After a year away due to the pandemic, the annual Garage Cup showdown between the championship teams from Holy Name Society 16-inch softball leagues of St. Christina and St. John Fisher returned this summer.

Although it was the usual friendly competitive spirit in this year’s game between Team Raines from St. John Fisher and Team Kezon from St. Christina, the trophy had a new name, the Mike McComb Jr. Cup.

A Mt. Greenwood resident, McComb, 53, died Sept. 22, 2020. He was a longtime member of both the local Holy Name leagues.

“I played with Mike for years. He was a big part of these leagues,” said Team Kezon Manager Joe Kezon. “That’s the beautiful thing about this. He was a great guy. Mike would go a mile for you. He’s not someone who would have wanted the Cup named after him. Mike was just a great guy.”

Playing the championship game on Sept. 8 at Munroe Park in Beverly, Team Raines took the title with an exciting 16-11 victory over Team Kezon on a beautiful, cool evening.

Team Raines scored 5 runs in the top of the seventh to break an 11-11 tie.

After a year off in 2020 for both leagues due to health restrictions, Manager Pete Raines enjoyed the opportunity to compete this season.

“It was great just to be back and play under normal circumstances,” Raines said. “Having all the guys out here was great. The championship game, it’s one more game you get to play at the end of the year. It’s great to get out again and play.”

In the top of the seventh, Kris Brady ripped a 2-run single to bring home Kevin Glynn and Jack Pappas for the go-ahead runs.

The father-and-son duo of Pete and P.J. Raines added a RBI single each as part of the 5-run outburst.

Team Kezon managed a triple from Wayne Covi in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t string enough hits together, and Team Raines took home the trophy.

St. John Fisher has dominated the rivalry of late, winning its sixth straight showdown dating back to 2015.

Bringing home the trophy named in honor of McComb, Raines was thrilled with the win.

“Mike McComb was a great guy. One of those guys no one was ever mad at,” Raines said. “Ask 50 people about me, 25 probably say that I’m a jerk. Mike was a kind-hearted guy no matter what team he played on. He got along with everybody.”

The Garage Cup started in 2004 when Dave Sebok from St. Christina and Jim McKeever from St. John Fisher came up with the idea of having both league’s champions face off each year following their league’s final tournament.

Involved in both leagues, McComb said the championship needed a rotating trophy, and the Garage Cup was created.

This summer’s championship game was started on Aug. 25 but had to be postponed due to thunderstorms.

The Team Raines roster includes Kris Brady, Jack Pappas, Kevin Connors, Danny Connors, P.J. Raines, Mike Carroll, Pete Raines, John Fenton, Sean O’Connell, Matt Jercich, Conor Ryan, Steve Stark, Tom Spratte and Denny McGuire.

Raines has played in the St. John Fisher league for 20 years and has won 5 championships.

In the St. Christina league, Kezon first played in the Holy Name League in 1988 and has won 6 league titles, including wins in 5 consecutive decades from the 1980s through the 2020s.

The Team Kezon roster includes Joe Kezon, Joe Collins, Ron Gardner, Ron Gorney, Kris Kamper, Joe Montes, Bob Mutnansky, Jim Price, Pat Reilly, Pat Roberto, Brian Sweeney, Jimmy Topps, Bob Wahlin and Wayne Novi.