A story of the best softball team in LUG history
The pre-eminence feeling of satisfaction after winning a Championship in three consecutive seasons. Everyone is familiar with the dominance of Michael Jordan, the explosiveness of the late great Kobe Bryant, and the sheer UNIT of success that was the “Big Diesel”, Shaquille O’Neal. All of these names can be classified as leaders, who took their teams to the promised land, year in and year out.
As a writer, I began to search for another narrative of a team whose story compared to the 90’s Chicago Bulls, despite my seasoned, 50-year-old Dad telling me “There was never and will never be a player or team who dominated quite like Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls''.
Well Dad, you were wrong, I found one. Jake Mintz’s B Munchers are the 3 x Champions of the LUG St. George Division Competitive Softball League. Who would have thought that a team in LUG, would be the next great Dynasty. Queue up the Netflix special.
“Partying a little, well...partying a lot actually. And tanning” said Jake Mintz, captain of the 3 time Champions, when asked about his daily timetable while vacationing and celebrating their 2021 championship run in Florida with his fellow teammates.
So how did the B Munchers get to this point of living luxurious in the Sunshine State while on reading week, sipping Happy Dad’s and hanging on the beach? As with anything in life, in order to be successful there must be sacrifice. The B Munchers were not always champions.
In their inaugural season as a franchise, they battled adversity and learned valuable lessons of what it meant to be a part of a team, a unit, a family. The B Munchers came back in the Semi-Finals from 8-1 down in the bottom of the final inning to win and head to the Championship game. But they were too confident, cocky, and ultimately not ready. They lost in the 2018 championship. The group of teenagers were not ready to be great.
Most athletes would accept this defeat (they made it to the finals afterwall) but not Jake Mintz. The captain (and General Manager) began planning the complete rebuild of his team for the 2019 season. Players were cut (only 3 players returned), friendships were strained, and off season training began immediately. A month after the devastating defeat in the Championship game, while his peers were partying on Reading Week, Jake was nowhere to be found. Rumours began circulating that Mintz had travelled to the Dominican Republic to study the art of pitching from former Hall of famer and 3-time Cy Young winner Pedro Martinez and the art of hitting from Expos legend Vlad Guerrero . When asked on his whereabouts during the fall of 2018 reading week Mintz said, “Honestly don’t remember.” Both hall of famers ignored questions involving the rumours but somehow, Mintz was now fluent in Spanish.
Undefeated. After a year of determination, unrelenting training and hardship the B Munchers won every single game in the 2019 season. Winning in the semifinals by a walk off homerun to go on to the finals and dominate the opposition. After what they considered to be a perfect season in 2019, Jake Mintz and his B Munchers faced a hurdle they could have never expected to have to jump over.
The MLB Draft. All 12 players including Mintz were being recruited by various major league teams for the 2020 draft. Mintz decided as captain, he had to make a supreme effort to keep the B Munchers together for another season. He invited the entire team over to his apartment and turned-on Bennet Miller’s 2011 masterpiece, “Moneyball”. During the movie a teammate that wanted to remain anonymous recalls Mintz saying “Do you boys think I look like Brad Pitt” and electrifying his teammates by announcing “We are the 2002 Oakland A’s. Teams like the Yankees are trying to use money to bring us apart, but we are family and family doesn’t leave.” Even though a lot of teammates questioned if Mintz watched the movie and didn’t just read the title. The B Munchers did not declare for the MLB draft and returned to LUG for another season.
During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the St-George division in London, Ontario saw a level of dominance and coordination that has never been seen at such a professional (unprofessional) level. With MLB general managers referring to the team as “The Machine”. Mintz had created a dynasty. The B Munchers finished the 2020 and 2021 seasons with a combined record of 14-2 winning the championship both years completing the three peat in their respective competitive division. The B Munchers were a family.
As Mintz looks back on his time with the B Munchers in the St. George Division on a beach in the sunshine state. He does not remember the homeruns, the catches or the errors. He remembers the laughs, the friendship and the appreciation of having the opportunity of playing on a sports team with friends that will last a lifetime. The B Munchers Kept the Dream Alive and are the best team in LUG Sports history.
They did not achieve this feat by being the best softball players in the world, they achieved this by being the best softball team in the world.
Written by Burke Murray (email@example.com)