North Muskegon Norsemen: 4. History: All-Time Team

All-Time North Muskegon Baseball Team

(as chosen by Jim Moyes, North Muskegon baseball historian in 2008) 

 

First Base

Drew Naymick (graduated 2003)

 

Second Base

Jerry Johnson (1959)

 

Third Base

Pete Sheldon (1957)

 

Shortstop

Tom Moyes (1962)

 

Outfielders

Justin Visconti (1996)

Jack Mavis (1955)

Gordon Odell (1955)

 

Catcher

Bill Duplissis (1951)

 

Designated Hitter

Ryan Buter (2008)

 

Pitchers

Francis “Rube” Marquard (1928)

Larry Williams (1973)

John Arntz (1951)

Troy Forton (2007)

Justin Visconti (1996)
Mark Picard (2008) 

 

 

First Base: Drew Naymick

A four-year fixture at first base, Naymick's 6'10" frame was a welcome sign for NM infielders. He hit better than .300 all four years as a starter. Coaches and teammates will never forget Naymick passing up the Michael Jordan Classic during his senior year to remain eligible for the baseball season. Naymick, who is the all-time NM career scoring record holder in basketball, is the all-time leader in at bats in baseball. He is also second in career hits. (Others: Ryan Sexton, Bob Raddatz, Matt Wikander, Dave Bliss, Bob Hasper)

 

Second Base: Jerry Johnson

While Johnson played mostly shortstop during his four years as a Norse regular in the late 1950s, he did play enough second base to qualify at this position. Johnson was a smooth fielder and a hitting machine. He is one of only two Norsemen to hit for the cycle. During the summers, Johnson was a regular on the powerful Foremost Heating independent team that was the dominant club in Greater Muskegon for many years. (Others: Gordy Munn, Tom Meyers)

 

Third Base: Pete Sheldon

Sheldon was a great all-around athlete and leader who was the starting third baseman at Dartmouth before embarking on a career in law. Sheldon did the unthinkable in one inning in a game at Scottville by hitting a grand slam and a two-run home run in the same inning. (Others: Charlie Langeland, Austin Aamodt)  

 

Shortstop: Tom Moyes

Only a tragic auto accident that cost him the loss of a leg kept Moyes from becoming the regular shortstop at powerful Western Michigan University. As a four-year starter for the Norse, Moyes was never thrown out while stealing a base. During the summers, Moyes was the shortstop on arguably Greater Muskegon’s best Connie Mack team ever. On a team that featured two future major leaguers and many college stars, the Zephyr Gas nine won more than 60 straight games without tasting defeat. (Others: Joe Mylenik, Tom Mitchelson, Ron Commons, Nick Marietti, Jeff Gowell, Troy Forton, Andy Grosse, Bill Miener) 

 

Outfield: Justin Visconti

Visconti, along with Gordy O’Dell, was known for his prodigious swats into the trees in center field. Also, he is one of NM’s all-time top pitchers. Visconti was MVP for the National Junior College World Series while leading Grand Rapids JC to the national title. Visconti’s 51 RBI in 1995 still stands as NM’s all-time best. Whenever we track down the 1992 team stats, it is certain that he will be at the top of the leader board in many hitting categories. 

 

Outfield: Jack Mavis 

If the ball was hit in the air to center field while Mavis was stationed in the area, it was an out. Mavis was also an outstanding hitter blessed with outstanding speed. He was a fixture for many years during the summers where he routinely hit for better than a .400 average.

 

Outfield: Gordon O’Dell 
O'Dell is probably best remembered by NM fans as a prolific scoring machine in basketball. He averaged more than 30 points with a school record 53 in one game. In baseball, O’Dell was a masher who was known for his tape measure shots that would carry well into the adjoining football field. (Others: Noah VanBergen, Matt Dunn, Bill Woller, Mike Dean, Marshall Strayer, Dale Swanson, Rick Jones, Sam Parker, Jack Krolczyk, Matt Steketee, Jeremy Wegner)  


Catcher:
Bill Duplissis
Duplissis was a four-year starter at the all-important catching post during the era when the Norse dominated the WMC, posting back to back undefeated seasons in 1950 and 1951. Duplissis was given a tryout during his senior season by Muskegon’s last minor league team, the Muskegon Clippers. Although no statistics were found from this era, it was obvious in researching game stories that Duplissis was one of the most feared sluggers in NM history. He also shared mound duties his senior year with fireballing right-hander John Arntz. Bill Duplissis will go down in NM history as one of the all-time greats. (Others: Tom Arntz, Lunk Bergren, Frank Sodini, Tom Stribley, Bobby Walters, Chris Benedict, Ryan Buter, Drake Cooke)

Designated Hitter: Ryan Buter
After making the all-time team after his junior year, Buter, a two-time All-State catcher, had another monster season in 2008. The hard-hitting Buter virtually re-wrote the Norse record book for hitting feats. Buter hit a mind-boggling .565 in 2008, and he owns or shares seven season records (runs – 65; hits – 61; doubles – 22; home runs – 13; walks – 28; batting average – .565; hitting streak – 34 games) and six career records (runs – 134; hits – 132; doubles – 36; home runs – 22; RBI – 126; walks – 74). After playing two years at Kellogg Community College, Buter played two seasons at Wayne State University. 
(Others: Geoff Dean, Matt Geyer, Erik Richardson)

Pitcher:  Francis “Rube” Marquard
Marquard never played high school baseball for the Norseman as there was not as yet a high school on the Northside when he graduated from school in Muskegon. Marquard resided in NM his entire 97 years, but it was at Western Michigan where he was best known. Marquard was a perfect 8-0 in 1933 for the Broncos, and he defeated Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa and the University of Chicago among his Big Ten victims. He was signed by legendary Hall of Famer Branch Rickey minutes after defeating Michigan State in the last game of the regular season.

Pitcher: Larry Williams
Williams made it to Double A following his stint as the ace of the staff at Central Michigan University. He holds the NM record by striking out 174 batters in 1975. Williams is also the career and single season ERA record holder at NM. Williams was also a top notch hitter with a career average near .400. He is one of only a handful of Norse to have five hits in a game.  

Pitcher: John Arntz
This fireballing right-hander was a Norse mainstay during the most productive years in NM baseball history (1948-51). Arntz won his first game as a freshman and blossomed in his sophomore year when he tossed a school record three shutouts. In 1950, Arntz teamed with John Biddle to form the best 1-2 pitching combo in NM history before capping his career in 1951 as the winning pitcher in NM’s first-ever win over Muskegon Heights.

Pitcher: Troy Forton
As one who has watched NM baseball for 60 years, Forton could play in any era. Forton took his talents to WMU in the fall of 2007. He posted a 10-3 record and 1.06 ERA mark while hitting at a remarkable .565 clip in 2006. Forton was 8-1 with a miniscule ERA of 1.21 before sidelined near the end of the 2007 season with a rib injury.

Pitcher: Justin Visconti
A southpaw, Visconti was not your basic crafty lefthander. He could really ‘bring it,’ and coupled with a nasty curveball, it took him to Grand Rapids Junior College, where he was a dominant member of the National Champs staff.

Pitcher: Mark Picard
Another southpaw, Picard was the workhorse for NM's all-time winningest team in 2008. He tossed nearly 100 innings. His 16 wins in 2008 easily qualifies as the most wins for a Norsemen pitcher while his 33 career wins tops the career list. (Others: Walt Bergren, Norm David, John Biddle, Leonard Green, Ron Simonelli, Dick Schuiteman, Ron Matthews, Bill Shackelford, Jerry Ray, John Pattenger, Rick Anderegg, Sean Scott)