HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE
Daegu Softball League History
In the winter of 2007 three friends (Doug Karalius, Chris Bolger, Jason ‘Jayo” Yantorn) were basking in the glow of some neon lights when they decided this city needed something that allowed them to drink and have fun outside on Sundays in the spring. They wanted it to be full of competition, drinking and good times. From these humble beginnings the DSL was formed. Add in a few more buddies in Nick and Pam Horne and we had four guys willing to coach teams. Within weeks the requests to play in the league were rolling in. By spring we had enough people to for four teams. Hanamana, The Thunderbirds, WaBar, and The Bad News Beers. Let the games, boozing, and trash talk begin.
In 2007, the first game in league history was played between Hanamana and The Thunderbirds with the Birds pulling off a 3-2 win. (little did anyone know but that would be the only game Hanamana would lose over their next 27 contests. The finals were played at Hayang Exercise Park in July with Hanamana winning the inaugural championship over Wabar.
Fun Fact: in 2007 Digger Beaton became the league’s first ever draft pick going to Bolger’s Thunderbirds.
2008 saw some changes to the league; they moved to the ‘pitch to your own team rule’ and there were some team changes with the Beers and WaBar going the way of the Dodo. The new teams were the Holy Grillers and The Green Goblins and the league grew from four teams to six with the additions of the Rabid Wolverines and the Soju Slammers. But in truth, this season was all about one team: Hanamana - going 10-0 and cruising to a win over the T-Birds in the finals.
Fun Fact: In 2008 Brandon Brown won the league MVP and the championship in the same season; still the only player to do so.
In 2009, folks recognized The Big Red Machine. Teams competing were Hanamana, Big Daddy’s Brigade, The Bus Drivers, The Masterbatters, The Soju Slammers and The Beer Bombers. 2009 saw two teams separate themselves from the pack: The Bus Drivers and Hanamana. Hanamana beat the Drivers by a total of three runs in their two contests during the regular season. They met again in the finals. Hanamana pulled out their 3rd championship in as many seasons.
Fun Fact: future DSL hall of famer Roger “Right Field” Rooney would win his only DSL Championship.
2010 saw the changing of the guard. The league moved from six to eight teams: Hanamana, The Bus Drivers, XXX Scoregasms, Where My Pitches At?, The Angry Dolphins, The Spellcasters, The Masterbatters and The Incrediballs. The year started off with “hot shot” rookie coach Adam Beattie leading his team to a 9-1 regular season record. But when the dust had settled (or the rain had stopped), there was an hour long rain delay after the 3rd inning. After the delay, it was the grizzled old vet Chris Bolger and his Bus Drivers who hoisted the cup, winning on a Tyler Rausa RBI single in the bottom of the 7th inning: final 14-13.
Fun Fact: playoff MVP Andrew Baker had a monster five hit day, with two homeruns and three doubles.
2011 was dubbed Gang Green. Again the league stood at eight teams: Hanamana, The Whalers, The Swingers, The Bus Drivers, The Masterbatters, The Pitch Slappers, XXX Scoregasms and Yellow Fever. In a year filled with parity, where no team won more than seven games, Yellow Fever pulled off an 0-10 record. But as the season wore on, one team got hot, VERY HOT! Doug’s Swingers came out of the gates swinging (pun intended). Putting the hurt on the Batters in the Cass division finals by a score of 14-0 (still the only shutout in league history). Then stomping all over a Bill Algeo led Pitch Slapper team in the finals.
Fun Fact: the Swinger outfield combination of Frank Quinn (LF), Josh Carroll (CF) and Shawn Behan (RF) is considered by most to be the best outfield in the history of the league.
2012 brought on The Orange Crush. The eight: Hanamana, The Masterbatters, XXX Scoregasms, H.I.T.+, The Swingers, The Honey Badgers, The Bus Drivers and The Pitch Slappers. For the second time in three years, Adam Beattie’s Masterbatters go into the playoffs with the best record in the league, but they would fall in the division finals to Corey Sitar’s XXX. This set up the finals between the Cass division champions, the Slappers, and XXX. This was the third trip to the finals in four years for coach Bill Algeo; his second as a coach. This time his team would rally around the heart and soul of his team, Mark Nuotio (only three weeks earlier Nuotio was in a bicycle accident that left him battered and broken). In a closely contested battle, Bill Algeo was able to coach his team to their first championship in the franchise’s history.
Fun Fact: Bill Algeo traded perennial MVP candidate Brandon Brown for Kyle Prewitt and Mark Nuotio in the first round of the draft on the notion that depth over star power would win him a title.
2013 The league moves to 10 teams. Your 10: Hanamana, We Got The Runs, The Drivers, The Swingers, The Nerds, XXX Scoregasms, The Masterbatters, The Slappers, FaQ 2, The Hit Squad. This would be the season that rookies had an impact like never before. In a tight pennant race, rookie head coach Murray Johnson led his Hit Squad team to the best regular season record, squeaking past the Masterbatters. But the playoffs would see another rookie head coach defy even greater odds. FaQ 2, a team with a rookie head coach (Rob McClure) and 9 rookie players, was not on anybody’s radar and went on to win the WHOLE DAMN THING (especially stellar after a pedestrian 5-4 regular season record). But, that's just what they did, beating The Slappers The Hit Squad and The Nerds in the finals.
Fun Fact: FaQ 2 became the first team to win three games on Championship Sunday.
2014 The league will once again see two rookie head coaches in Derrick Enns and Dustin “Muddy” Waters. Your 10 will be: Hanamana, The Swingers, Hits and Giggles, XXX Scoregasms, The Qs, The Masterbatters, The Slappers, The Hit Squad, All Balls, and The Brew Jays.
In the words of Chris Bolger - “Make a friend, drink a beer, win a championship.”
2015 The league was treated to one year of Eric Nash as captain as he led his team The Rippers to
mediocrity and Adam Beattie gave up the honor. The year was plagued with injuries as John “Shackpiss”
Buckley and Gregg DeVillers both ended their seasons with surgery. Buckley (All Balls) was struck by a
ball to the head and DeVillers (Hanamana) destroyed his knee in the SAME GAME at a new field as the
sun set. This led to opportunity as Hanamana’s captain Jayo was able to pick up Drew Merchant and All
Balls captain Dustin Waters was able to pick up Ruben Rodriguez in a legendary move. In the end, Rob
McClure and his team of Qs beat them all out and won their second championship in 3 years, defeating
the Swingers in extra innings.
2016 The 10-year anniversary of the league saw new jerseys and new captains. Chris Hebb became the
captain of Field of Drunks, Gregg DeVillers became the captain of the Dirtbags, and Brandon Brown
became the captain of the Battered Bastards. The teams now are: All Balls, Bad News Beers, Field of
Drunks, Scorgasms, Hit Squad, Sons of Pitches, Qs, Dirtbags, Hanamana and Battered Bastards. The
beginning of the year saw some frustration with the new jerseys not being delivered on time and the
Field of Drunks jerseys not being delivered until halfway through the season. They prevailed, despite
the initial lack of jerseys and ended up taking home the year 10 trophy.
Fun Fact: The DSL played a game at the old Samsung Lions decommissioned field this year, and All Balls coach Dustin Waters pranked Field of Drunks coach Chris Hebb in a local publication – writing that All Balls had won the championship.
2017 The league underwent its first transition to fewer teams, ending up with eight; however, the
league was blessed to receive its first official commissioner. There were four rookie captains in Kory
Baker, Kyle DeVore, Chris Kuisle and Mike Miller, meanwhile the league lost the last of its founding
fathers as captains. The teams this year were: Bakers Dozen, Hit Squad, Projectile Dysfunction, C-Ball,
Mavericks, Beards and Beavers, All Balls and Dirtbags. The mantra of the year was “lovey-dovey” as
new-commissioner Dustin Waters struggled successfully to expel the toxic elements and nurture the fun
elements of the league. Matt Campbell overhauled the website and the stats department to produce a
much more pleasing experience for the league. The year itself played out in uneventful form and Chris
Kuisle ended up taking C-Ball to the promise land, winning the cup.
Fun Fact: This was Chris Kuisle’s 3 rd championship win in his 4 years of playing in the league to this point.
2018 The league held at 8 teams, Mike Miller went on his way, Murray Johnson stepped down again and
two new captains – Zach Thomas and Greg Jones – stepped in to play. The teams this year were Dirtbags,
Dream Catchers, Hitsters, Good Wood, All Balls, Game of Throws, Dingers and Stingers and C-Ball. In
years past, an intuitive theory about athletically talented captains having an advantage over unathletic
captains had been repeatedly disproven, as the captains in the championship games were almost never
the two most athletic captains. This year, that was not the case, as Brandon Brown saw Kyle DeVore in
the championship game and Brandon was able to edge out the win.
Fun Fact: 50% of the players in the league this year were rookies.
2019 The league resized again, this time down to seven teams. It came down to the last few hours
before the draft, but enough players signed up that required the league to go with 7 teams: All Balls
(Dustin Waters), Dirtbags (Gregg DeVillers), Trash Pandas (Kory Baker), Game of Throws (Greg Jones),
Glove Machine (Kyle DeVore), Spaceballs (Brandon Brown), and the newcomer Weakened Warriors
(Matt Campbell). Scheduling a 7 team league proved tricky and ultimately required each team to play at
least one double header during normal DSL Saturdays. Most games were played at the Golden Gate
Bridge field north of Kyeimyung University, while league-wide double headers were played at Hyojin
Park. Weakened Warriors proved dominate and Matt Campbell’s championship win over Spaceballs was
the 6th time a rookie captain had won the cup.
Fun fact: Troy Newman, the final pick in the 5th round of this draft soon became known as Short Stop
Jesus and was a large part of Weakened Warriors success. This would be his only year in the DSL.
2020 Fall Ball. Due to the Covid outbreak in spring 2020 the DSL was unable to play ball during the usual
spring season. As summer was coming to an end, there was a ground swell of DSL players expressing
their desire to get a season in, even if it meant playing with 4 teams and not advertising it far and wide.
In perhaps the most improbable season of DSL history, the league did just that and for the first time
since the first year of the DSL, we played with 4 teams. Unlike any season before, the weather got
colder as the season went along and Championship game was played in hoodies and long pants. Teams
this year were All Balls (Waters), Game of Throws (Jones), Pitch Doctors (DeVore), and first-time captain
Jason Greener leading Good Times… ultimately to an undefeated season and championship win over the
Pitch Doctors, making this the 7th time a first-time captain won the cup and the first undefeated
championship season since Jayo with Hanamana.
Fun fact: Though All Balls didn’t win a game this season, becoming the first team since Yellow Fever to go winless, people generally don’t count it because of the circumstances surrounding the season.
2021 Back to 6 teams. Back to playing in spring. Not too long after the winter finish to the 2020 season,
the 2021 season began. Teams this year were All Balls (Waters), Good Times (Greener), Dirtbags
(DeVillers), Game of Throws (Jones), Vibe Raiders (DeVore), and Weakened Warriors (Campbell). Due to
ongoing Covid restrictions, the DSL was somewhat forced to play all games at Hyojin Park, out of the
preying eyes of Jon Q. Public. Once up there, the league rediscovered its boisterous side after a quiet
season the year before and the long-pined-for DSL energy was back. Long time captain Gregg DeVillers
drafted a juggernaut and The Dirtbags ultimately bested Good Times in the championship game to take
home the cup.
Fun fact: Two parental firsts for the league this year: Vibe Raiders drafted the first-ever Father-Son duo in DSL history (Rookies Steve and Nick Mauceri), and midway through the season, Lexy Berry was added to The Dirtbags as an injury replacement, joining her father Chris Berry on the team and giving the league its first Father-Daughter combo – a combo that would be a part of the championship team.
2022 The league held strong at 6 teams, again playing all games at Hyojin Field. Zach Thomas came back
to captain his Hitsters along with returning captains Kyle DeVore (Big Stick Energy), Jason Greener (Good
Times) and Grg Jones (Game of Throws). There were also two first-time captains in Ruben Rodriguez
(Los Drinkers) and Ryan Rodgers (Overly Defensive).
Submitted by :
Jason (Jayo) Yantorn (2007-2014)
Dustin Waters (2015-2022)