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Gerace Auto Parts, Plaquemine

Gerace Auto Parts played USSSA softball for only 10 years, but they were a dominant team for the decade they competed. Sam Gerace knew he wanted to sponsor a slow-pitch team. His wish came true in 1971. The Chuck "Mugs" became available, and Sam became their sponsor. That's how the Gerace Auto Parts Pups were formed.

Over the next decade, Gerace Auto Parts were among Louisiana's most dominant teams. The Pups won more than 700 games during that time, with its players hitting 750 home runs and recording a team batting average of .625. They claimed 78 tournament championships, seven league titles, three district championships, and two state runner-up honors.

Gerace Auto Parts reached its greatest success in 1977. That year, the team from Plaquemine took second place in the prestigious Lou-Ana Classic in Opelousas. The only team to beat Gerace Auto Parts in that tournament was Warren Motors of Jacksonville, Florida. At the time, Warren Motors was the number-one-ranked team in USSSA. Still, Gerace Auto Parts got the last laugh. During the Lou-Ana Classic, the Pups beat that year's ASA National Champion, Nelson Painting of Oklahoma City. The Pups later went on to win the 1977 USSSA National Championship. I guess you could say that makes Gerace Auto Parts that year's undisputed national champion.

What might be most amazing is that Gerace Auto Parts achieved all this success DESPITE having a habit of losing the first game in most of the tournaments they played and having to win from the bottom of the bracket.

During their 10-year run, Gerace Auto Parts earned a reputation as being one of the better teams from Louisiana. In fact, they were regarded as one of the best during their time. Tonight, we honor them as one of the best to ever play the game.


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