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MSBL Manager of the Month: Bill Rattazzi, Long Island MSBL

Submitted by Bill Rattazzi, Manager, New York Rangers, Long Island MSBL

In 1990 I heard about the Long Island MSBL and went to the draft in March of 1991 and was drafted by the Massapequa Angels along with my friend Bob Gotterbarn. After the 1991 season the Angels disbanded and I formed the NY Rangers with Bob. We drafted most of our team in the draft in spring of 1992 and the 1992 season was a success as we made the playoffs.

I lost many players after the 1992 season and had to start over while spending the next four seasons trying to rebuild the roster. In 1997 and 1998 the Rangers again made the playoffs but lost in the first round. After the 1998 season, the champion Clippers disbanded and the Rangers acquired Victor Crema and Tom Doherty, who are two of the best players in league history. We also acquired Al Rivera and Anthony DeQuatro from the West Hempstead Yankees and Gary Novello from New York, New York. Rivera is one of the most feared hitters in MSBL history. 

For the next nine years the NY Rangers experienced great success with appearances in the playoffs every year. Our final appearances were in 1999 and 2004 and were the champions of the 1999 season. That period from 1998 to 2008 was a time of great competition and rivalry in the MSBL Continental Division. The competition between the NY Rangers, West Hempstead Yankees, LI Indians, Glen Cove Indians and the Senators was intense and so much fun. It created bonds that grew from fierce competition bordering on hatred to unbelievable respect and friendship today. That is one of the great things about the MSBL.  Steve and Brian Sigler should be thanked by every player in the league for it.

MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler commented, "As the local league President and Founder of the Long Island Men's Senior Baseball League (est. 1986), I have probably dealt with upwards of 500 team managers throughout the years.  I have been fortunate during that time period to have met, worked with, and befriend several outstanding men.  One of these men is Bill Rattazzi, a consummate team manager and family man who possesses all the qualities one could look for." 

Sigler continued, "Bill is really the perfect team manager.  He is responsible, dedicated to his players, and has a wonderful perspective on winning and losing.  Above all, he still possesses the "passion" for the game.  He is a beacon of light, and always will be.  Thank you, Bill!"

After the 2008 season, as my players got older, we moved up to the 35 and over division and then the 45 and over in 2014. I am proud that we kept most of the same roster intact throughout the team's history and I keep in contact with just about every player who ever played with the Rangers. The past few seasons have been rebuilding years for the Rangers but I feel that we are close to putting a playoff caliber team on the field and hopefully that will happen in 2018. I am also proud to say that 2018 will be the 27th year of the NY Rangers in the Long Island MSBL

From 1996 through 2008 I also put the NY Rangers in Tim Hott's LI Midweek Baseball League. In2002 The NY Rangers were the Long Island Midweek Champions.

In 1996 I was lucky enough to take a team of Long Island All Stars to the MSBL World Series in Arizona with my friend Bob Gotterbarn. We won the first game and lost the next five in pool play. The fields were beautiful and the experience unforgettable. Over the next 12 years the Long Island Rangers made 16 appearances in the World Series in Arizona, sometimes taking teams in two different age divisions. In 2005 the Long Island Rangers made the playoffs in Arizona for the first time and in 2008 the Rangers won the Central Division Championship in Arizona.

All in all it has been a great ride. Just the idea of playing baseball at age 30 to three Championships to date has provided countless unforgettable experiences and great relationships and friendships. You cannot ask for more. But there is more! My 10 year old son, Ronan, is now playing Little League. Last night they won the 8-10 Long Island Section of the Williamsport Tournament. Hopefully I will be able to keep playing for another six years so that Ronan and I can play together in the Arizona World Series in the Father/Son division.  That would be perfect!

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