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Gary Heifner

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June 4, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: longesthit softball

I saw one of those guys on the 360 tour, on TV, hit a ball higher above the slide at the Milwaukee Stadium than the HR Sammy Sosa hit in the All-star HR contest. Probably the 530-550 area. I also saw posted on a web site several years ago (not sure if it was this one and I can't prove this is true) but a guy claimed that one of the big guns back a number of years, hit a ball in a tourney that pocked or stuck in the mud beyond the fence. After the game, it was measued at 602 feet ??????
June 3, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: milwaukee--1-1 count--11 defenders

Those who have seen my posts know I am in strong favor of the 1-1 count and 11 defenders if the 11th plays on the dirt and within 5-10 feet of 2nd base prior to contact. I had the opportunity to play under this format last weekend in Milwaukee. With the 1-1 count, we played a full 7 innings in all 5 games within the time limits. With the 11th defender, we turned 4 double plays and just missed on 8-10+ more. Being a regional tourney, we know most the our opponents and who are the middle hitters. After a couple of games a strange thing happended. The middle shooters realized that if they wanted a hit, they would have to pull or go to the opposite field. It is rather intimidating to look up and see the pitcher with an infielder on each side of him and the LC and RC fielder in the same line of sight. I don't think our 2nd, 1st, RC or RF have ever had more opportunities to field a ball in each game. The middle shooters also discovered that there is a hitters life when pulling or going to the opposite field. This can be proven by the high scoring. Check the 65+ scores. The SSWC staff should take a more serious look at this format, especially in the 65+.
May 22, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: First Taste of PPR it was BITTER!

Hey Secret

What you said has been what I have been proposing for several years now on this board. Not only will it discourage middle hitting, it will provide an opportunity for another player, who is spending the money, the chance to play.
May 11, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Batting Order Help

My team usually bats everyone in the qualifiers. We will cut back to 11 to 12 in the nationals and worlds. However, evyone gets a chance to play. We don't have great power but all our guys are good singles hitters and each can get very hot at times. We have a good chance of scoring runs regardless of the lineup. We just moved up to the 65 level and even though all our guys work out in various ways, we can see that we will need all 16 guys at the big tournies and we can rest 3 or 4 as needed each game.
March 31, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: SPA tournament question

SPA had a rule that AA teams had to play in 2 qualifers to play in Dalton Nationals. My team can only make one each year due to $$$ and travel distance. We had revervations and plans prior to finding out about this. After we cancelled everything, Ridge changed his mind and let in teams with only 1. It was too late as 1/2 our team made other plans. I have called repeatedly and left messages to see if we can come on the 1 qualifer this year. Ridge seems to be very busy and can't seem to call me. I know we could come on 1 and play AAA or Major but we would be nothing more than cannon fodder. Anyone know what he is going to do this year.
March 28, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Midwest Championships

Jerry I play on the Chicago Classics 65s Gray Sox and play on the Blue team with Richie etc. I have been on a Chicago Classics team since since 2002.
I think the 3 excellent players we had to leave behind (due to age)are playing with your geezer organization now???
March 27, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Midwest Championships

P.S. DOKER

Now, the Sox are another story. Who cares? You can buy a cheap ticket outside the stadium and watch a AA type team.
March 27, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Midwest Championships

Hey DOKER

Trust me, even if you are from Texas, you don't have enough money to travel up here and afford to go to a Cubs game. I checked prices on a box seat for the 1st Cardinal series and the best I could find was $350 and that had nothing to do with parking $30 + and figure another $25 for a beer and a couple hot dogs. My black lounge chair, 32 " TV and a few cold beers are calling my name.
March 26, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Hobbies

I enjoy skiing and snowmobiling. I fish a little almost everyday. I live on a lake and catch 2-5 lb bass off my back yard. I like to play golf but it really screws up my softball swing. So I play mostly during the off season. I enjoy working out and do something for the softball season daily. Weights. walking treadmill etc. Other than that I work for BNSF railroad after 30 years as a teacher/coach. I have to keep working to pay for this softball habit.
March 24, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Midwest Championships

Someone correct me if I am wrong. The problem was not with Rudy or SSUSA. But rather some significant $$$ demands by the city of Champaign. I don't think the city official in charge of the fields realized how much $$$$ this tourney brought to the city.
I agree with the comments, Champaign along with Phoenix are my two favorite places to play.
March 10, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Has the economy quashed your tourney schedule???

Since we are a Chicago based team, we only play from May to November. We have made 10 events per season in the past. We are going to ATTEMPT to make all 10. However, some of us will be stressed $$$$ wise and might have to miss a few. It will be interesting to see if the # of teams at each event will be down. Has the current economy caused any of you to cut back???
March 9, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Protection for the pitcher

This topic has ranged from required gear to a screen to don't pitch if you can't defend yourself. I still think the answer is allowing the 11 fielder with pre pitch rules. The 11th defender must have his feet on the infield dirt and be stationed within 10 feet of 2nd base, either side of the bag. ON contact, he can go where ever. You need this because some teams will think their pitcher is tough and place 5 outfielders which defeats its' purpose. Who is going to hit the middle with a defender behind the pitcher? Who is going to hit the middle with men on base. It is an almost automatic double play. Also consider, especially with the economony tanking, it will also allow you to play one more guy. I have a hunch it is going to be harder to find guys with $ who might be willing to travel and play in only 1 or 2 games in a tourney. Most teams bat 11 or 12 guys anyway, so why not let another guy play the field. Before you critize this idea, picture what the middle would look like as you hit and their are 4 defenders from the SS to 2nd baseman. Pull anyone????
March 4, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: New home run rules

I am still trying to invision all the HRs that are flying out on each and every swing with the U2s. In approximately 13 games at the 60AA and 65AA level in Phoenix and Ft. Meyers at the end of the season 08, there were "3" thats "3" Hrs hit in all our games by both teams. Also, in my 8 years in SSUSA, I have still not seen a 165 lb. man hit a ball 350'. I also remember watching a game between "2" major teams at the 55 level and in that game, with no wind issues, a total of 2 were hit. I also remeber watching 2 very good 55 AAA teams playing in the Elgin Illinois Tourney a few years ago hitting only "2" in the game on a 275' field with the wind blowing out to left. A U2 does not make you a Hr monster. You still have to have strength, bat speed and great eye hand corridination.
Feb. 16, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: To the SSUSA staff

The Midwest Championships in Champaign was my 2nd favorite tourney of the year. Rudy ran a great event on great fields. Too bad the city had some kind of issue. I think the staff is in a scramble mode just to get the tourney in this year and we will have to deal with it. Hopefully something can be worked out with Champain next year.
Jan. 22, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: To the current 60 and 65 year old players a question for you

My team has been basically the same guys since 2002. We have played at the 50, 55, 60 levels and next year 65+. Although the opponents were good in 2002, I feel the competition has become tougher over the years. We played against many guys who came out for a little recreational softball and dropped away when they found out the level of intense competition. As more and more guys are working out and hitting the gym more and more, the athletic quality has, to me, greatly increased. I have seen many 70 to 80 year old players who can still run, hit and throw at a very high level.
Jan. 17, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What does a true Major Plus team look like?

My team is a very good 60+ AA team moving up to 65+ next year. Our ventures into the AAA level has, overall, been a losing proposition. In a number of tournies, we have had to play major or major plus teams. From my observation, they all have terrific shortstops and 3rd basemen. They have 4 outfielders that can run and throw. Their big jelly bellies, IF they have some, are huge men who kill the ball and play pitcher, catcher or 1st base. Their 11 hitter is as good as the leadoff guy. At the AA level, our SS and 3rd baseman play normal and the outfielders play around 250' or so. When we play against these M and M+ teams our SS and 3rd baseman are on the grass and the outfielders have a foot on the warning track. You also get a feeling their pretty good when the 8 hitter gets 3 xtra base hits left handed and in his 4th trip up switches to right handed and hits the ball 40' over the center field scoreboard. You also get the feeling they are really good when their roster is made up from stealing the 1 or 2 best players from 6 or 8 other teams and the bench players were the 3 or 4 hitters on a team the year before. . If the truth were to come out, I think most of these really top M+ teams and many of the M teams have been carefully assembled. I think this is the main reason the elite have no one to play. They have added too many great players and as a result they have isolated themselves from the VAST majority of the teams, that are , in truth, average talented senior teams. Sometimes you have to sleep in the bed you make. P.S. In regards to playing these top teams. we were very into and very competitive with them during warm-ups and then there was that, rule required,1st pitch! You all know what it is like to shag balls during batting practice.
Jan. 1, 2009
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: rating teams check history

I think the guys at SSWC do the best they can at rating teams. The problem is the "RING WHORES". The managers and players who keep changing rosters and players at will from tourney to tourney and season to season in order to win a ring. Before re-rating a team, I hope the guys look at a teams history and roster. My team has been together for 7 years with only minor changes do to as when we moved up in age groups we had to leave sevral guys behind and find replacements. We have established a definate history as to our rating. If the ring whores would show some loyalty to their guys it would certainly help in keeping the competiton fair, At the 60AA level last year, I only saw 2 teams that were obviously AAA level talent, It was a pretty fair all year. I will say that I have little sympathy for the Major + guys. Of the few M+ teams that I have some knowledge of their players, I know they were hand picked and are great players. Sometimes you have to sleep in the bed you make. It somehow seems unfair to have to readjust a lot of teams in senior softball because of a few loaded teams and now they have only a few teams to play.
Dec. 7, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What are some of your favorite Famous quotes, lines or sayings?

I think it was from the WKRP in Cincinnati TV comedy when they dropped Turkeys from an airplane on Thanksgiving and they splatted all over cars and sidewalks. The one guy said:

"As God is my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly!
Nov. 30, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Another pitcher rule thought

I noticed another small effect of the new pitcher rule while playing in Fort Meyers. I noticed a number of the SSs positioned more towards the 3rd baseman than I have ever seen. I think the theory was that guys wouldn't take a chance and hit the middle. I did go middle a few times which I usually don't do. When you come up and the SS is in the strong pull hole and there is a 60' to 70' gap between the SS and 2nd baseman, where are you going??? It will be interesting to see how this plays out next year.
Nov. 27, 2008
Gary Heifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Pitcher safety thoughts!!!

With all the talk about pitcher safety, here is a Thanksgiving thought.

Plastic face mask-------$20
Jock & cup-----------------$ 8
Soccer chins guards---$12

Total cost $40

Safety-priceless. Say you have 15 guys on the team and each kicks in $2.25 each to cover the cost of the mask and chin guards and whoever pitches can use it. It would probably not be a good idea to share the jock and cup!
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