"Let's head back to color TV"
— Pete Schleper

The 5th annual B.P. Invite was held on May 24, 2003 at the plush Avon Laker Ball Park. Cool temps and the morning heavy dew made the conditions difficult early. The juiced up, aluminum bats easily offset any excuses for the weather.

A panel of four judges comprised of current Avon Lakers helped score the event. Scoring of one, two, or three points were awarded based on how well the balls were hit that landed in fair territory. Six points were awarded for each home run.

In Division I, last year’s winner Mickey Saatzer defended his title with a narrow victory over Dan "Zimmy" Zimmermann. Saatzer, the big, burly, former California Angles minor leaguer, belted a 367 foot home run to right centerfield to take the early lead. Zimmermann, the retired Avon Laker legend, made a bid for the belt by hitting a 348 foot home run of his own but came in second six overall points behind “The Mick.” Saatzer is now the two time defending champion. The smooth swinging left hander showed he can still swing the bat. Luckily for him there wasn’t a 50 yard dash as part of the scoring for this event. Keith Studer, Mike “Pigeon” Stoulil, and Pete Gasperlin, all first time entrants, made it a clean sweep of former Avon Lakers rounding out the top five in their division. Stoulil, a former SCSU player and key member of the 1970 Albany High School state championship team looked good in his return.

In Division II, Glen "G" Groetsch took the trophy back home with him to Arizona with a strong performance. Rumor had it that Glenny was spotted in some local batting cages in the weeks leading up to the event. He claimed the title with a 360 foot home run to right centerfield and another near miss that caromed off the top of the fence. Former 1999 champion Kurt "Ice" Schneider made a bid to win his second title but the big bopper failed to make good on his promise to hit multiple home runs and he ended up in second place. Corey "Red" Scepaniak had taken an early lead with a home run to right field and ended up finishing in third place with his best B.P. Invite performance.

Division I Resultscombined points (4 judges)
1. Mickey Saatzer85
2. Dan Zimmermann79
3. Keith Studer54
4. Mike Stoulil49
5. Pete Gasperlin46
6. Jim Birr39
7. Mark Everslage30
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Division II Results
1. Glen Groetsch73
2. Kurt Schneider52
3. Corey Scepaniak48
4. John "Big O" Overman43
5. Ross Voit52
6. Brian "Hoffa" Hoffmann36
7. Paul "Rudy" Nett35
8. Dave "Dyno"Nett33
   Steve "Seve" Schiffler33
10. Chuck "Chucky" Hedeen22
11. Paul "Ebby" Ebnet20
12. Dave "Hubby" Blenker16
   Thomas Schndeider16
14. Brian "Panther" Andvik7
15. John "Gold Fish" Welle4
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On the day, 22 local legends took their cuts at the tiny right hander who went the distance on the mound throwing approximately 440 pitches, 415 for strikes.

Thanks to everyone who attended.

I would like to thank my Avon Lakers teammates who took their time out to help with this event. It would not be possible without your help.

Special thanks to Pete Schleper for having the park in great shape. Also, special thanks to Dan Zimmermann for use of the field, Bill at the Buckhorn for the cold beer, Paul Wellenstein at Albany Golf Club for the golf tee times, and Paul Ebnet for the Divion II trophy.

Tentative plan for next year is once again the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Start getting in shape.

Glenny, it is your job to get the trophy engraved and have it there for next year.

We are interested in hearing your feedback!
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