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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WHTL announces Gold Bat recipients

From the West Haven Twilight League

The West Haven Twilight League will honor outstanding past and present players and league members at its 47th Annual Gold Bat Dinner, Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Italian American Civic Association (Westwoods), 85 Chase Lane, West Haven.

Tickets are $35 per person and are available by contacting Chairman Tom "Tinker" Blake at (203) 934-3820.

"The Gold Bat recipients are honored for their contributions to the league, which is celebrating seventy-eight years as one of the country’s oldest amateur baseball leagues," President Vin DiLauro said. "This event is our way of saying thank you to the players, area fans and the City of West Haven for helping to keep amateur baseball alive."

Gold Bat awards will be presented to Andrew Cicarella of East Haven; Dan Ford of Hamden; Arthur Hubbard, Jr. of West Haven; Henry "Hank" Luzzi of East Haven; and Dan Montesi of North Branford. The WHTL Gold Bat Community Award recipient will be Nick DeMatties of West Haven.

A closer look at the recipients:

Andrew Cicarella, 34, of East Haven was a stand-out player during his nine years in the WHTL. He played on five championship teams with Shoreline Masonry including an undefeated season in 1999. Cicarella was twice awarded the league batting title. He is a graduate of Notre Dame of West Haven and Albertus Magnus College where he played baseball.

Dan Ford, 62, of Hamden was a dominating pitcher during his two years with the WHTL. In 1968, he was named Pitcher of the Year for the league going 8-0 with a 1.16 ERA and led the league in innings pitched, strikeouts, and complete games. After graduating from Quinnipiac University, Ford went on to play minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals and Minnesota Twins.

Arthur Hubbard, Jr., 84, of West Haven served as an umpire in the WHTL during the 1970’s and 1980’s. His experience as an umpire was extensive having served many years for the Greater New Haven Baseball Umpires Association and the New Haven Federation of Softball Umpires. Hubbard graduated from West Haven High School and served in the United States Navy during Word War II.

Henry "Hank" Luzzi, 73, of East Haven was an All-Star outfielder for the WHTL from 1955-1959. After his playing years, he served as an umpire for the league. Luzzi graduated from East Haven High School and was a two sport athlete at Southern Connecticut State University – baseball and football. Away from the playing field, Luzzi is the former Mayor of East Haven.

Dan Montesi, 41, of North Branford was an exceptional infielder for the WHTL during the late eighties and early nineties. His solid defensive play at second base and his strong contributions as a hitter helped lead his team, Pat’s Place, to two championships. Montesi graduated from West Haven High School and went on to play baseball for the University of New Haven.

Nick DeMatties, 71, of West Haven is being honored as the Gold Bat Community Award recipient for his extraordinary commitment to the WHTL and community service. DeMatties is currently a Board of Director of the WHTL, Executive Director of the West Haven Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the West Haven Rotary Club and mentor in the Bridges Mentoring program. He has dedicated numerous hours to the Special Olympics, Junior Achievement, Alzheimer’s Association and as a coach for youth baseball, softball and basketball teams.

Additional awards will be given at the dinner to league champions A-Plus Plumbing, MVP, Best Pitcher, Batting Champion, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year. In addition, the All-League team awards and sportsmanship award will be presented.


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