I received a flier from the ISA saying their Senior World is July 26-28 for the 65/70/75s and July 29-31 for the 50/55/60s. The tournament will be in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Since the Florida Half Century league has 86 - 50 and over teams and 84 - 60 and over teams I think it is smart to put your national tournament will you will get the most overall participation. Granted the teams from up north, mid-west and west will be at a disadvantage. Just business!
I'm in my twenties and on first base with no outs. The ball is hit pretty deep to right center where there is a new ganglia player. I take off from first on a tag up and about 12' from second I hear the sizzle and pop in the second baseman's glove. The base umpire is about 6' to my right. I stop hold out my right hand and walk up to the second baseman and say, "just tag me". He reaches to tag my right hand which I move, he misses and then I extend my left foot to tag the bag!
The umpire calls me out. I protest and he says I am making a mockery of the game. I tell him it was strategy. He wins, I'm out!
I love the mat and occasionally pitch. I find that seniors that also pitch Utrip don't like it as the mat requires a slower speed with the 6' to 12' height and better control of your pitches to hit flat and up front or high and deep. The faster ball pitchers have not honed their game to be competitive with the mat as it takes more skill to throw a curve, screwball, knuckle, etc. with the mat.
I think the mat helps the pitcher and is detrimental to the hitter as the pitch that hits the front of the plate and bounces back at the pitcher is not hittable and the extremely high pitch that hits the back inside corner is just about as impossible to hit.
The mat also reduces arguments on pitched balls, speeds the game up and I predict that some day it will be used in most phases of slow pitch.
Webbie25 you hit it right on the head. Softball and family! A few years ago with the help of my 2 brother that play we put a whole Hollis team on the field and won the league championship. Me and my 2 sons, Curt and his 3 sons and Clay and his 2 sons. Fortunately for us all of the kids are very good. Every game was like a family reunion as my parents, other daughters, grandkids, etc. would come out to watch us play and laugh! A photo of the 10 of us is one I will cherish forever! Everybody have a great Christmas!
Thought you guys might get a kick out of one of our typical weekends when 87 teams show up at the Florida Half Century. This is a little tongue & cheek, but we've started the year at the #1 position, played badly, dropped to #5 and have recovered our position to #2. Stay tuned for next month's episode!
Some of our team members use a standard grip with one hand on top of the other and both hands totally on the bat. This appears to allow for the best bat control. Some use the same hand position but turn their palms inward until their grip looks like they are swinging a golf club. This reportedly breaks the wrist sooner and adds bat speed. Others use what we call the "sling grip" which for a right hand batter is the thumb and first finger of the left hand hand being placed over the knob of the bat with the remaining 3 fingers off of the bat below the knob. The right hand is then placed over the left hand like a glove. This in essence extends the length of the bat arch by about 6 inches and results in more overall bat speed but less control.
The question is which grip do you use, why, and have you tried the other grips.
Great discussion on great hitters. For my money, Rick Perez, is the best infielder I have ever seen. However, there certainly are many other good ones. I think one qualification is longevity.
The best outfielder I have seen is Mike Walker. The old Marine is turning 60 and did not play this year. However, over the past 9 years I have had the pleasure of playing with what I think is the best ever at that position. Am I biased, sure, but in this case it is deserved.
Mike is a rare combination of fast, excellent anticipation, the best arm I have ever seen in the outfielder, incredible timing, and the ability to carry a team by himself. This coupled with a strong will to win and an awesome bat results in one world class outfielder.
Let's hear from some others on their best and maybe we can come up with an un-official dream team outfield. The only qualification is you must have played senior ball for at least 5 years.
Then it would be interesting to do the same for pitchers.
Having played senior ball for 7 years I have seen some great hitters. However, many times you see a great hitter for just a short period of time and it is hard to judge them. However, the ones that have impressed me with their abilities and not in any particular order are:
60s Davie Reed
60s Bruce Meade (when he plays)
60s Ed Rose
55s Pat McLellan
55s Gary Deaton
55s Bobby Davis
50s Ron Parnell
50s Mark Martin
50s Caleb Rabenold
Boy wouldn't you love to have a team with this roster and then about 3 more excellent defensive players. Here's a question. Who are some of the best defensive players you have seen in senior ball. The guy that sticks in my mind is Perez who we only use to see in Vegas. What a talent.
Conman, that would work. We'll see what develops. Here is another thought though. Do you realize that no Florida College has ever won a national hockey tournament that I am aware of. Therefore, in this politically correct gone a muck world, I am proposing, in the name of fair play, that all southern colleges should be considered as one school and our all star team should be allowed to play against Michigan, Minnesota, etc. in the college hockey national championship.
Also since I do not recall any colleges in the mid west winning any of the national college surfing championships we consider all states that do not touch an ocean or great lake as one college so that they have a fair chance to win a championship.
On a serious note, yes the California teams win the highest percentage of tournaments. They have more teams and most of the tournaments are closer to them then others. That's cool. My desire is to put a teams or teams together that can beat them. There is no animosity, this is competition. I am not going to cry and advocate legislation to limit them. I am going to try to improve myself so that I can compete. Otherwise your victory is nothing but a hollow win.
I guess if the powers to be in softball were running the college football scene they would legislate against the southern teams which tend to dominate and restrict their scholarships so that the rest of the country could compete.
Joe, lets propose, you and I to meet in say St. Louis/Houston/Dallas, etc. and you bring the top 5 teams that play league ball in North California (no pickups) and I will try to get our top 5 teams which would be the top five in the Florida Half Century with no pickups.
We'll play a round robin of 5 games. Florida versus California with 3 games on Friday and 2 on Saturday just for bragging rights.
Man, wouldn't that be a blast! A great tournament against 5 excellent teams we have never seen. I'll talk to the other team managers in Florida and see if we can get everyone in agreement and then we will pick a date, rent the fields and umps and let it rip. Of course, using good balls and bats! Dude, there's the challenge! Like the Hulkster says, "what you gonna do!"
I do not understand forcing California and Florida to stand alone in Player Regions unless you are conceding that the best senior softball players are from these two states. A simple check of populations for the states would reveal that this is an injustice, unless the players from these 2 states are just better. Personally, I don't believe it but it is sure going to cause us to revamp our team in Florida and lose a bunch of teammates that have become good friends. So let's look at the facts. The population for California and the adjoining states based on 2008 figures is 49,647,073. Florida and adjoining states is 32,675,984. At first this seems like a lot. But lets look at some facts.
Tennessee and adjoining states has 53,528,893. New York has 51,247,726. Both of which are more than California and way more than Florida. In fact all of the following states are more than Florida: Illinois - 48,093,149. Ohio - 46,851,405. Indiana - 38,660,140 and Texas - 37,219,877.
That makes Florida the 8th rated Player Region by population and California #3. So unless you are conceding that these two states just produce better players, than I think you need to give some logical rationale why this rule was voted on unanimously.
Now granted, California alone has a population of 36,956,666 which will make it still competitive. However, Florida only has 18,328,340 which severely reduces the player pool. In addition, you are killing teams out of Georgia and Alabama that will not be able to pick up players from these two states. as well as Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona which border California.
I am asking the powers to be to re-consider this ruling as on the surface it sure seems bias towards California and especially Florida.
Hopefully, there is something I am missing but it looks like this one is based on too many California and Florida teams winning tournaments. Believe me, there are very strong and competitive teams out of Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Connecticut, etc. Every major region of the country has a great team so why mess this up? ;)
I think you may be prejudging the division a little too soon. Yes, there were 5 Hollis players playing in the Spring National with Lemay. However, when the Hollis 50 or 55 team plays in a national tournament we always play major plus and always assemble the best players from Florida and Georgia to play. The Hollis team you see in the Florida Half Century is not the traveling team so it is not a major plus team.
The Hollis FHC team is only rated 6th in the state. Your team is rated 5th. That very fact should make you re-think your position. The Lemay team in the Spring National consists of 5 Hollis FHC #6 rated players, 1 Sluggers FHC player rated #4 and just released, 3 Lemay players rated #14, and 3 players from the 42 rank or so team. This team is not very good and certainly no better than an average major team and honestly weaker than the Hollis FHC team. The proof is in the pudding as we went 0-2 in the round robin.
None of the top bracket in the FHC are good enough to be a strong major plus team on the national circuit. For the Florida teams to be competitive you have to pick up the 2 or 3 best players from Georgia and then cherry pick the best 10 players from Florida and then you have a true major plus team.
With Al Estes, the Sluggers, and Deerfield being designated Major Plus it makes it difficult to field a competitive team to play a national due to limited releases, etc. None, of Florida's best teams are truly competitive on a national level, in my opinion, without pickups.
Before, agreeing to play in this tournament about 1 week before it began, we told the powers to be what was assembled and would that qualify as a major team. They gave their approval as they realized that this is an average team for the bracket.
I hope this gives you some further information to factor in.
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure to play league ball with my 2 sons. Also, on the "ALL Hollis" team were my brother Curt and his 3 sons and my brother Clay and his 2 sons. We started 10 Hollis' and went undefeated for the season. The 3 worst players on the team were the 3 dads but all three of us out hit the sons in average!
One of my favorite photos is the 10 of us poising after a game. I will cherish that forever.
We play with the mat and 1&1 exclusively in the Florida Half Century and it works very well. A third strike ball foul is an out. It speeds the game up and we have no run limits per inning and no restrictions on home runs. We do have mercy rules after 4 innings, etc., so the tournaments stay on time.
The 1&1 does give the pitcher an advantage but my gosh he certainly needs it. Pitchers have all sorts of strategies but basically no pitcher can consistently put the ball where he wants. Just like no bowler can consistently roll a 300 game. The results are batters clobbering the ball or taking walks. I perfer to swing away but my strike zone like most hitters is not limited to a perfect pitch. If it is close it is going to be tagged.
Two things come to mind on this subject. The 1&1 definitely speeds up the game. I can't tell you the number of times in national tournaments I have seen batters turn their back to the pitcher and not even look at a pitch until they get one strike. The full count for softball is a dinosaur that needs to die. You do not need 3 strikes to hit 1 ball, unless you cherish TV time, ie, love being at the plate! :)
I have also seen many of the best hitters in the country strikeout on a last strike that hits the plate! What you say? Yep, all those great hitters with those unbelievable eyes can miss judge a ball just like the rst of us.
That is why I know when a batter is really teeing off on a ball and is a little late it is subject to nail the pitcher. We are imperfect people playing an inperfect game the best we can which is why I enjoy the game!
I love the way the Florida Half Century is run with unlimited home runs, unlimited runs per inning, good balls and senior bats. It is always well run and extremely competitive as you play one tournament a month with 4 games in your bracket of five teams. For example. My team is rated fourth. Therefore, the next tournament we will probably play #1, #2 #3 and #5. If we have a losing record after 3 months they will move us down and a hot team up. Now, this works fine for us but how would this work at a national tournament. Say 100 teams show up. Do you have the top 16 as one bracket, the next 24 as another, the next 24 as another and the remaining 36 as another? Or just how would you propose dividing the 100 teams up so for example the #15 team thinks they have a chance and will be willing to play?
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