Dino’s Pizza

Dino’s Pizza from Detroit was formed in 1970 by USSSA Hall of Fame Manager Gary Vitto who later managed Detroit Caesars and Detroit Softball City in the Pro League and became General Manager of Arena Football League Champion Detroit Drive. The team was led by one of the most colorful players ever to set foot on a softball field, first baseman Cal Carmen, also a member of the USSSA Hall of Fame. Joe Patti, MVP of the 1974 USSSA World Series, was the pitcher and the team included Joe Theisen, Jerry Johnston, Bill Klinger, Jim Haislip and Dan Murphy,

Dino’s was very competitive in major Detroit softball but could not defeat Little Caesars. After losing to Caesars in the 1972 ASA District at a time when only one team qualified to go the Regionals from each area, Dino’s decided to join the USSSA and promptly won the Eastern World’s in Petersburg that year, defeating Snyder’s in the Winner’s Bracket finals and Rolling Hills of Covington, Kentucky in Championship. Carmen was the star of the tournament along with Theisen.

The next year Dino’s lost to Bay Area Merchants in the USSSA World Series in Southgate, Michigan. Later that year, Dino’s finished 2nd in the Eastern World’s which qualified them for the expanded 8 team World Series the following year, where they defeated Bay Area Merchants to take the title. Competing as Uniroyal the following years, they finished 4th and 5th respectively in the USSSA World Series. The following year, Uniroyal disbanded and Gary Vitto, Dan Murphy, Tom Kaminski and George Birch joined the Detroit Caesars Pro Team where they won the 1977 and 1978 World Championships.


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