifcult tonight due to strong winds, bright lights and a new daimond. We know that everyone that played, tried their best and certainly didn’t intend to walk anyone on purpose as this was just a final pickup game amongst friends before a long hibernation period for most of us. Unfortunately, the game ended at the bottom of the 6th as there were some disagreements on the field.
Once all the dust settled the power batters took their positions in the HR derby as fielders were lined up inside and outside the diamond hoping to see some monster hits. Rameez Siddiqui got things started putting 3 over the fence followed by Zane Sheikh who managed to rock 2 right down CF. Ahmed “Crazy” Ammad, who is always one of the favourites to win any Derby nailed 5 followed by Faisal Shamshad who had 5 monster hits of his own and Bilal Javed who very casually had 4. The story of the night was Safwan Khan who eventually found a rhythm and started smashing everything over the fence. He had 8 to cap off his night as we have a new HR Derby Champion this year. Congratulations Safwan!
We know that things tend to get competitive but as Muslims, as fathers, as husbands, as brothers, as men, we should all understand that real life is out there, off the softball diamond. This is an escape to come out, hang with the boys, have some fun and leave all that stress behind. Sometimes we lose sight of that due to our competitive nature and as a result we end up offending one another. This attitude needs to change if we want to continue to grow as a league, as Muslims but more importantly as individuals for ourselves and our families. Its up to all of us to esnure things like this dont get out of hand, and not just the league management. May Allah give us all the patience and the strength to always do the right thing.
Finally, I wanted to thank Akif Waheed for doing a fantastic job as commissioner for a 2nd straight year. There is a lot of pressure that comes with organizing a league of this calibre, not to mention the time it takes away from your family and your actual job. Communicating with volunteers, renting diamonds, securing umpires for the season, ensuring accuracy of stats, rules, regulations, while also hearing everyone’s concerns and opinions. Believe me when I say this Akif, it hasn’t gone unnoticed. We look forward to season 3 of BSL Nights. Keep up the excellent work!
It was a pleasure playing with each and every single one of you. Thank you to all the volunteers who really made this league happen. Without you we wouldn’t have such an amazing league. Until next year, peace out my brothers!!
Asalam - O - Alaikom!