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By: Norman Jemal

The 2019 YMSL Postseason was one for the history books. The wire-to-wire leaders in Smackdown faced the resilient White Walkers.

Nathan Betesh, Max Sutton, and Jimmy Malakh were the headliners of a Smackdown team that also featured young Hillel grads such as David Cohen, Marty Antebi, Teddy Braha, and Albert Sitt.

The White Walkers were billed as the greatest group of infielders ever – they placed former gold-glove shortstop Henry Shalam at third base and former gold-glove shortstop Eddie Rishty at second base. Their actual shortstopposition was filled with the smooth glove of Jonathan Eliezer, and they were overqualified at short-center and first base, with Morris Kassin and Ikey Mavorah, respectively. Their outfield was sparkling, with Shimi Cohen in left, and Abraham Haber in right, each flanking the Walker’s first overall pick, Joseph Greenberg. And with Benny Rishty and Eric Greenberg providing punch to their lineup, the Walkers proved to be a team without a flaw. Leo Kassin, one of the last pitchers taken in the draft, was tasked with facing off against Cy Young Award winner Nathan Betesh – and he knew he couldn’t do it alone. “I believe I have the best group of guys supporting me, playing behind me, and battling in the batter’s box for me. Both offensively and defensively, we are as strong as or stronger than any team in the league.”

Game 5 – Winner Takes All

The two finalists were tied at two games apiece - there would be one final game to determine who was the champion. All eyes were on the dominant pitcher of Smackdown, Nathan Betesh, and the resilient bunch of relentless bats from the White Walkers.

Game 5 was the only game that the Walkers took an early lead. While the Walkers clung to a 4-1 lead throughout most of the game, they broke the game open in the 7thinning and took a commanding 8-1 lead going into the final inning. Smackdown gave one last jolt to cut the score to 8-4, until Leo Kassin induced Albert Zalta to ground out to second base. Eddie Rishty played the tough hop, flipped it, appropriately, to the captain, Morris Kassin, and the celebration was on.

White Walkers Take Home the Championship Cup

The White Walkers, a team that has experienced ups and downs and highs and lows, managed to stay together, and peak when it counted most – in the postseason. They battled, they clawed, they fought, and ultimately, they prevailed.

“In order to be the best, you must beat the best, and the White Walkers beat the best team in the league, with the best pitcher on the mound,” said league draftologist, Jackie “JZ”Zalta. “They proved that they were the best team in the league this year, and they’ll have their names engraved on that historic trophy, FOREVER.”

The emotional leader on the team was Eric “Raw Dog” Greenberg, and he was not stricken by a shortage of words after taking home the trophy. “Winning with this group of guys means so much. Playing with my brother Joseph on the team, and playing with these talented players across the diamond, and winning the greatest softball league in the world, is something we will always remember.”

Eddie Rishty came out of retirement to play with the White Walkers. He explained, “Actually, my wife signed me up as a birthday present for me, and I am so happy she did! To win it all in the YMSL – there is no feeling like this!”

The World Series MVP was Ikey Mavorah, a league veteran who came up clutch throughout the five game set. He was teary eyed and emotional when he hoisted the Cup over his head – “It just means so much to me.”

Captain Morris Kassin insisted that his pitcher Leo Kassin finally would get the credit he is due. “He had been overlooked for so many years, but now I think he’s opened everybody’s eyes.”

Across the league, congratulatory remarks were sent to the White Walkers, including from their potent opponents, Smackdown. “They were the better team today, and they deserved the win,” said Captain Max Sutton. “They deserved it,” said Nathan Betesh. “Their lineup was very long, they played great defense, and Leo pitched very well. I guess I’ll have to wait till next year.”