2017 Team Recap: Jet City Junkballers
After acquiring Shane Anderson in the offseason, the Jet City Junkballers headed into 2017 with championship aspirations. With a lineup featuring Tony Koch, Nate Arndt, Drew Luther, Shane Anderson, and Garrett Ruiz, there were no secrets that Jet City was going to be good.
After winning the AL East on the final day of the season in 2016, Jet City coasted to a 2nd consecutive division title in their 2nd season in the league.
Jet City finished the regular season with an 18-12 record and they were able to do that with Manager Nate Arndt injured for a good portion of the season. After the Arndt injury, Tony Koch became a man on a mission as Koch powered his way to a league best 72 Home Runs.
Koch ran away with the AL MVP Award which made him only the 3rd player in ORWBL history to win multiple MVP honors. Jet City was able to get production from young talent such as Garrett Ruiz and Connor VanOverberghe in addition to their seasoned veterans.
Drew Luther had himself another fine season as he had 34 Home Runs to go along with a .517 Batting Average. Always one of the more underrated players in the game, Luther relished in his role as he provided excellent veteran leadership on a rather young team.
The addition of Shane Anderson also proved to work out as Anderson hit 22 Home Runs in only 12 games.
Jet City headed into the playoffs as the #2 seed in the American League where they would face off with the Cabo Yabos in the ALDS. After dropping Game 1, Jet City battled back to win Game 2 and the decisive Game 3 to send the Junkballers to their first ever American League Championship.
That is where Jet City met up with Maple City in a matchup that had many story lines due to Luther and Anderson now playing for Jet City. Despite all of the hype, Jet City was simply overmatched as they were swept 3-0 by Maple City in the American League Championship Series.
In their 2 seasons in the league, Jet City became a respected and competitive team who won their division in both seasons. However, when Manager Nate Arndt announced that he would be exploring the free agent market, Jet City folded despite numerous efforts from other players.
While it is unlikely that we see the Junkballers franchise return to the league anytime soon, Jet City certainly made their mark in their 2 seasons as a member of the Old Republic Wiffleball League.