Southern Mariners win sportsmanship award at banquet
By Chris DeBeck
BREWER – Twenty years ago, Paul Lancisi opted to use fear to his advantage, he told the crowd attending the 2016 Senior League Baseball World Series awards banquet at Jeff’s Catering.
“Fear can stop you and fear can drive you,” he said during the keynote address, where all 10 participating teams were honored.
At the age of 35, he said, he opted to not let fear stop him and instead let fear drive him, allowing the Shirley-based cabinet maker to start making baseball bats.
He and wife Theresa opened Dove Tail Bats, which is supplying wooden baseball bats used by Major League Baseball players, including members of the Kansas City Royals, who won the 2015 World Series.
Dove Tail Bats is one of about 300 wooden bat manufacturers in the county, he said at the banquet, and one of 35 companies certified by Major League Baseball.
Lancisi, a baseball player himself in his native Boston, also told the players gathered for the banquet to embrace opportunity.
“Don’t ever look back with regrets,” he said.
He also asked the players to respect the umpires and the game.
“If you respect the game, play hard and leave it all on the. field, everything else will fall into place,” Lancisi said.
As has been past practice, Lancisi presented a commemorative Dove Tail Bat to each team as after players accepted their individual awards at the banquet.
Also receiving a commemorative bat was outgoing Maine District 3 administrator Bob Stevenson, who is retiring as administrator after 38 years at the helm. World Series tournament director Mike Brooker will become the new district administrator on Oct. 1, after having been Stevenson’s assistant.
During brief remarks after being introduced by Brooker, Stevenson thanked Brooker for his help as assistant district administrator in recent years.
“I couldn’t have gotten by without him,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson also thanked the World Series volunteers for their efforts.
“I’m really proud of ’em,” he said.
Rob Curtis, assistant tournament director of operations, also received a Dove Tail Bat, as did Al Hackett, the tournament’s official scorer, in a separate ceremony. Both have been involved with the event since it came to Bangor in 2002.
For a second straight year, one of the teams participating in the championship game received the Daniel E. Clifford Sportsmanship Award, as decided by a vote of the World Series umpires.
The Southern Mariners Little League of suburban Melbourne, Australia, received the 2016 award, presented by Bill Clifford, Dan’s brother.
West University Little League of West University, Texas, won the award last year while also winning a second straight World Series title. It was the first time the award, established in 2008, had gone to a team playing in the title game.
The award is presented in honor of the late Daniel E. Clifford, who served as assistant tournament director until his death in 2007. It’s presented to the team that best exemplifies the qualities of playing fair, playing hard and having fun during the series. This is the fifth series out of nine that an Asia-Pacific team has won the award.