In our second or third season, Dan Burgess observed that he got his best results when he wasn’t expecting to play. Ben DiPaola will second that.
On Friday, Mike Morrison announced that he had to bail on Game No. 202, scheduled for Saturday at John Gramila’s home in Humboldt Park, due to a conflict. The first standby I called that night was DiPaola.
"If it could be filled by someone else, that would be good, but I can make it otherwise," he said reluctantly.
Peter Lokken found a recruit later in the evening, so we released DiPaola. But when Lokken’s recruit fell through Saturday morning, we again tapped DiPaola.
Always ready to help the club, DiPaola dropped what he was doing and made his way to Humboldt Park. He drew England for this troubles and turned in the best performance of his career. He grew every single year and jumped from 13 to 17 in 1909, threatening our club’s first solo since Season Six.
But the resistance organized by Nate Cockerill in Italy stopped him there and rolled him back to 15 the next year. The game then ended in Spring 1911 in the following center counts:
England (Ben DiPaola): 15; 65.407 points.
France (Alexandra Varjan): 3; 2.616 points.
Germany (Lorenzo Davis): 0; 0.000 points.
Italy (Nate Cockerill): 9; 23.547 points.
Russia (Peter Lokken): 0; 0.000 points.
Turkey (John Gramila): 5; 7.267 points.
DiPaola’s rise to 17 is worth a look. You’ll find the center chart here. The chart also reveals that Gramila’s Turkey failed to build in 1901 and was down to one center by 1905 before rallying to finish at five.
Newcomer Lorenzo Davis, our latest Meetup recruit, wasn’t as fortunate. He was eliminated that year, along with Lokken. Lokken should hire Jacques Cousteau to go in search of his mojo. He’s posted four straight stinkers this year, after finishing second last season, holding down the top spot until the final day.
He continues to excel at recruiting, however. Alexandra Varjan is his latest. Her highwater mark was eight centers, which she held as late as 1907, before being knocked back to three over the final three years.
Ted McClelland similarly experienced the highs and lows of what looks to have been a pretty fluid game of Dip. He was the top dog in 1905 with 10 centers. He finished with two.
Okay, that’s enough from me. Let’s hear from the players.