http://www.seniorsoftballstore.com

 
SIGN IN:   Password     »Sign up

Message board   »Message Board home    »Sign-in or register to get started

Online now: 0 members ; 55 anonymous
Change topic:

Details for Sparky.1


Real name:
Dr. Gregory R. Mann

Location:
Angola, IN

Division:
Men's 55

Messages posted by Sparky.1 »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

June 30, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

Fred S: Any of those Harwoods in their original box? I'd be interested if they came with their original packaging. Contact me at: grm.phd@gmail.com
June 30, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

Fred S: The Harwood's at the time, were the "best" ball in town. If you were going to launch one however, you had better do it within the first 3-innings. After that, they were mush and you had better be able to hit to all fields because they were not going to "fly".
June 29, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

Give me an old Bombat and the Harwood Softball and use the "Rover" position and let's go play some Softball. Also need those sweet Sturups also.
June 29, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

In the Mid-Michigan region as I would guess was the case for every place else, you had to drive to the Parks & Rec to obtain a "permit" just to "practice" and when your time was up, there was also the next group waiting. Today, those same fields for the most part, are just growing weeds.

Benefit of being an Umpire as well allowed me to open the barrels and put out the game bases......Was great for my squads but really ticked-off the next set waiting to get on the field when we pulled them up and put them back......lolololol
June 29, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

We were so very fortunate to have been involved with the Great Game of Slow-Pitch Softball in its hay-day and unfortunately, it is looking like we are also the "breed of extinction" with the Great Game of Slow-Pitch Softball as well!
June 28, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remember When...........

Saw this article in my old hometown newspaper, the Lansing State Journal and thought it would take everyone back to the good 'ol days. Although this article is directed to the decline of Slow-Pitch Softball in Lansing, MI and the overall Mid-Michigan region, I am sure it will relate to most everyone's remembrance of the days when "Slow-Pitch Softball" ruled and was "life living on the diamond" in his/her specific region and how it is today.

Thanks for allowing this opportunity!

Sparky
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graham Couch, gcouch@lsj.com
Lansing State Journal
9:23 p.m. EDT June 27, 2015

Article title: Recreational softball decline driven by kids, costs and a cultural shift

Perhaps good parenting is behind the decline of slow-pitch softball. Or maybe it's overzealous parenting. Modern parenting, we'll call it. For better or worse, organized children's activities often take priority nowadays over adult recreation. This cultural shift — colliding with economic hardship and endless opportunities for entertainment — is eating at a sport that once dominated parks everywhere, every night, all summer long.

"You don't see the kids watching dad anymore," Delta Township recreation director Marcus Kirkpatrick said. "Dad's lucky to even get there himself. He's usually taking the kids to different places."
The "Me generation," as the baby boomers have been called, are no longer in their prime athletic years, as they were when softball flourished in the late 1980s. Then, the city of Lansing alone had 270 teams one year. It has about one-third as many teams now.

"Those guys who used to play in three leagues during the summer and would just basically tell their families, 'Hey, I'm playing softball on Monday, Wednesday, Friday — Good luck, family,' are now only playing once a week, " DeWitt Area Recreation Authority executive director Chad Stevens said. "I think people are spending more time with their families, which is great, which we need to recognize."
This is only a predicament if, like Stevens and Kirkpatrick, you make your living in parks and recreation. Or, if like many others, you derive pleasure from the camaraderie and competition of softball and the natural intoxication that comes from perfectly connecting with a pitch and rounding first base.
Lansing, Delta Township and Meridian Township are among those that held steady this summer in terms of overall participation — but only as others again lost teams or, in the case of the coed leagues in DeWitt and St. Johns, didn't even have enough interest to have a season.

This isn't just a Mid-Michigan issue. Or a Michigan issue. Nationally, slow-pitch softball is tailing off. The numbers in this state fall in line. Last year, 3,400 teams registered in leagues across Michigan, down 300 from two years earlier. Only 282 of them participated in American Softball Association (ASA) events or tournaments at varying levels, down about 50 percent from a decade ago, according to Michigan ASA President Troy Stowell.

In District 11, which includes all of Ingham and Eaton Counties, the declines began in earnest during this country's economic collapse seven years ago. Mid-Michigan had been losing 10 to 12 teams per year early in the 2000s, Stowell said. That jumped to 30 to 40 teams annually after 2008.
As sponsors cut back, so did players. As players tightened their belts, softball leagues felt the pinch.
"A lot of teams started paying out of pocket for everything," said Stowell, who also directs Eaton Rapids parks and recreation. "You saw guys who were playing three, four nights a week only afford to play maybe one night a week.

"When the economy took a hit, people's recreation for themselves took hit, too." Uneasiness in State and district numbers, however, don't always correspond with individual municipalities. The big blow can come anytime. "This year was my sharp decline," East Lansing athletics and aquatics coordinator Jim Jennings said. Jennings is down 18 teams from last year, falling from 66 to 48. DeWitt's coed league was nixed for this summer after only one team registered, seven fewer than two years ago. The men's league there has five teams, about half of what it's often been. St. John's first attempt at a coed division failed, and its two men's leagues have eight teams combined, down from 18 three years ago.
Portland has 11 coed teams and eight men's teams — each league about half of what it was in 2009, when programmer Neil Brown began there.

"It's been fairly steady last few years. Steady is not necessarily the most comfortable word, just because those numbers have been down," Brown said. "We've had a gradual decline, and we've kind of plateaued. There's some uncertainty and uncomfortableness every time we enter a new season, not knowing what you're going to end up with and even if you'll have enough for a league." The uneasiness is justified. Softball is big business to parks and recreation departments, big and small. Team and player fees usually add up to between $550 and $700 per team. An 18-team loss in East Lansing is at least $10,000. A league folding in DeWitt is painful.

"Thanks for reminding me," Stevens said. "I've been keeping my eye on it for probably six years now and just almost waiting for that other shoe to fall off. And this year is the year that the shoe did fall unfortunately." "From a revenue standpoint, it's significant," said Kirkpatrick, whose Delta Township leagues bring in 75 to 80 teams annually. "Quite honestly, from an administration standpoint, to be up (teams) is huge, even though it's only a couple (teams). To be even is good, based on the market for softball." Twenty years ago, there were plenty of teams to fill every league and the coffers of every parks and rec department. Now, it's competitive.

Field quality, rules, level of play, having scorekeepers, whether alcohol is allowed, how the cost is packaged — all are factors. And not every team wants the same thing. Delta surveyed its team managers last year and then took the findings to a staff retreat. "You have to know the climate," Kirkpatrick said. Delta and Meridian townships allow consumption of alcohol in their parks. East Lansing, Lansing and DeWitt are among those that don't. "It can be an attraction," Kirkpatrick said. No going back.

Slow-pitch softball's trajectory doesn't appear to be reversing itself anytime soon, even if the decline in some places has leveled off. "As many people as you're losing on the older end, you just aren't replacing them with that 18- to 25-year old group as fast," Brown said. The growth opportunities in softball, despite the recent travails of DeWitt and St. Johns, appear to be in coed — where couples and families are more able to play together. In Meridian Township, for example, three of the four softball nights are reserved for coed leagues. Friday night is kickball instead — one of many newer sport offerings that have taken a bite out of softball.

"Years ago, everybody played softball, that's just what you did," Lansing Parks and Recreation director Brett Kaschinske said. "It was the only option." The biggest hurdle, though, by most accounts, is kids — and the modern obsession with placing them in competitive organized sports, on travel teams and even making sure 5-year-olds are in uniform at tee-ball, when they'd rather be playing in the dirt. "I remember watching my dad play recreational sports," Kaschinke said. "That was just part of the culture. Well, there's been a little shift with that." "We've got to try to program more family activities," Stevens said. "And that's one thing we hear from our community is, 'You have all these sports, but what can my family do together?' And I think that's changed in parks and recreation over the past 20 years."

June 20, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: ARC OF THE PITCHED BALL

Garyheifner: I'll take that bet on the calling of a 12' arc. Pitched it, Umpired it, Managed it, etc. I am retired from the game but I will take you on that I could and I know some other Umpires that could call the 12' arc in their sleep. (by the way, am a former ASA & USSSA State & National Certified Umpire as well as the former Eaton Rapids Softball Assciation's UIC)

If Senior Ball (all Associations) would ever take my suggestion and use today's technology by using something call "YouTube", they could get ALL UMPIRES on the same page for:

1. Correct Arc Heights, Limits and Calls
2. Correct Field Positioning
3. Correct Field Mechanics
4. Rule Interpretation
5. Dress Code
6. Correct Vocal Mechanics
7. Update availability on New Rules

Have suggested this to Regional UICs and National UICs for going on 3-years and still no response.
June 11, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Smoky Mtn.

Grimmie:

And that is one of the 'big" problems with a vast majority of Umpires within the senior softball. To become a "quality" Umpire, you "never" to quote you Grimmie "have a chance to please everyone". You learn the "rules", "positioning" and "mechanics" and do the best job possible. Looking over your shoulder to see if you "pleased" anyone is absolute suicide as an umpire regardless what level of ball.
June 11, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Smoky Mtn.

Back the truck up Grimmie........Although I am retired, I am a former A.S.A. State & National certified Umpire, a former U.S.S.S.A. State & National certified Umpire and former U.I.C. for 13-years for the Eaton Rapids Softball Association. Those statements made were from experience and not that of a player.
June 11, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Smoky Mtn.

Excellent viewpoint Grayhitter59. I have made the suggestion for the past 3-years to most of the SSUSA State & Regional U.I.C.s of using available technology such as “YouTube” to get “all” Umpires working Senior Ball onto the same page. To-date however, all you hear is their typical excuses and that is if you hear anything from them at all. When you go to some of these tourneys and see the umpire staff working, its almost like the TD or Tourney UIC pulled a Van up to a “retirement home” and grabbed anyone not using a “walker” or “cane” to work the weekend!
May 10, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: USSSA STYLE PITCHING IN SENIOR SOFTBALL

Well said JDub, well said!
May 6, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: looking to play on senior baseball mens slow pithch softball.

Are you talking Baseball or Slow-Pitch? And you might want to put some "contact" info for yourself as well!
April 24, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Major plus problem

Mr. Manassas:

I'd like to add my two cents worth but not on this venue. Please contact me via my email: grm.phd@gmail.com

Look forward to hearing from you shortly!

Sparky
April 20, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

Stick8: Contact me at grm.phd@gmail.com and I will let you know the current situation!
April 19, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best of luck this week

Fabe
Best wishes for a great season! Travel safe!
Sparky
April 18, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

None taken and best of luck to you as well!
April 18, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

#1 I no longer play

#2 I now Sponsor

#3 If you would take the time to "read", this discussion has nothing to do with "picking up chicks"

#4 How do you know whether or not I will be at Indy?
April 18, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

So is our understanding that "road kill" plays in senior tournaments using "Viagra" and to "Picks up Chicks"? Sorry state of affairs for Senior Ball!
April 18, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 44/375 -VS- 52/300

and it's what I have eluded to for the past few years Omar...........The $$$$ between the Bat Manufactures and those in the "power seats" for Senior Ball have together, developed a "youth nectar" that is being sold to seniors to make them feel the power they never had in their hey-day.

It's the same "power trip" that professional sports uses.......They pay each other a ton of $$$$$$ and we as fans, just keep on buying the tickets regardless of the cost.

We the seniors are the ones that should take the blame because like cattle, "we just moo and move along" and keep spending the big bucks for bats, balls and tourneys because they are the only thing available and we are too scared or dumb to challenge what should be, an extension of our "recreational softball" of the past. They (bat manufactures & senior softball) keep pocketing the $$$$$ while we (the players) keep jumping through the hoops and opening up our wallets.
April 18, 2015
Sparky.1
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Senior bats vs. 52/300 ball

and it's what I have eluded to for the past few years Omar...........The $$$$ between the Bat Manufactures and those in the "power seats" for Senior Ball have together, developed a "youth nectar" that is being sold to seniors to make them feel the power they never had in their hey-day.

It's the same "power trip" that professional sports uses.......They pay each other a ton of $$$$$$ and we as fans, just keep on buying the tickets regardless of the cost.

We the seniors are the ones that should take the blame because like cattle, "we just moo and move along" and keep spending the big bucks for bats, balls and tourneys because they are the only thing available and we are too scared or dumb to challenge what should be, an extension of our "recreational softball" of the past. They (bat manufactures & senior softball) keep pocketing the $$$$$ while we (the players) keep jumping through the hoops and opening up our wallets.
Older messages »
Senior Softball-USA
Email: info@SeniorSoftball.com
Phone: (916) 326-5303
Fax: (916) 326-5304
2701 K Street, Suite 101A
Sacramento, CA 95816
Senior Softball-USA is dedicated to informing and uniting the Senior Softball Players of America and the World. Senior Softball-USA sanctions tournaments and championships, registers players, writes the rulebook, publishes Senior Softball-USA News, hosts International Softball Tours and promotes Senior Softball throughout the world. More than 1.5 million men and women over 40 play Senior Softball in the United States today. »SSUSA History  »Privacy policy

Follow us on Facebook

Partners