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May 6, 2013
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: NEW COMBAT DIRTY

Another one of our players has had the chance to swing the Combat Dirty. Practically everyone in AZ knows Alan Dial as one of the best all around players in his division. He isn't one to boast but I am happy to brag on him. He is one of the top infielders to ever have played for GSF and one heck of a hitter (usually a lead off man).
Here are Alan's comments:

I have now had a chance to use the Combat Dirty (26oz) in batting practice and in game conditions. I consider myself a contact hitter as opposed to a power hitter. Here are my comments after my limited use (the bat has about 225 total swings on it).

As a contact hitter the first think I look for is the size of the “center of percussion” (sweetspot). The Combat Dirty seems to have a good size “sweetspot” either equal to or a little larger than a Miken U2.

As for trampoline effect (pop) I would rate it as good to very good. With only 225 swings on the bat it seems to not take a lot of swings to achieve the good “pop”.

As for durability, it is too soon to comment. After getting more swings on it I will comment on this aspect.

Alan Dial
Full Circle Player


May 2, 2013
the wood
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Sponsor looking to finance an "established" Men's club

Pricer:
My initial post was a response to Sparky's point about 'old school'. This is a subject dear to me as I could tell you shaggy dog stories. I also thanked him being willing to sponsor a team. This, too, is important to me.
In my 2nd post I stated that I understood why J sheeran might feel as he does. We've turned down sponsors as well, for one reason or another. But we simply said 'no, thanks' privately.
Yes, I did state that I believe that personal emails should be kept as such. I threw no one under bus.
If Sparky is less than forthright it will come out sooner or later.
I know of several long term sponsors who insist on playing themselves, to the detriment of the team. Even though the other players know this most of them continue with the team. This is their choice and they make it knowing the situation. It wouldn't work for me so I've steered clear of it.
As I said, there are no perfect sponsors. It didn't work for your team but it might with another one. Why not give another team a chance? Maybe their needs are different than yours. Sparky might help someone who could really benefit by it.
I appreciate your respecting my opinion and I respect yours.
BW
May 2, 2013
the wood
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Sponsor looking to finance an "established" Men's club

I'm not commenting on JSheeran's posts either favorably or unfavorably. I understand why he would feel that way. I've felt the same way in the past about sponsors we've had. I know that his team carried his name (JSheeran) so I presume that this means that he was at least a partial sponsor.
But I do believe that personal emails should be kept that way.
BTW, have you ever sponsored a team, TitanHD? If not, you're not in any position to say what is or what isn't 'giving back'. If you have, I'm surprised that you don't understand the concept of 'giving back'.
There is no perfect sponsor. But walk a mile in his shoes before you publicly criticize him. My comments to Sparky were more about the 'old school school' part. Did you find even a scant of reference to JSheeran in my previous post?
BW
May 2, 2013
the wood
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: Sponsor looking to finance an "established" Men's club

Sparky,
I do appreciate your effort and your willingness to 'give back'. There are not nearly enough sponsors out there.
As someone who had sponsored M+ teams from 2003-2010 I understand the problems associated with this as well why someone would want to do so.
You're correct, IMO, in thinking that 'old school softball' is dead. What we have today is much more individually oriented... I'm speaking of the majority, which is less than 100% of the guys. 'I' did this, 'I' did that, 'I' can hit 'x' HRs, 'I' can hit it 400' plus, etc. Comments like this years ago would not have been met well in the dugouts that I remember.
But I can also tell you that there really are 'old school guys' out there who are willing to be a part of something meaningful and will do so on their own nickel. Finding them is the hard part...
Thanks for making an effort.
Bob Woodroof
April 30, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: P413 revisited

HJ:
I have tried the bat and it was hitting balls in the same general area as the Red Miken and White Combat.
It only comes in one weight configuration (i.e. a blend between balanced and end loaded). It does have bat weight choices of 26-29 oz.
I'm told that it is being manufacturedin the factory in SC... the one that very few people believed actually existed.
I know that you asked this of Ed so I apologize if you prefer to hear from him. I am totally impartial as I do not intend to sell the P413 nor will I be paid in any capacity.
BW
April 30, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: GSC Bat approved for Senior Softball

Cal50:
You're 100% correct. It was a bold under taking and Steve's company has taken a lot of heat over the past couple of years. To hang in there and see it through is more than commendable. A lot of guys would have stopped short.
He believed that 'the Earth was not flat' and went about proving it as it relates to softball bats. My hat is off to him and his fellow workers, Chip and Jason.
Whether it becomes my gamer or not is only a small part of the equation, as I see it. I will now have a quality bat that I can use under almost any condition without the fear of breaking it. No, it won't last infinitely but I will get 1,000+ swings out of it.
I'm looking forward to the opportunity to swing the approved version. I've been a Combat guy since 2007 and will likely continue to use them in some capacity. I've never broken one of them within 500 swings and frequently get/got over 1,000 swings from them. But I will keep an open mind when comparing the P413 to my current bats.
The really large fellows will benefit from the P413 since they'll get a lot more from it than they're currently getting (in terms of duration).
I'm not the visionary that Steve is but I believe that the GSC bats will force other companies to produce senior bats with more durability (w/o sacrificing pop). Combat has already been experimenting with an internal liner that will create more long usage.
I believe that the P413 approval is a very positive step for ALL senior players.
BW
April 17, 2013
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Public Forum VS Anonymity

I've always felt that I gave more credibility to the people that I knew, one way or another. I do feel that someone commenting on M+ issues but has no real M+ experience is talking out of school. The reverse is also true, IMO... M+ guys don't have a lot of expertise in AA/AAA matters (by & large).
But... using HJ as an example, I don't know him but I gather that he is a senior league player in KY or OH. He always posts in a well-intended, well-researched and well-stated manner. My familiarity with him has given him credibility in my mind... not that he needs my approval.
It's a bit like a book or a movie... you need to be able understand the characters to fully appreciate it.
I worry less about who it is now and more about how they state it.
As 4x4 stated, the commercialism gets to be too much at times. I do not feel badly when a guy touts a bat and he is truly an impartial person... as opposed to one that is 'selling it'. This concerns me because it violates one of the four guidelines established by SSUSA.
BW
April 9, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: P413 revisited

Ed, the email exchanges were positive. Thanks.
I commented on the bat and only the bat. I did this because it (this thread) is just about the bat and not about any past history. GSC has a product out there and it is tangible.
I did meet several of the top employees and, while I feel good about my time with them, I'll just stay focused on the bat.
BW
April 9, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: P413 revisited

I did have the opportunity to hit this bat today. The guys that I hit with (incl Steve McKinlay and Mango) were hitting balls 400' (they were, I wasn't). Trust me when I say this... I know how far this is. The fences were/are 320' and some of the balls were going to and past the base of the light towers (90' behind the fence). For those of you who wish to use Google Mapping, the name of the park is San Gorgonio in San Clemente, CA.
I liked the feel of the bat overall even though it had a rubber cone on the knob. It seemed very forgiving. It is currently being tested for senior play.
The only bat that was used has upwards of 1,000 swings on it. They used a variety of balls.. Stotes, Rocks, Baden Fire, etc. I'm guessing that it was 60-65 degrees... wind wasn't a factor.
As a means of comparison, a Red Miken was also producing some prodigious shots but its owner put it away for fear of breaking it (pretty much his exact words).
Based upon what I saw today I would use it in a game (if/when it becomes legal). I am not financially connected with GSC in any way, shape or form. Nor am I being remunerated.
I went there today with an open mind and was merely testing a bat.
BW
April 5, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Cal50:
I don't know if you were wrong or not. I asked it because it did seem odd to me.

But that's yesterday's newspaper since Ed already responded to that particular question and answered it fully. As it turns out, he did just happen to be in the area... good enough for me.

All semantics aside, Steve McKinlay called me about his bat, his role and his intentions. I plan to meet him and test it myself. Whether I like it or not, I do appreciate his making the effort to do so. Turns out that we live 1-2 miles apart.

I've been called many things on this board, on fields or wherever. You calling me a 'sugar coater' is certainly different than anything that I'm used to hearing... and I consider it a step up form all the other things, a compliment of sorts. :-)

BW
April 5, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Softball4b:
You're correct, the problems that we had as teammates were not based on either of us 'sugar coating' things.

Southern Son:
I said the same thing in mid March... 'Ed's involvement will generate hope for some'. In fact, I never posted on any of these threads until Ed became involved. But he is held to the same standards as everyone else that sells stuff on this board. No more, no less.

BW
April 5, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Tuff Shield

It says as much on the sleeve itself... but I thought that this meant that the bat could break. Either way, put the seam over the crack, as Steve suggested, or rotate it around the barrel (in the absence of a crack).
It also has arrows that point toward the larger end (it isn't a rectangle, it's a trapezoid).
Taits, like I said, mine has lasted 5-6 years. The force against it is the compression of the ball... the exception to this is when you put it on and take it off the bat. But I haven't torn mine.
It's about as safe an investment in bat protection gear as you can make.
BW
April 5, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Ed, as of now, it is not approved. Correct? That does answer one of my questions... the other two remain unanswered.


Cal50:
I generally don't call people liars when I trust them. Perhaps you'd benefit from re-reading my post.
I also don't dance around issues. If I felt that Ed was a liar I'd say so. What I've asked for are straight answers... not nebelous responses. Until he does give forthright answers the questions will continue.
It's great that you and Ed really like the current owners of GSC. When they step up and deliver something tangible others will fall in line... until then they'll continue to see skepticism. Actions speal louder than words.
As to your question... what does Ed have to gain v. what he could lose? As I said (again, trying reading my post), Ed does have 'trust equity' from this board as well as his dealings as a Reebok rep. Seems to me that he has more to lose than to gain but that's just my opinion.
Straight answers work better than constant vagueries toward maintaining trust. That's my primary point.

BW
April 5, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Ed, as I said before, I trust you. But it seems as if you're side stepping. This somewhat conflicts with your mantra.

Has the P413 been approved or not?

What is your specific role w/ GSC?

Who says that it's better than any senior bat on the market?

As Taits has stated numerous times, this subjet has been one of broken promises, deceit and ill feelings. It sort of looks like someone covering cat poop with cat poop. In comes Ed with veiled comments.

It takes more than the 'trust equity' that you have earned. You've walked into a 3 year debacle that has baffled/annoyed many.
If your goal is to 'speak truthfully and help players' you might start with straight answers.

BW
April 4, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

GSC? My fault.
I wasn't speaking to the video. What I personally witnessed was not 380.
Ed, I saw you in BHC on Mar 4. Has the bat been approved in the last 30 days?
BW
April 4, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Correction:
It was last August that I saw the BP not in July. There were 2 different senior events there last summer... but the BP took place during the week at 4pm or so.
BW
April 4, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The "P413" is nearly ready

Ed,
Did you previously state your affiliation with GBC? If you did I missed it.
When you posted on March 13 I got the distinct impression, correctly or incorrectly, that you were offering your input as an impartial observer. I commented at the time that this 'doubled' your credibility. I do not recall your correcting me.
I did think that it was odd for you to just 'happen to be in the area' when you toured the SC factory.
So just exactly how are you connected to GBC? If you will be selling their bats (or working for them in any capacity) the 'impartial' tag is no longer appropriate.
Bear in mind that I do not have a dog in this fight... I never gave them any front money nor have I been waiting for this 'miracle' to come to life.

For what it's worth, I did watch some guys hitting one of GBC's products last July in San Clemente, CA (Steed Park). The CEO of GBC was there 'measuring' the distance that the bp balls were going and verbalizing them to the other 2-3 guys. Let's just say that my interpretation of 380' and his differ greatly. I watched them for 10-15 minutes from both ends... near McKinley and near the hitter. The bat looked like nothing that I had seen before (color, graphics, etc.) as it looked pretty plain. The hitter was not hitting from home plate but from the right field corner. The wind was blowing in from that direction. Was this why he hit from there? I do not know as there could be other reasons.
Was this one of the GBC senior prototypes? I cannot say since I never spoke with anyone there nor did I inspect the bat. Could have been some other bat.
BW
April 4, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Tuff Shield

It's a thin rubber sleeve that costs less than $15. Assuming you don't tear the seam, it should last a real long time but I can only bear witness for the past 5-6 years... it did not come with an extended warranty. I just felt that it was financial risk worth taking.
BW
April 3, 2013
the wood
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Tuff Shield

Taits:
Before you call the suicide hotline, walk into a big box sporting goods store and buy one off the rack. I did so 5-6 years ago. The reason that I use it is to protect game bats on colder mornings (pre-game BP).
Make sure that it is made for a softball bat though.
Big box = chain stores such as Sports Authority, Sports Chalet, Dick's, Big 5, etc.
Or... if you don't want to leave the friendly confines of your home/office go on Mike Kelly's web site.

'Perhaps there is just enough protection from the material used that it dampers the hit enough to keep from further damage for a short time'... I believe that this statement qualifies you for the 'keen eye for the obvious' category.
BW
March 15, 2013
the wood
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: NEW COMBAT DIRTY

No 'hitting the middle to friends' should leave it wide open for you... :-)
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