Shul is a Yiddish word for synagogue. The Men's Shul Softball League (MSSL) consists amazingly of 48 teams, representing shuls of all Jewish denominations and sizes throughout MetroWest, Newton, Brookline, Boston, Westwood and Canton. Most Sunday mornings from April through June, men from age 24 to those of a certain age make their way by 10:00 a.m. to fields of dreams all around the area for spirited yet friendly games of softball.
The Brotherhood of Congregation B'nai Torah of Sudbury has sponsored a team in the MSSL for the past 10 years. The club has qualified for the playoffs five of the last six seasons. This year, sporting new jerseys identifying the players as B'nai Torah Hitmen, the team had an undefeated regular season, winning all nine games. More than one of those victories came in dramatic, come-from-behind fashion in the final innings!
Many of the players have been on the team since the beginning. The last few years, the average age has been reduced considerably, as three sons of team members have joined the ranks, causing opponents to chuckle when the first base coach calls the runner "Dad".
Unfortunately, the team lost a close, hard-fought 6 to 4 playoff game to Temple Emunah of Lexington. Both teams hit the ball well and fielded the ball even better. So for B'nai Torah, it's wait 'til next year to win the (mythical) Kiddush Cup, emblematic of the league's top team.
Here are the members of the 2017 Congregation B'naI Torah softball team:
Jon Baron, Paul Fuhrman, Steve Grossman, Geoff Howell, Connor Jacobson, Jeff Jacobson, Jordan Jacobson, Mike Prosansky, Tom Reith, Jeff Salemi, Ray Salemi, Bob Salsberg, Jay Schwartzberg, Mark Seliber, Joel Singer and Jay Smith.