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Dec. 6, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

JFSully:
I actually do have a historical book about the evolution of baseball, published by Murray Books in 2007. It credits Shane Riley Foster as being the person who wrote the first official rules.
I have read it and found it to be very interesting.
A lot of what we have accepted as 'fact' has been slanted in some way, whether we're discussing baseball, assassinations, military battles or whatever.
In this case, I googled 'when did Abner Doubleday invent baseball' and it gave me 1839... clearly, it was a bad entry on my part. My baseball history book was about 35 feet away at the time but I took the easy route.
I'm always open to reading about baseball and may well heed your recommendation...
BW

Dec. 6, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Thanks for the tip... I'll pass it along to Google.
BW
Dec. 5, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Tim,
USSSA always ran their Series World Series in August. I can tell you that August in Little Rock, AK, is no box of chocolates but they were consistent in the timing. It was a big deal to seniors until the senior bats came around. Even then, it hung around for 4-5 years.
They only had 2 divisions... major and AAA. They had no resemblance to present day classifications. Major was essentially M+ and perhaps a few M teams. AAA was everyone else.
They started with DE and the eliminated teams went into a DE consolation bracket... games that were sort of like kissing your sister (or so I've heard).
Aside from these two issues, I liked their tourneys having grown up on USSSA from my early 20s.
It would be great if they could offer a good alternative. We would like to go to more than one... we've considered the senior version of the Smoky Mtn Classic but weren't certain that we'd see enough teams.

Laramie,
I hope that you're right about the trend. Without sounding pessimistic, I've seen the ebb and flow (size of brackets) over the years. Following the trail backwards, we (players who are my age or older) were the SO CA pioneers with USSSA in the 70s. Behind us came larger and larger groups of younger players. This may be true today as well.

Fred,
You're 81 and still going strong... to me, that is impressive. My father-in-law is 81 and in poor health... a sedentary lifestyle, working in TX oil fields, 2 packs a day 'Jack & Coke... I hope to meet you some day.

BW
Dec. 4, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Tim, in our division (65 M+) we went from 5 to 6 teams (2013 to 2014). As anomalies go, this may well be an example.
But the larger grouping (50-65 M+) had 38... who can really call this one anything other than an increase at this point? Could it have been a perfect storm of positive forces that generated a huge turn out? I cannot say unequivocally that it was or was not... i.e. I don't know.
I can say that the trends have not followed your prediction.
I see that the 50 and 60 M+ divisions are as healthy as I've ever seen them. In 2000 we had 8 teams in the USSSA 50 M+ World Series (Salem, OR)... there were 5 in 1997. You had 15 this year. We have NEVER had 15 teams in our divisions... except for SSWS which had 'drop down' divisions of M/M+ teams... the 60 M+ in 2008 had 3 teams.
I also see that the teams/players are much better than when we played... line ups are complete (v. 6-8 deep back then). There were a couple of teams with deep line ups but not all 5. There were no geographic boundaries at all (until 2000).
It is with these things in mind that I feel that the SSUSA model isn't broken. Are the rules perfect? No. But they never were...
The biggest concern for me is that we have fewer choices today (national events). You had said 'wait and see about USSSA in October' but that didn't really pan out... zero teams for us to play.
At one time we had 8-9 senior assns... we could go to 3-4 each year. But folks said that this was too many. Little by little, the competition weeded them out. Be careful what you wish for... you just may get it.
BW
Dec. 4, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Tim, it's too bad that you weren't around in 1839 when Abner Doubleday created baseball. I'm sure that your insight would have been a big help to him.
And maybe Al Ramsey could have let you design the strike zone in the late 60s when USSSA was developed.
Somehow MLB and USSSA are still active organizations.
It wasn't that long ago that the readers of this board were treated to your continuous diatribe regarding the best way to handle the M+ division. One of your suggestions that I'm particularly fond of was your 'break up the winners'... surely you'll remember that one.
SSUSA paid you no heed and there were 38 M+ teams in LV 2 months ago (from age 50 to 65)... however, SPA did instigate an idea similar to yours in 2013. Anyone care to guess how many M+ teams that they've had over the past 2 years?
Keep the thoughts coming, Tim, as you're a real beacon of enlightenment.
To quote you... 'Now I know...according to many...I have shown my ignorance so...maybe you geniuses can use this as a teachable moment and help me out.'
You want help? Try not to waste time fixing things that aren't broken. It isn't complicated at all.
There were 506 teams in LV, which is roughly 25% of the total number enrolled... 7,500 players out of 30,000 (using round numbers).
I know from reliable sources that you are a good guy and a good hitting coach. But a prognosticator? Not if history means us anything (no pun intended).
Bob Woodroof

Dec. 3, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Tim, I'll pass your thoughts along to my sister, Woodie.
Fred, IMO, is very qualified to speak on pitching since he's been doing it for a long time. The fact that there is an additional fielder in his division does not detract from his ability or his expertise.
Do you pitch with a 5 man infield? If so, does this impact your expertise?
When we're talking about widening the plate in senior ball who should be eliminated from weighing in?
Dec. 3, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Correction:
sometimes it's better to remain a fool, in others' eyes, than to open you mouth (i.e. keyboard)and remove all doubt.
Bad time for poor proofreading... :-)
Dec. 3, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

Tim might be the exception to your last comment, Laramie.
He seems to like playing the 'fear card' whenever someone disagrees with his premise.
'you don't want the 1-1 count, it must be because you're afraid'...
'is because your a vary weak hitter that's scared to fail much more often because of a bigger mat'...

Tim, sometimes it's better to remain a fool than open you mouth (i.e. keyboard)and remove all doubt.
You sort of remind me of Samson... one of you sports the jawbone of an ass and the other lost his strength after cutting his hair... how about giving it a rest on the 'fear' BS?
Older players are not looking for new ways to play the game... we like the status quo. This is due to many reasons, none of them are based on fear.
Bob Woodroof

Dec. 3, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?

What is the point of continuously making rule changes? Are the current scores higher than normal?
I get it with the composite bats... it doesn't take Werner Von Braun to see that they're more lively than before (previous to 2002). This is not going to change any time soon but how is this impacting the scores?
Are most teams scoring their max/inning on a consistent basis? If so, our team must really be lagging behind.
BW
Nov. 10, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Slo Pitch Magazine Editor passes

Many of you have no frame of reference for SloPitch Magazine as it was only issued for 2 years (1978-80)... however, in the short time it existed we learned the names and faces of the teams and individual players of the teams from other regions. It also helped the NSPC (Natl Slo Pitch Conf) get off the ground.
From it I read that Don Clatterbough hit the most grand slams in 1977... I have no idea if this was true or not but it made for good reading. We knew who James Boyette was before we even saw him... same for Bruce Meade and a hundred other players of that era (1978-80)...
Its editor was Ron Rubenstein and he managed a So Cal team (Sagebrush Cantina)for many years. Ron passed away yesterday after an extended illness... he loved the game of slo pitch (as he spelled it) but has never been given the credit he deserved for his efforts... he was instrumental in nationalizing the game.
Those that do remember the magazine will recall its glossy pages with color photos. This was one of its strengths but also one of its un doings... this was an expensive proposition 35 years ago.
On the west coast we were USSSA driven and knew little about ASA teams (we seldom played each other until 1978)... Slo Pitch Magazine told us about Warren Motors, Nelson Painting, Howard & Carroll's, Port City Ford, etc. and told them about Snyder's, Dino's Pizza, Pace Electronics, Capitol Insulation, etc.
To my knowledge, Ron never witnessed a senior softball game... truly a shame. He would have thoroughly enjoyed it.
BW
Oct. 29, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Passing of Fred Purvis

Fred played with us from 2008-2010 and he was a huge part of any success that we had. He was as incredibly strong and as extremely likeable as everyone has stated.
One Fred Purvis story that I love to tell... we were playing MTC in AZ in the 2010 SSUSA 60 M+ World Series and it was roughly 100 degrees. Needless to say, the Trump Stote ball was not carrying for mere mortals. They walked a man to face Fred and he hit a line drive 40' past the fence. Their manager was coaching 3rd and he told us that that HR wouldn't happen again. I told him that I'd take that bet... he hit it farther the next time.
Senior Softball will definitely miss a man like Fred... I know that I will.
BW
Oct. 20, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: USA Championship seeding game

We went to the Western Nationals and beat our only M+ opponent in a 2 of 3 series. We were given the # 1 or # 2 seed depending upon how well we did in the National Championship Game. We were smoked in it so we earned the # 2 seed and Hamel Builders received the # 1. They went 4-0 in the seeding round (incl Natl Champ game) and we went 3-1.
We had 6 teams in our division so SSUSA honored the seeding agreement. If we had 4 or less teams in it, all seeding bets were off. I take issue with this.
In our session we would have played 4 seeding games whether we had 4 or 6 teams in our division. Only in a 5 team bracket would we play each team once in seeding. Any more or less (than 5) assures that we won't all play each other or that me would play some teams more than once (in seeding). This creates its own form of imbalance.
The teams and players perceive the automatic seeding as a reward for winning the National (east or west). SSUSA does not consider it a reward... I really don't care about the semantics of this.
SSUSA created the automatic seeding to avoid penalizing a team in the tie breaker system. I get this but contend that the reduced number of teams (in a LV bracket) should not over rule the automatic seeding.
I'm told that this discrepancy will be addressed in the December rules meeting. I hope that it is.
We do not have many 65 M+ teams to play and one of them will probably be moved down. The winner of the 65 M division will get moved up but they've stated that they will break up instead... the net effect of this is that we're back down to 5.
There were 3 other 65 teams moved up to M+ this season but none of them were in LV. Once again, it isn't how many potential teams they are, it's how many teams actually participate.
We had 6 this year but this seems to be an anomaly.
BW

Oct. 17, 2014
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: the new bat "Nightmare"

We have been hitting the Nightmare (27 oz) and have roughly 400 swings on it. Half of those swings were done by a 24 yr old football player (6'7", 315 lbs) who has a baseball background. He is hitting the ball 400' +... he has no slow pitch experience and could be hitting it further with some swing refinements.
The point here is that Kevin Schullstrom has boasted about the bat's pop and its durability.
I have used it, too, and I feel that it has the same pop as the Dudley Lightning but takes longer to break in. The feel of the Nightmare is different than any of my other senior bats so it has taken some time to get used to it. Both are great bats.
After 400 swings there is some paint chipping on the Nightmare's barrel but there are no cracks in it. We use the ISA Rock and ISA Trump Stotes... the weather in So Cal has been 70-90 degrees... 75' above sea level.
Everything Kevin told me about the bat is true. I am not getting paid to sell the bat, I am not looking for Kevin to sponsor our team nor am I expecting any other form of remuneration.
Bob Woodroof

Oct. 10, 2014
the wood
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Choosing Home team vs Visitor

Donnie, I know exactly how you feel. That is how it worked out in LV for us... we were visitors in every DE game... not by choice.
As you know, this does create some additional anxiety in close games. Because of this, I'm not sure that I'd voluntarily take visitors in a big game... but if we lose the coin toss I'll be happy either way.
BW

Oct. 10, 2014
the wood
Topic: Website comments
Discussion: Choosing Home team vs Visitor

The choice of being the home or visiting team only belongs to us 50% of the time, give or take.
When it is our choice we'd prefer to be visitors in seeding games in order to get more ABs. However, if we're playing a lower division team we have to be respectful of their position as well.
In DE we never choose to be visitors... it's just an old habit... don't give up the hammer.
But the reality of this is, we have won and lost from both positions. I see advantages with either.
Bob Woodroof
Full Circle 65
Oct. 7, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WHO ARE CURRENTLY THE MOST POWERFUL HITTERS IN SENIOR SOFTBALL

Why do so many guys feel the need to tell the Canseco brothers how to conduct themselves? Have they created a problem for anyone? Doesn't all of senior softball benefit when players of this caliber are playing? I feel that it gives the game a higher level of credibility... just as I did 35 years ago when I'd see Tony Cloniger, Doug Flynn, Jim Northrup, Bill Sudakis, etc. playing.
I've watched the level of senior softball competition increase dramatically over the past 17 years. The 50 M+ finals had teams with line ups that are much deeper than the Dan Smith, Fergies and Sawtre teams that I saw in 1997. When I say deep, I'm referring to the ability to go deep and hit consistently. Yes, I'm fully aware of the new equipment.
I get it that Ozzie was boasting about his and his brother's power. So what? Take a look at a lot of the other posts on here and look for the 'me' or 'I' comments... you need not look far. Did anyone bother to tell those guys to not be so egocentric? If they did it would have monopolized the threads for quite a while.
Steroids? The Canseco brothers are the first guys playing senior softball that have taken PEDs? If you want to think this, suit yourself.
Cheater bats? Let's pretend that this doesn't happen as well (I'm not suggesting that the Canseco brothers have done this).
Why should the Cansecos be held to a higher standard than we place on everyone else?
If Ozzie wants to create a HR Derby, I say 'great'... but I personally would rather watch teams like Sommerville Softball play than watch a HR Derby. I enjoy the team element more than individual skills. There is a reason that the Punt, Pass and Kick Contest doesn't generate as much advertising money as the Super Bowl... but that's just me and how I look at things.
Bob Woodroof
Oct. 6, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 1 and 1 pitch count

The 'extra inning that we are losing' has more to do with shorter time limits. Complicating factors are fumbling around with courtesy runners and guys strolling into the dugouts between innings.
When we only play 65-75 minutes there will be fewer innings played. Rather than change the game, why not go back to longer time limits?
Double L is exactly right... the older players prefer to play the game as we always have... or as close to it as possible. Even though a few-pea brains consider us 'less than manly' for our posture, we stand fairly united. It's got nothing to do with being gutless... zero.
Bob Woodroof
Sept. 18, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: hip replacement

You should be able to play the OF as long as you keep your weight down (don't know if you have a weight issue, just speaking in generalities). I've seen slim guys playing any/every position with new hip/hips... I've seen fairly fast base runners.
For me, it was avoiding head first slides, etc. But I also have a knee problem that hasn't been adequately addressed. Just had first of 3 Ortho Visc injections... after that I'll work the thigh to bring it equal to the other one. My next surgery will be an autopsy.
I'm 66, 20 pounds over with a weak thigh... not a good candidate for outfield any longer. I forget the exact ratio but the PSI on the knees and hips for every extra pound we carry is mind boggling.
So my primary adjustment has been to run less aggressively on the bases. The doctor expressed it as 15 year hips... unless I screw them up. The 'over and under' was 8... but I've been somewhat sensible, just a couple of inadvertent, ill-advised maneuvers.
I did get a second opinion early on... neither of them gave me the answer that I was seeking.
The pain leading up to both procedures was increasing daily but the post-surgical pain was minimal. However, Mission Hospital (So Calif) has a well respected joint replacement department and it's their protocol to 'stay ahead of the pain threshold'. This was not true for my shoulder surgery (different hospital, different surgeon). Make certain that your doctor/hospital keep you adequately medicated while you're there (usually 48 hours).
1) DO THE PT RELIGIOUSLY... 2) ABIDE BY THE NAMED PRECAUTIONS... 3) TAKE THE STOOL SOFTENERS AS THEY SUGGEST (pain Rx tends to bind us up). If you do these things you'll be a happy camper... I didn't heed # 3 the first time around... I definitely followed it the 2nd time.
I hope that this helps... if you want more specific info you can reach me @ awtgroupsc@aol.com.
Bob Woodroof
Sept. 17, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSHOF

George Sylvia, middle infielder for Omen, also was elected. He is one the best teammates that I ever had, a real gentleman and one super player.
Congratulations, George!
BOB WOODROOF
Sept. 17, 2014
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: hip replacement

Bella, I had both hips done (12 months apart, 2010 & 2011) and have no residual effects whatsoever. I did discuss the possibility of hip resurfacing with my surgeon but he did/does not do them. I'm glad that I took the direction that I did.
I also had a shoulder surgery (resurfacing) through a different surgeon and it, too, has been successful.
Prior to my first hip replacement I tried everything short of a witch doctor. Once it was completed, I wished that I had done it sooner, just like people told me that I would.
Once you decide to move forward with it, you need to ascertain that the device will not be a 'metal on metal' prosthesis since many of them have been 'recalled'. There is also the decision as to what type of replacement surgery... I had the lateral, minimally invasive type and can speak well of it.
I know others who have had the frontal type (anterior) and their rehab time seems shorter... and, I'm told, they have fewer post-surgical precautions (i.e. bending too forward, putting surgical leg past body mid point, etc..
I informed my doctor that I intend to play ball and he just shook his head at me. He did say though that my remaining athletic career (for lack of a better phrase) is like a pipeline. I could make it a real thick one and it won't last very long... or I could stretch it out... the implication being that I had to change my style of play to be able to play longer. This is true for so many guys playing senior softball.
Bob Woodroof
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