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SJMSBL Season Preview - 2012

Expansion teams, division realignment, and revised playoff formats highlight the exciting changes for the 2012 season.

Expansion Teams

2012 sees the League making one of its largest single-season expansions in its history going from twenty-one teams in 2011 to twenty-five teams in 2012.

Unfortunately, as with almost every year, the league does lose a few teams. This year it's the Blue Jays, Cubs(18), Diamondbacks(18), and Phillies(18). The Cubs(18) folded mid-season last year and the Phillies(18) and Diamondbacks(18) are no longer.

The sadest loss is the Blue Jays. After a vaunted 15-year run in the SJMSBL, including titles in 2001, 2003, and 2009, respected manager Jerry Hoffman and the Blue Jays are disbanding. Several of the players will remain in the league and join other teams.

On the brighter side, the league is adding eight new teams (managers): the Angels (Phil Lacki), Colt .45s (Matt Labbie), Knights (Daniel Evert), Marlins (Alex Law), Nationals (Juan Torres), A's (Shane Boley), SJ Giants (Frank Chavez), and Twins (Kyle Madej).

Phil Lacki is returning to the SJMSBL and bringing his Monterey MSBL team. They'll join the SJMSBL as the Angels.

While last year's Diamondbacks(18) are gone, several players from that 18+ team are forming two new 25+ teams. The Colt .45s will be managed by Matt Labbie and the Nationals will be managed by Juan Torres.

The Knights, managed by Daniel Evert, is relocating from the Bay Area MSBL (San Francisco). In case you don't know, the Knights are named for the Charlotte Knights, a triple-A team in the International League.

The A's are managed by Shane Boley and they are coming over from the San Francisco NABA league.

The Twins, managed by Kyle Madej, are coming over from the Silicon Valley league.

Division Realignment and Honorary Naming

On our 25th Anniversary the League has decided to pay tribute to a select group of individuals who have made tremendous contributions in establishing and improving the San José MSBL into the premier adult baseball league in the Bay Area. In recognition of their efforts the league will officially rename our divisions to provide a perpetual tribute to these three individuals.

The 25+ Wood Bat Division (formerly National) will be named the "Dunn Division" in honor of Ron Dunn, the former Chicago Cubs player who founded the San José MSBL in 1988. Ron served as league president from 1988-2005 and was elected to the MSBL National Hall of Fame in 1997. Ron and his wife Cindy's efforts in creating our league can never be forgotten. The Dunn's pioneering work created the San José MSBL, established the league's sterling reputation in our community and provided all of us that have followed a great place to keep playing baseball.

The 25+ Aluminum Division (combined former Pacific and American) will be named the "Ettare Division" in recognition of Robert Ettare and his ongoing efforts to help the San José MSBL remain the premier adult baseball league in the Bay Area. Robert was a charter member of the league and during his 25 years of SJMSBL service has been a player, team manager, board member and now serves as Vice President of Player Personnel. His efforts in directing new players through the annual workout and entry draft ensure that the league has a continuous stream of new players.

The 18+ Aluminum Division (formerly Atlantic) will be named the "Nicewonger Division" in tribute to Dave Nicewonger who was our league's Umpire in Chief from 1995-2010 before passing away in his battle with cancer last March. Dave's efforts brought NCAA officials to our league in 1995 and provided the league with the highest quality umpires for the past 17 years.

As part of realignment, the website will be dropping the ugly wart of the (18) suffix that had previously been added to the 18+ division team names. The (18) was originally used to distinguish between duplicate team names when the San José MSBL and San José MABL merged.

Visit the Teams page to see all the teams and how they are aligned in the new divisions.

Schedule Preview and Playoff Formats

The regular season schedule is currently in production and scheduled to be released on April 25. In the meantime, you can view a preliminary schedule on the Schedule page to get a look at off-days and begin scheduling your summer vacations.

Opening Day will be May 6 and the regular season is scheduled to conclude on August 19th.

Playoffs will begin on August 26 in all divisions with 19 of the league's 25 teams qualifying for the post season. The bottom two teams in each division will not make the playoffs.

18+ Nicewonger Division

Top six teams make the post season. 1st and 2nd seed will get a first round bye. Double elimination format for all games.

25+ Dunn Division

Top five teams will earn playoff berths and there will be a one game sudden death "play in" game between the 4th and 5th place teams. Top three teams get first game bye. The format for "Final Four" to be determined.

25+ Ettare Division

Top eight teams will earn playoff spots. Double elimination format for all teams.

All-Star Game

The Dave Nicewonger All-Star Classic will be in July at San José Municipal Stadium. Details will be announced later.

Good Luck to Everyone and Let's PLAY BALL!