Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

In 83rd Season, Fed League Is Still Going Mighty Strong

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

In 83rd Season, Fed League Is Still Going Mighty Strong

Article excerpt

After making a run to the National Amateur Baseball Federation championship game last season in Louisville, Ky., the Steel City Black Sox enter the 2012 Greater Pittsburgh Federation League baseball season with plenty of momentum.

That's not only true for the Black Sox, but the league as well.

It is the second time since 2007 that a team from the Fed League has reached the NABF World Series in the major (unlimited age group) division.

"I think it really gives the league more national credibility," said St. Johns-Lefty's manager Tom McCarthy who took his team to the 2007 NABF championship game. "The better you do, the more credibility you get."

St. Johns has won six consecutive Federation League championships, including defeating the Black Sox last year in the Federation League finals, but for the first time the Fed League received two bids to NABF regionals last season.

St. Johns opted to go to the Buffalo Regional and the Steel City Black Sox went to the Youngstown Regional. St. Johns was eliminated in Buffalo while the Black Sox got hot, won the Youngstown Regional title and advanced to the NABF World Series where they lost, 7-4, on a walk-off home run to Buffalo (N.Y.) West Herr.

Before St. Johns-Lefty's and the Steel City Black Sox, the Wilkinsburg Tigers in 1969 were the last Federation League team to reach the NABF World Series. Wilkinsburg won it that year against, oddly enough, a team from Buffalo.

Many in amateur baseball circles around the country are well aware of St. Johns success, but the run made by the Black Sox showed that the Federation League is far from a "one-trick pony."

"With what Steel City was able to do last year, I hope it doesn't change the fact that we have been so dominant in the league, but it does get another name out there," McCarthy said. "People were thinking we are the only team in Pittsburgh, so this helps a lot."

A sign of the talent level in the Federation League this season is that the Black Sox might not even be one of the two best teams in the league this year. …

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