25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports 09.08.16

Local Sports History

August 8, 1991

What had been a heady ride through the Little League baseball playoffs came to an end on a field in Great River last Thursday as Massapequa defeated East Hampton’s traveling all-star team in the Long Island semifinal, 14-7.

The young Bonackers, who had seemingly laid claim to a patent on come-from-behind heroics, dug a first-inning hole from which they almost but could not quite extricate themselves. Five hits — only one of them authoritative — along with three errors and a misplayed fly ball enabled Massapequa, the eventual Long Island champion, to jump out to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of that jittery, fateful first inning.

. . . The players, who had won, for the first time in East Hampton history, district and county championships, were loudly applauded as they walked off the field.

“The whole five-week stretch was very, very satisfying,” said Alex Walter, the team’s head coach, who had taken on the postseason task some years ago after hearing talk that East Hampton Little Leaguers could not compete on a district or county level.


Tony Venesina took time out from managing his Sag Harbor pizzeria Saturday morning to win the Montauk mile in 5:07.


August 22, 1991

With 10 runs on 17 hits — one for every defeat the Writers have wreaked since 1968, the year the storied softball game was first played as a benefit — the Artists smeared their prosaic counterparts at East Hampton’s Herrick Park Saturday in such convincing fashion that viewers were hailing the 10-3 rout as a major breakthrough.

The win was the mirror image of last year’s score, and was, according to the Artists’ manager, Leif Hope, accurately forecast by him during a locally televised panel show on The Game last week. “People are now asking me to pick lottery numbers and who I like in the fifth at Belmont,” said Hope, who disavows dynastic ambitions as “unpainterly. . . . It’s the writers who are plagued by seriousness.”

“It’s going to feel funny at first,” John Osborn, a former national champion, assured his students. “God didn’t mean for people to play croquet. . . . It’s part golf, part billiards, and part warfare. All it takes is the strategic mind of a le Carré cold warrior, the dexterity of a neurosurgeon, the geometric sense of Pythagoras, and, most of all, a whole lot of patience.”


August 29, 1991

The weather was fine Sunday as the Hampton Classic Horse Show, the largest hunter-jumper event in North America, opened on the 60-acre Snake Hollow Road showgrounds in Bridgehampton.

As has been the case in the past, Swan Creek Farms of Bridgehampton came away with most of the ribbons. Gretchen Topping, the daughter of Swan Creek’s owners, Alvin and Patsy Topping, was champion of the local junior hunter division on Step to It.

. . . Other Swan Creek ribbon-winners included Shanette Barth on Audacious and Something to Go On; Daniela Goldman on Follow That Star; Jagger Topping on Fanfare; Alexandra Goldman on Sunny South, and Ruth Rosenhole on Time After Time.