Moving up a division is never an easy task. Some teams have relished the opportunity to make the move and have even requested to skip a division in favour of a greater challenge; 2018 Brokebat Mountain D4 to D2 and 2019 Limitless Tattoos D5 to D3. Despite the successes of the previous year, it can be difficult to repeat or even gain a foothold in a club’s new home. New teams, new players, and new expectations can trip up even the most capable of groups. But it is not impossible to find success. Let’s take a look a few teams that made multiple divisions their championship playground.
In 2011, finishing atop the Division 3 standings warranted Urine Trouble’s (9-1-0) move up despite no tournament final appearances. They caught fire the following season, finishing 2nd in the D2 Standings and capturing the Championship crown. Their Division 1 placement brought more success winning back to back Championships (’13 and ’14) before adding the 2015 title as the Benchwarmers. Their last final’s appearance came as a 2016 2nd place finish in the Mid-Season Classic.
One of the longest tenures in the League came to a conclusion following the end of the 2018 season, but that end was preceded by an awesome run over a 7-year tenure. Making their first Championship showing in 2011, 4Play fell just short of glory in the D3 Finals. The following season they won the Division 2 June tournament and finish #1 in the standings. Their success equaled a move to Division 1 and between 2013 and 2017 they placed in the top 4 in 7 different tournaments.
The now-defunct Stingers started their run under a different name but proved to be a formidable force. In 2013, they finished 2nd in the D3 Mid-Season tourney before winning the Championship showdown in August. An 11-1 record in Division 2 the following season gave way to another Mid-Season 2nd and Championship victory. Finally making the jump to the top group in 2015, Mean Street placed 2nd in the Mid-Season Tournament and 3rd in the 2016 August finale.
Currently holding down a spot in the top division, Crazy Joe’s Gym got to the top group on the basis of their consistency. Starting in Division 3 back in 2015, Joe’s captured the Mid-Season Classic title. They repeated the feat the following year after making the move to Division 2. Finally, in 2017 they placed 3rd in the D1 June tournament and have remained in contention since.
Top tournament performers, The O’s have made a point of playing their best ball when the chips are on the table. In 2016, they crashed the D4 party, besting the Regular Season winners, Beards N Babes, in the Championship game. They also finished 2nd in the Mid-Season Tournament. The following year in D3, they again were late bloomers- taking down the Master Batters in the Championship showdown.
Starting in 2015 as a collection of Free Agents, the Leftovers struggled to a 1-11-0 record at the bottom of the bottom division. In 2016, they won 5 games. In 2017, they took off. The Leftovers battered Division 5 with just a single regular season loss before capturing the Mid-Season Classic. An unexpected struggle in the Championship tournament gave way to a dominant Division 4 run in 2018. The Leftovers’s loss in the D4 Mid-Season Classic was their only shortcoming in their Triple Crown bid. They will take their talents to Division 3 in 2019.
Every team faces its share of animosity. Some clubs linger in a division for years, unable to crack the top ranks, but better than the bottom half. Some find success at the top of one division, but the subsequent step up is simply too much the following year. Then there are those that find immediate success and continue their climb after just one season. Every team deserves an opportunity to succeed, but sometimes it can be the challenges and difficulties that bring out the best in clubs. In the end, the opportunity to play is the ultimate reward.
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