PINNER STUCK AT 100: Bill “Pinner” Pintard, manager of the Santa Barbara Foresters, hit the century mark in victories at the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series in Wichita. But his bid for more, and an unprecedented seventh championship, was derailed by a 6-3 loss to the Everett (Washington) Merchants in the quarterfinals. “We’re really disappointed,” Pintard said. “It wasn’t our best game. But they beat us. You’ve gotta tip your hat.”
The Merchants made it to the championship game, where they lost 7-1 to the Kansas Stars, a team that put Chipper Jones and 20 other former major leaguers back on the diamond. Their experience overcame the youth of the amateur teams that made up the rest of the NBC contenders.
Everett has had the same manager, Harold Pyatte, for 44 years. He also played for the Merchants when they won the NBC crown in 1988. That was their only other appearance in the finals. Both Pyatte and Pintard, who’s been leading the Foresters for a mere 23 summers, have been inducted into the NBC Hall of Fame, a congregation that includes Satchel Paige, Tom Seaver, Billy Martin, Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Kirk Gibson, and Tony Gwynn.
The Foresters spread their usual goodwill in Wichita, making their annual visit to young patients at the Via Christi hospital.
Pintard said he’ll remember the 2017 Foresters for “the way they respected the game. They had memorable comebacks. And it was our first year at Persh [Pershing Park].” Luke Ritter, an outfielder from Wichita State, was voted MVP by the players, and Texas right-hander Blair Henley the top pitcher.
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