There’s a famous commercial for Energizer batteries about a rabbit that just keeps going and going.
The same can be said about the group of baseball players in Arlington in the summer.
In addition to continuing and continuing and playing and playing over the years, the teams players have been members of continue to win and win a number of important championships, and at different age levels.
The last success the players enjoyed was winning this summer’s American Legion District 17 tournament, and then finishing third in the state tournament. Last summer, some of that group helped Post 139 earn a second place in the district.
Prior to joining the Legion team, players were members of the Arlington Babe Ruth and Arlington Senior Babe Ruth all-star teams that won several district and state tournaments and played in regional competitions. As 15-under-all-stars, the group also won a regional crown and played in the World Series, Bismarck, ND, earning them the nickname “The Bismarck Boys.”
These players are Ketz Murray, Dillon Bass, Quinn Brennan, Ben Langsam, Landon Thomas, David Haley, Alexander Zur and Bobby McDonough. Bass, Brennan and Murray first played together on a 12-under Babe Ruth state title and regional qualifying team, managed by Greg Knowles, a former minor league player. That squad also finished second at the famous Hall of Fame tournament in Cooperstown.
Mac Marsh, Noah Larbalestier and Patrick Ashley have also played on some of these teams, including the Post 139 teams. Left-handed pitcher James Tallon played on some of these Babe Ruth teams. He has committed to playing at Duke University.
Many of these players are currently on, or have played for teams in high school.
Dan Pototsky, a former University of Kentucky player who was a selection from all Southeastern conferences, managed the 13-14 and 15-under stars Babe Ruth. He kept very detailed organized practices that the players say helped in the development.
“They were nice, calm and modest players who were a reliable group. They were athletic and they did their best, “said Pototsky. “It all worked out.”
Patrick Brennan is the father of Quinn Brennan. He said that so early and detailed coaching and the exercises Pototsky held were major reasons for the team’s success and the development of the players.
“They are not necessarily all best friends. But the group had very good coaching, an early taste of success and a strong loyalty to the local community baseball,” said Elder Brennan.
He described how these players also learned to win at an early age, and have continued to do so, knowing what to do and how to react in clutch situations. It appeared in the championship match of the last District 17 Legion tournament.
After 3-2, Arlington 139 came together to score two races at the bottom of the eighth round with Langsam (double stroke with two strokes), Bass and Murray (game-winning single) getting important hits on the opposite field, and Quinn Brennan reaching on a player’s choice.
“I hit the ball where it was thrown,” Murray said.
Arlington defeated Wien Post 180 4-3. Bass was 3 against 5 in the match.
“The Bismarck Boys came in and reappeared,” Patrick Brennan said. “That’s what they’ve all done. Everyone has done something at critical moments in games over the years.”
Bass said that the players have been in so many big matches in all the different competitions, they know how to handle and respond in such tense situations.
“Local baseball is a tie that binds this group. Parents see the value in that, ”said Patrick Quinn. “These boys gave us something very special for many years.”
Others involved in the team emphasize that the group’s success proves that with good local coaching, players and teams can succeed at a high level, develop their skills in local fields, enjoy a significant baseball experience and be noticed despite not having played what has become popular and expensive travel baseball.
“They have been practicing at George Washington University’s Turner Field in Barcroft Park, one of the finest facilities on the East Coast,” said one parent. “Stop chasing the myth of traveling is better. Everything you need to provide a valuable and enjoyable baseball experience is here. ”