Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Zabbia In The Baseball Hall of Fame!

Here is an article about my cousin, Lou Zabbia. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. For the full article, you can go to: http://rosevillept.com/articles/2007/09/12/sports/local_sports/01zabbia.txt

Legendary Lou
Roseville man to be honored with Hall of Fame induction
By: Tom Kellar, Press-Tribune sports editor
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Courtesy Roseville resident Lou Zabbia, right, poses with Hall of Famer Willie Mays in this promotional photo. Zabbia, who spent 16 years as a manager of Senior Baseball League's Sacramento Giants, will be inducted into the Sacramento branch of the Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame in a ceremony Saturday.

This Saturday, Roseville resident Lou Zabbia will be among the first group of players and managers to be inducted into the Sacramento branch of the Men's Senior Baseball League Hall of Fame. Zabbia will find himself in elite company, with eight of the 26 inductees having had professional careers in Major League Baseball. The list includes Jim Barr, Ron Brand, Don Carrithers, Leron Lee, Butch Metzger, Bob Oliver, Lowell Palmer and Jim Willoughby.

During Zabbia's 16 years as manager of the Senior Baseball League's Sacramento Giants, his teams won eight league titles. He piloted Sacramento Senior Baseball League all-star teams to the national championship round seven times, with five of those teams eventually taking home the title.
In 1998, he guided a U.S.-team entry in the Nike World Senior Games to a first-place finish. His achievements include a 54-game win streak, spread over parts of three different seasons, and a managerial winning percentage of .786.

Zabbia, now 67, lights up when he's talking baseball, the game that so forcefully captured his imagination as a New York City youth growing up in the Bronx. Thanks to his membership in a large baseball-loving family, he became a passionate New York Giants fan before the team's move to San Francisco.

"My grandfather came from Italy and became a Giants fan, even though the Polo Grounds were in Manhattan," Zabbia said. "He took my dad to the Polo Grounds when he was a boy and in 1949, when I was 9 years old, he also took me to the Polo Grounds to see a game. I was instantly enthralled."

Zabbia's love for baseball continued to grow, reaching fever-pitch proportions two years later during the now-famous Giants-Dodgers National League playoff series. The event was an instant classic, producing one of the most memorable moments in baseball history, The Shot Heard 'Round the World. The best-of-three was tied at one victory for each team, when in the bottom half of the ninth inning, the Giants Bobby Thomson hit a three-run, walk-off homer, handing the Giants the National League crown.

"1951 was the year the Giants signed Mays. That was a magical year for baseball, a magical year for the Giants, and a magical year for me," Zabbia said.
"I was sitting in the living room of a tenement house in the Bronx when the Dodgers went up 4-1 in the ninth inning. I was alone on the couch watching a 12-inch RCA TV. My dad had walked out of the room with a broken heart, thinking the Dodgers were going to win."

What came next was total exhilaration, followed by the unintended destruction of living-room furniture.

"When Thomson hit the homerun," a smiling Zabbia said, "there were tears streaming down my face. Then I jumped up on the couch and all the springs popped out."

While still a child, Zabbia gained a clear understanding of where his sporting talent could best be utilized.

"I used to watch teams win championships and wondered what it felt like for the players when they would run on the field, jumping on each other and celebrating," Zabbia said. "I knew I wasn't much of a talent as a player, but I ended up getting to experience that feeling as a manager."

After watching the masterful job that Leo Durocher did in managing those '51 Giants, Zabbia tried to pattern his own efforts as a skipper after the man that fans called "Leo the Lip."

"I studied Durocher's style," Zabbia said. "He would go by the book in certain situations, but the majority of the decisions he made came from gut-feel and instinct." Zabbia has innumerable memories of his years in baseball, but when asked for a favorite, he points toward the '95 Senior Baseball League all-star team that won a national division title in Phoenix, despite having only 15 players.

"We only had a week to practice for Phoenix, and because our roster was short, I asked the players if they wanted to consider dropping down to a lower division," Zabbia said. "To a man they said no, telling me that if we get beat, we want to get beat by the best."

The schedule was grueling, consisting of six nine-inning games in four days, followed by a semi-final, and championship round.

To reach the semi-finals, a team could not lose more than one game, so Zabbia and his club were reeling when Barr, the team's ace pitcher, suffered his first-ever tournament loss in the opener, dropping a 5-2 decision to Phoenix.
Incredibly, the team reeled off five straight wins, clawing its way into the semi-final round where Sacramento defeated San Jose, and then Phoenix in the final, 5-0. It was Zabbia's fourth Senior Baseball crown.

"That's a memory that you just can't beat," Zabbia said. "Winning was completely unexpected, and when I see the guys from that team today, they always bring it up."

Zabbia came to Northern California after joining the Air Force, was stationed at Beale Air Force base near Wheatland, and later became a Sacramento police officer, retiring in 1996 after 25 years on the force. Zabbia has lived in the area more than 40 years.

Besides his work with Sacramento's Senior Baseball League, Zabbia is currently an assistant under Dean Perkins for Oakmont's high school team.

For a born instructor like Zabbia, some habits die hard, and some things will never change. "The love of the game will never leave me," Zabbia said. "I'm 67 now and I can't seem to get away from the sport. That's why I'm at Oakmont working with the kids. When the light goes on for a kid you're trying to teach, it's a great, great feeling."

The Sacramento Men's Senior Baseball League inaugural-induction event is set to take place at a private location in El Dorado Hills, beginning at 6 p.m.

Monday, October 1, 2007

How much you should withhold?

If you're like most people, you probably pay Uncle Sam throughout the year by having your employer withhold taxes from your paycheck.
Your employers, using tax guides given to them by government, determines how much money should be withheld from your paycheck. This is based on information you provided when you started you job.
Surprised? That's because you've probably forgotten about that Form W-4 you filled out, something most people do when they start a new job and forget to change yearly or after a life change. Examples: had a child, got married/divorced, etc…
The W-4, which can be changed any time, enables you to mark your tax filing status (single, married, etc.) and the number of allowances you want to take.
An allowance essentially reduces the amount of taxes withheld, and increases the amount of your take-home pay. Each allowance represents an exemption, credit, or some other tax benefit you plan to claim when you fill out your return.
Your goal at the beginning of every tax year should be to have withheld at least 90 percent of what you think you'll owe for that year, but not much more.
If you use the worksheet on the back of your W-4, you should have a least 90% covered
Each January, your employer sends you and the IRS a Form W-2 that reports your earnings for the prior tax year and the total amount of tax you had withheld.
You're responsible for calculating how much more you owe (and paying the difference by April 15), or, figuring out how much the IRS should refund you if you overpaid.
Although a lot of people consider a refund found money. The truth is getting a refund check just means you've given the government an interest-free loan. It's money you earned and should have had access to throughout the year.
Say you get a $1,200 refund (the average is about $1,700). You could have pocketed more money if you had adjusted your withholding so that you got an extra $100 a month and invested that money in an interest-bearing account.
Or, if you carried a credit card balance, the extra amount could have been used to pay off some of your high-interest debt.
For detailed instructions on adjusting your tax withholding, see IRS Publication 919. or for more information on how to reduce your taxes contact our office today!