Top Gun 60s Strike Gold in Hawaii Mayor’s Cup

In a historic achievement for the organization, the Top Gun Strike Force 60+ team emerged victorious, clinching gold in the Hawaii Mayor’s Cup held in Kona in January. This marked the team’s inaugural visit to the picturesque Hawaiian Islands, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

The mastermind behind the success, Richard Pratt, not only organized the team but also coached them to an undefeated record. Clad in striking red and black uniforms with white and gray accents, the team, aptly named Strike Force, showcased their prowess on the field. The roster included 13 players, each with a Top Gun history, along with an enthusiastic entourage of family members.

A unique blend of experience was evident in the team composition, featuring three 60+ players, six 65+ players, and four 70+ players – making Strike Force the oldest team in the division. Despite facing teams with the advantage of three 55+ players, Top Gun’s seasoned players proved age is just a number.

Despite challenging field conditions, including rain delays and gusty winds, Strike Force overcame adversity. The temporary outfield fences and 75-foot bases posed no hindrance to the team’s determination.  The spirit of sportsmanship was not confined to the field; the Top Gun Strike Force team exemplified goodwill by presenting thoughtful Top Gun mementos to opposing coaches and tournament officials, fostering a sense of camaraderie that extended beyond the game.

The tournament wasn’t just about the games; off the field, the team shared memorable moments during team dinners and lively gatherings at the bar. Days without games were filled with island exploration, including visits to Hilo, waterfalls, volcanos, water sports, and more.  The King Kamehameha hotel provided a comfortable home base just minutes away from the ball fields. The team also enjoyed socializing at the welcome reception and indulged in an authentic luau organized by the tournament hosts.

Looking ahead, Richard Pratt has set his sights on next year, intending to assemble a 70+ team for another remarkable adventure. The Top Gun Strike Force’s triumph in Hawaii stands as a testament to the spirit of camaraderie, skill, and sportsmanship that defines the Top Gun organization.

Player Lineup

60+ Players:

  • Bobby Gun – 3rd base
  • Jeff Blakeman – Shortstop
  • Pat Rea – Outfield

65+ Players:

  • Ed Francel – 1st base, Outfield
  • Graham Sterling – 2nd base
  • Joel Hawk – Catcher
  • Johnny Gullatta – Outfield, Catcher
  • Mickey LeBlanc – Outfield
  • Steve VinCurek – Outfield

70+ Players:

  • Joe Hensley – Outfield
  • Mark Purdy – Catcher, 3rd base
  • Richard Pratt – Pitcher
  • Scott Wolters – 1st base, Catcher

Key Highlights

  • Pat Rea was named team MVP for flawless outfield play and consistent leadoff performance.
  • Bobby Gun led the team with 3 home runs and 11 RBIs.
  • Johnny Gullatta led the team in On-Base-Percentage with Scott Wolters and Mark Purdy both over 800.
  • Richard Pratt’s crafty pitching limited opponents to just 12 runs in 5 games against 5 different teams.
  • The team dominated, never batting in the open inning and never trailing having won by the mercy rule on the last two games.
  • Strike Force’s infield turned at least 10 double plays, showcasing their electric performance with diving catches in the outfield and numerous outfield assists.