• Friday, January 27th, 2012


Arguably, Dave Watanabe is the most successful manager-sponsor of men’s teams in Greater Cincinnati Softball history.  Watanabe may never win multiple national or world titles like Al Brausch of Gatliff Motors or Matty Carrelli of Hamilton Tailoring.  But then it is unlikely that anyone will ever match his personal overall legacy – if for no other reason than its pure longevity.  During the last twenty years, Watanabe Optical teams have captured nine Major Metro titles.  For fourteen consecutive years, Watanabe teams have either finished first or second in the Metro, and for seventeen consecutive seasons their teams have finished in the top three.  They have made four Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Super Major National Tournament and four United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Major World Series appearances.  Most recently, the team capped off the 2011 season by winning a USSSA Men’s Class “B” World Tournament.  Most impressively, Dave Watanabe was named “Manager of the Decade” in both 2000 and 2010.  After earning class “B” manager of the year honors in 1991, Watanabe made such an impression on his peers in 1992 with a 4th place finish in the Hudepohl Classic and Major Metro and a Thoroughbred Classic championship that his fellow managers voted him “Open” manager of the year in 1992, despite the fact that his team was classified “B.”  In 1993 Watanabe moved up to class “A” and it proved to be his team’s breakout season.  In addition to a 5th place finish in the prestigious Springfield Stroh’s National Invitational, Watanabe finished runner-up in the ASA Major Metro, and captured a USSSA “AA-A” State crown and an ASA “A” National Championship.  Watanabe went on to capture back-to-back Major Metro titles in 1998 and ’99, and  “Manager of the Year” honors five more times in the ‘90’s, then collected seven more Metro crowns and three “Manager of the Year” selections between 2000 and 2010.  No shortage of talent has worn the Watanabe Optical name on their jerseys, including no fewer than fifteen “Players of the Year” and several “All-Decade” and “Players of the Decade” selections.  There have been countless other All-City, All-American and All-World honorees as well.

Category: 2012, Manager, Members
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