12 Year Old Opponents, Teammates Today

by Peter Geppert

Before Mallards right fielder Tyler Marincov (North Florida) and first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Northern Illinois) were tearing up the Northwoods League together this summer, they were adversaries prior to becoming teammates without even knowing it. Zimmerman, an Illinois native, and Marincov, a Floridian, would seem to be the most unlikely of opponents because of their geographic locales. However, as fate would have it, the two met one hot summer evening in 2004 at Cooperstown Dreams Park for a little league tournament.

The game, played on July 15th in Cooperstown, New York, saw the Florida Sun Devils (FL) and Tinley Park Bobcats (IL) meet in the championship game of a weeklong tournament that featured teams from across the country.

Zimmerman, playing for the Bobcats, and Marincov, playing for Sun Devils, each played pivotal roles in the contest that pitted the eventual Mallards power duo against one another. On that day Zimmerman came in batting cleanup as the designated hitter, and finished the night going 1-2 with a run scored.

“Before that game I had had back problems for the first time,” Zimmerman said. “During the tournament I played center field but couldn’t play in the field that game.”                                                                                         

Marincov would not be out done though, as he hit a key grand slam home run in the second inning to put the Sun Devils up 6-0. He was also the winning pitcher that day, starting on the mound and delivering a strong 4.0 inning performance in which he allowed two runs off of three hits. The performance was enough to give the Sun Devils a 10-2 win over the Bobcats to win the tournament title.

“I can still remember our starting pitcher walking the first five guys of that inning,” Zimmerman said. “That set things up pretty nicely for Tyler.”

“Back then I still had a knuckle ball,” Marincov said about his pitching performance. “I don’t even
remember how to throw it anymore, but it worked for me then.”

Fast-forward eight years to the present, and the two have emerged as two of the Mallards most lethal hitters. Marincov is hitting .374 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs, all of which lead the team. While Zimmerman’s four home runs and 22 RBIs are second on the team. The combined 68 games played between the two this season are the most between any duo of players on the Mallards roster this season. 

The Mallards would like to extend thanks and credit to Tyler’s mom, Beth Marincov, for letting us know about this story. 




Zimmerman                                                                                           Marincov 

The Mallards will finish off their three game series with the Express at the “Duck Pond” tomorrow, July 7th. That night fans will have a chance to meet wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler presented by Charter Communications.

The 2012 season is upon us! Single-game tickets are on-sale for all Mallards home games!



The Madison Mallards are part of the 16-team Northwoods League.  The Northwoods League has more teams, plays more games, and draws more fans than any other Summer Collegiate League in North America.


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