Some Catching Up

Matt P. and Danny, the Dream Team, in the Super-Ball finals.

Matt P. and Danny, the Dream Team, in the Super-Ball finals.

Good heavens, how the time slips by.  It has been quite a while since my last update, long enough that I never even got a chance to write about the two between-season events, and here we are about to have the third meeting of the “new” season.  Let me do something about that.

After Season 9 we had our usual post-season Zen (split flipper) tournament, Super-Ball IX.  The competition was fierce, but in the end Mike S. and Tim beat the “Dream Team” of Matt and Danny. (Matt has claimed all of his teams as the “Dream Team,” but this one seemed like a pretty strong contender for the title.)  This made Mike the first ever three-time Zen Champion in the League’s history. The night ended on a sentimental note, as it was Matt’s last night as the League president. Everyone extended heartfelt thanks to him for founding the league and serving as its steward for nine seasons. He said that knowing the league would continue on with or without him gave him a good feeling. I said, “I get it. You have a legacy.”

Zen champions of Season 9, Tim and Mike S.

Zen champions of Season 9, Tim and Mike S.

Trophies for the Silver Balls in the City tournament.

Trophies for the Silver Balls in the City tournament.

As usual, the league took a break until January, but in the meantime I hosted the third annual Silver Balls in the City charity tournament on December 27, benefiting the Capital Area Humane Society.  Several people competed who had not attended an Avenue tournament before, including Derik from Pinball Pete’s, known to us in the past only as “the guy who fixes the pinball machines at the Avenue.”  I knew him more by reputation than anything else.  I had seen him once or twice and spoken to him in passing, but he had not played with the league so I hadn’t previously known what a skilled pinball player he is.  He brought an extra $100 donation from Pinball Pete’s with him.  Meanwhile, Speedy from Pinball Pete’s in Ann Arbor also attended.  I had just met him a few days before when I happened to be at AA Pete’s while an informal league meeting was going on there.  He brought two 40 lb. bags of dog food as an in-kind donation for CAHS.  Pete’s also had Speedy and Derik bring some Pinball Pete’s T-shirts to give away as door prizes.  This was all a big and very welcome surprise.

Quite a few other new-to-us players were in attendance, and Jake, who had first played at

Silver Balls tournament in progress.

Silver Balls tournament in progress.

the Avenue in the Fear and Trembling tournament in October, came back for more.  And, of course, many of the usual suspects from league made an appearance.

The first time I did a Silver Balls tournament, it was four strikes, and we ended up just barely finishing before the bar closed.  This time I was conservative and did three strikes, and we actually got done more quickly than I would have liked.  Someday I’ll get this tweaked just right.  Mike S. took first place (on a roll after his Zen victory), and two people playing in their first Avenue tournaments got second and third: Derik and Melinda (respectively).  Melinda was especially pleased with her Santa-themed trophy, saying that it was the first time she had won hardware in a tournament.

Silver Balls winners Mike S., Melinda, and Derik.

Silver Balls winners Mike S., Melinda, and Derik.

That’s some catching up caught up on.  Next I’ll be giving my report on the start of the new season, so expect to see that shortly!

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