Brett Carlson celebrates Veto League Baseball by covering second base on a ground ball to the second baseman. The blunder led to an 8 run 6th inning and a 24-3 pounding.
Steve Roberts records the first VLB homerun of the season and it comes inside-the-park.
5/31/03 - Lance McCafferty shocks everyone as for the first time the extreme shift to left field doesn’t work. McCafferty took one through the right side of the infield for a base hit. McCafferty said, “It was an accident.”
Noah Roberts with a cameo appearance lifts Heckencamp to victory with 2 clutch solo homers. Roberts went back-to-back with Nick Benson in the ninth for the tying and go-ahead runs.
6/1/03 - Jacob VandeMoortel as switch hitter? Can he really bat lefty? No, he struck out.
Mike Myers and Mitch Heckenkamp hit back-to-Back homeruns helping to lift Veto to victory over Engstrom. Myers added another homer, a single, a double, and a triple en route to the first Veto League Baseball cycle on record.
6/7/03 - Kiel Engstrom falls one homer short of tying the VLB record for homeruns in a game held by Josh Lawhorn with 6. Engstrom had 4 by the 4th inning, but could only muster one more on an 8 for 13 day. He had 12 RBI.
McCafferty also provided the VLB with the quote of the year. “Sometimes I just don’t feel like trying.”
Engstrom’s team combines for 11 homeruns in a nine inning game.
6/11/03 - Scott Ellefritz gets Veto League Baseball on the Web! Geocities.com/vetoleague/baseball gives you up to date stats, rosters, schedules, and much more!
6/14/03 - Ashley Engstrom is activated from the DL and hits his first homerun of 2003, but falling in an 18-17 loss.
Brett Carlson pledges a $2 donation to the VLB, “Homers for Balls”fund, for every homerun he hits this season.
Heckenkamp mounts a comeback after down 11-2 in the second. Heckenkamp got a 6 run 6th inning lifting his team to an 18-17 win over Veto.
Biggest Veto League Baseball argument to date. In the bottom of the 8th inning, Heckenkamp 15-14 and had a runner on third base with one out. McCafferty stood at the plate and grounded a ball to Ellefritz at third. Ellefritz throws to the pitcher, Nick Benson, holding the runner at third. Benson holds onto the ball and McCafferty reaches first. Veto’s team makes the argument that if Benson throws the ball to first, it would be an out, and the runner stays at third. Since Benson was not fielding for Veto’s team, it was controversial that a throw was not made. McCafferty was called out at first, and the runner stayed at third and the inning continued.
With a two-run lead going into the top of the 9th, Heckenkamp’s team would face a similar situation. With two outs in the inning and runners at second and third, Ellefritz hits a ground ball to McCafferty at third. McCafferty throws over the head of Kiel Engstrom and the ball bounds away. McCafferty said his throw was good, and Ellefritz should be out at first “because you did the same thing to us. You guys are hypocrites.” Engstrom argued the throw was wild, and there were two outs. He said, “who throws to the pitcher with two outs?” The play was ruled dead and there was a do-over. Ellefritz singled in two runs to tie the game going into the bottom of the ninth. Heckenkamp scored in that inning and got the win anyway.
6/15/03 - In light of the argument on Saturday, the VLB instates the “point of no return” rule when rounding third. There is now an assumed risk when rounding third base. Players make the decision to pass the point of no return and risk being thrown out at the plate. If they are in between the point of no return and the scoring plate, and the pitcher receives a decent throw from the field, the runner is out. If he is in front of the point of no return and the pitcher receives a throw, he goes back to third, and the pitcher can throw where he pleases. If the runner reaches the scoring plate, and a throw comes in to the pitcher, the runner scores.
For the first time, VLB celebrates Father’s Day by inviting the players' fathers to play. Gary VandeMoortel, and Steve Holtmann make their VLB debuts. Gary would like to forget part of his after being thrown out at first from left field by Steve Roberts. As Gary tumbled, 13-year-old children watching from the fence proceeded to heckle. It was the first outside heckling at a VLB game, though, plenty of heckling comes from the inside to Brett Carlson.
6/21/03 - Lance McCafferty sleeps until 1:30 and shows up late to the game. When called and asked if he was playing baseball today he said, “yeah.” He was fined 1 donut.
Ashley Engstrom overtakes his brother Kiel in the homerun leader column smacking 5 over the fence at the Blackhawks diamond. For the second time this season, an Engstrom falls one short from tying Josh Lawhorn’s record of 6 in a game. One of the homeruns was helped over after tipping off of Matt Veto’s glove in center. Brett Carlson taunted by saying “Put that in the highlights! How many runs will that lead to?!” There you go Brett.
Veto’s team defeats Heckenkamp’s team with a 12 run rally in the 8th inning, with help from 5 Jacob VandeMoortel errors, handing Heckenkamp his first loss of the season.
Bobby Carter becomes the second VLB member of the season to hit for the cycle.
Colby Moore legs out a triple, placing him in the ranks with the other “Eighth Wonders of the World” who have tripled, VandeMoortel, and Scott Ellefritz.
6/22/03 – Lawhorn’s other elusive record of 6 strikeouts in one game was given a run for its money when a slumping Josh Bender K’s 5 times. It was only the second “Silver Challis” ever awarded. Karl Oppenheimer displays the other.
Another Veto 8th inning rally scores 11 runs. A Steve Roberts grand slam helped lift Veto to victory. Brett Carlson playing deep centerfield, while leaning on the outfield fence also helped.
6/28/03 - Josh Lawhorn and Jeff Kilgard make triumphant returns to the VLB with Lawhorn’s performance slightly more triumphant. Lawhorn struck out his first time at the plate, but later smack two homeruns, one a grand slam, over the left field wall. He went 6 for 10 on the day with 7 RBI.
While playing with right field out, first baseman Josh Lawhorn runs for a pop fly over second base in hopes to end the inning. The ball bounced off of his glove in the run and bounded away. Steve Roberts took first base and said even though the pop fly was toward right field it was offered at and all players should be safe. It led to a two-out 8-run rally in the seventh and an eventual McCafferty victory over Veto.
6/29/03 - Jeff Kilgard leaves his family reunion proving that Veto League Baseball places high on members’ priority lists.
Kilgard’s family reunion would then come to the VLB when his dad and sister show up to the game to heckle two batters, get a set of keys and leave.
In a game that stood 5-5 after 6 full innings, Kiel Engstrom would pull to within one homerun of his brother for the league lead in the seventh knocking over a grand slam. Engstrom, tied for second in homers with Lance McCafferty at 8, would also wind up in a tie for first place with Heckenkamp.
Jake VandeMoortel came one stat shy of hitting for the cycle. Surprisingly the missing stat was not a triple but a homerun.
7/2/03 - The first official VLB weekday afternoon game. On Wednesday, July 2, Veto and Engstrom battle for first place. Veto comes out ahead 14-13.
This was the first game played at the Moline High School sophomore diamond.
Lance McCafferty purposefully goes the other way, picking up his first opposite field RBI.
7/5/03 - Ashley Engstrom hits a record setting 3 grand slams in one game. He finished with 12 RBI in a 21-17 Heckenkamp victory over Engstrom.
Jake VandeMoortel hits his first career Veto League homerun.
7/6/03 - Lightening and rain threatened to postpone the biggest VLB game in history. 24 members, some veteran and some playing in their first game, showed up. The game was played and Engstrom wins 23-22.
Dave Anderson hits a game winning, walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was his first homerun in only his second game of his career.
Four members of an 18-and-over men’s adult baseball league joined the VLB.
A catcher and both dugouts were used at Saukie Field for the first time.
7/12/03 - First extra inning game of the season finds Engstrom falling to McCafferty 17-14 in 11 innings. The final blow came on a 3 run double by Bobby Carter in the top of the inning.
Scott Ellefritz hits two homeruns going 8 for 12 in the loss, while coming a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
7/13/03 - Back to back triples are recorded by Vinny Polito and Zach Schoop in a 22-11 Veto win over McCafferty.
Polito hits a homerun to finishing off his run for the cycle. He is the third player this season to do so.
7/14/03 - Steve Roberts hits 2 homeruns while recording 6 RBI en route to an 18-14 McCafferty victory over Engstrom. Hitting 5 homeruns over the three game stand, Roberts is one away from tying Ashley Engstrom for the league lead.
Matt Veto leaves in the top of the fourth inning due to a knee injury. He is listed as day to day.
7/19/03 - Veto defeats Heckenkamp to seal up first place in the VLB with a 6-3 record.
Steve Roberts goes 4 for 5 with 4 RBI and a homerun, locking up the regular season Triple Crown, the first VLB member to do so.
MVP, Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove, and One Game Wonder awards are voted on for the first time.
7/20/03 - Veto takes game one of a three game series versus McCafferty by one of the lowest scores ever recorded, 7-5.
7/21/03 - Veto seals up his spot in the first annual VLB World Series in the lowest scoring game in VLB history, 4-1. No runs were scored after the top of the fifth.
Mitch Heckenkamp announces his voluntary placement on the DL and will be missed the remainder of the season. Rumors are circulating that Vinny Polito will assume captain duties for Heckenkamp.
7/22/03 - Scott Boruff Emails the VLB from Europe:
"My vote for Veto League MVP after hitting for the 'cycle' is Brett Carlson. Also my vote for Philanthropist of the Year is Brett Carlson. Finally, my vote for the Mr. Hustle Award is Brett Carlson. Basically Brett Carlson embodies everything that is good about baseball and life....In the blonde locks flowing in the sweet summer wind on the dirt infield diamond that is Saukie, Scott Boruff.
P.S. Went running with the bulls and survived."
7/23/03 - Dr. Vinny Polito shows up in scrubs to fill in for Mitch Heckenkamp as playoff captain. Polito dropped the game and the scalpel, as Engstrom takes a 14-9 win. Engstrom leads the series 1-0.
7/26/03 - In an alternative captain matchup, Scott Ellefritz falls to Ian Leatherman 14-13 in 7 innings. It was the first game all season that failed to reach 9 innings.
Since the VLB began in 1998, no bases were used until Busch Beer boxes were found in the garbage. Then, carpet squares were used until throw down bases were purchased.
Now, almost real bases can be enjoyed as Matt Veto and papa Jim Veto manufactured new bags for the VLB. Consisting of a wooden base, pillow stuffing, and canvas, the new bases accentuate the ever-growing technology of the VLB.
7/27-8/3 - Veto and the Engstrom brothers are out of action and no games get played due to rain and lack of players.
8/9/03 - In the first ever official 8 player game, Casey Thomas, standing in for Heckenkamp, defeats Lance McCafferty, standing in for Engstrom, 14-3 in 7 innings.
For the first time in VLB history, Matt Veto does not lead off. He hit in the fourth spot and it paid off as he led the game in hits, doubles and RBI going 6 for 9 with 3 doubles and 7 RBI.
Thomas, who is also coming to life in the playoffs, makes a diving catch with a cigarette in his mouth.
8/10/03 - Heckenkamp advances to the VLB World Series as Thomas, standing in for Heckenkamp, defeats McCafferty, standing in for Engstrom, 17-4 in 7 innings.
Thomas hits his first career VLB homerun going 6 for 11 with 4 RBI on the day.
The Kilgard Family Reunion comes to the VLB. Jeff Kilgard and his dad Bill play in the same game. Mrs. Kilgard watches and heckles from behind the backstop. At one point, Mrs. Kilgard gets frustrated enough with Greg Asleson’s swing that she takes an at bat herself grounding out to short. It didn’t count anyway.
8/12/03 - The first ever Veto League Baseball World Series commences with a matchup between Matt Veto and Heckenkamp substitute Casey Thomas. Thomas takes game one 17-4.
Nathan Linn becomes the first player since Reggie Jackson to hit three homeruns in one World Series game.
A VLB record 5 players smoke while in the dugout or on the field.
8/13/03 - Casey Thomas puts together an amazing 9 for 10 game during the second game of the World Series, but falls 7-6 in 11 innings. Lance McCafferty knocked in Matt Veto for the game winner as darkness fell over Saukie Field. The Series evened at 1.
8/24/03 - During the Veto League post season party, the season awards were handed out. Playoff and World Series MVP's were voted on and the World Series MVP vote went to a vote off between Lance McCafferty and Ashley Engstrom. The winners are as follows:
MVP: Steve Roberts .577, 14 HR, 58 RBI
Gold Glove: Casey Thomas
Rookie of the Year: Colby Moore .493, 7 doubles, 21 RBI
One Game Wonder: Pete Owen 7 for 7, 1 RBI
Playoff MVP: Matt Veto .444, 4 doubles, 10 RBI, 5-0 record
World Series MVP: Lance McCafferty .537, 2 HR, 10 RBI