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Details for Tate22


Real name:
Don Newhard

Location:
Huntington Beach, CA

Division:
Men's 55

Messages posted by Tate22 »Message board home   »Start a new discussion

Feb. 21, 2011
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: A ?

We are fortunate in Southern CA to have two quality options for tournaments between SoCAlSSA and SSUSA. I could care less that the Top Gun event is ring option. What I care about is that my team will be able to compete against 3 other quality teams in our own age bracket. Between the two organizations there will be a quality event on good fields at least once a month ALL YEAR LONG. It is also interesting to note that a 50's team is coming from New York to play in the Top Gun event. I applaud any team that chooses to compete rather than nitpick the tournament offerings to death. To Marv's point, it takes a lot of work and commitment to get a tournament schedule together. We should be supporting those groups that are getting it done. Jawood - get your competitive Northwest brethren down to So CA, same with Colorado and AZ teams. Coyotes from Utah make it down at least once per year. You won't be disappointed. Rings, schmings, just chose the "play ball" option.

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55's
Jan. 3, 2011
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: What was the greatest moment in your softball career?

Dang it Mike (Softball4B), next time I remind you of the Springfield, MO, ASA 40 World story take notes to get all the details right! LOL Right location, event and game (win put us in the undefeated game), but wrong year (1996) and score (it was tied)!! It was a tremendous, dramatic shot though, left the entire park boundaries as described. Your post-swing grunt is still echoing off the Dixie Cup factory building. hahaha For bonus points, how did the score get tied???
Dec. 20, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Then There Were 14!

There still is and always has been an alternative to the Major Plus dilemma. Quit the incessant whining about Major Plus teams and ratings and show up and play. Combine Major and Major Plus, 3 divisions are more than enough. If you are afraid of the competition, quit pretending to be a nationally competitive tournament team and stay home in the comfort of your local league. If you need rings so badly, get on the Josten's web site and order all the rings you can afford. But quit trying to dilute the competition. Between home run rules, runs per inning rules, and "stimulus package/government cheese" equalizer runs there is more than enough handicapping of higher level teams. What's next, making Major Plus teams hit from the opposite side of the plate??

And what exactly is a "major plus" player. Sure, upper level teams will have their share of exceptionally talented athletes, but which ones should be branded, excluded or banned? The only answer ever offered to this question is somebody's subjective and likely biased opininon. Instead of obsessing that some player is TOO good to compete against, challenge yourself to take on the best available competition. Which one of you picked the SF Giants to win the World Series? They didn't beg to be moved down, or whine, they just showed up and performed.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all, hope to see you all on the fields next year.
JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Nov. 8, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Top Major Plus 55 - 60 Team in 2011

Joe, Mike & Foothills:
Thanks for the props for Bill. We feel the same way about him. I recruited him 4 years ago because I got tired of hitting against him. Thank goodness I re-signed him for next year before this thread hit, I may have to raise the signing bonus though. lol In Phoenix, he held every team we played to below their scoring average in their other games. No question that makes a huge difference. He was definitely our MVP in that event.

Hey Mike - did you sign with DP 55's for next year????

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Nov. 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Combining Divisions

Andy - nice to see your new found concern for Major Plus teams! lol Having been there for the past two years I can assure you it's not the end of the world. I would glady accept a 7, then 1-up in exchange for ever having a home run count as an out.
Jawood - having 1-up start immediately is overly restrictive. Maybe even 5, then 1-up. Declaring home runs as outs does not solve any actual problem with the game. Having a limit, however, is useful as a balance. BTW - I'm not aware that any of the 11 55 M+ teams in Phoenix ran out of homeruns. My team averaged 3.1 per game. The 325' fences had a lot to do with that.

Cheers;
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
Nov. 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Question 4 Major Plus teams??

While I've always advocated 3 divisions and agree with Jawood on the challenges of being Major Plus, there are alternatives ways to react to being branded as a Major Plus team. Having played 8 seasons of senior SB at the 50/55 M & M+ level I've seen all sizes, shapes and some pretty amazing skill levels of senior athletes. Unfortunately for me, I still lack the psychic ability that some possses to accurately differentiate major and major plus players or teams . Mind you, we've competed against some exceptionally talented players, but even the superstar HOF dude only gets 4-5 swings per game.

This year my team played 13 tournaments as 55M+, 8 of which were SSUSA events, the rest either LVSSA or SCSSA. I'll bet we gave up more "stimulus package, government cheese" runs this year than any other team in any division or any age because of mixed draws. Players who likely decry the evils of socialism in other forums gladly scooped up their "entitlements" because someone declared that we were too strong for the competition. Whatever! Why earlier this year we had to give EIGHT runs AND 11 players to a certain 60 Major Team. Our team was formed 2 years ago from a 50 M team that finished 9th in the '08 SSUSA worlds and a 55 M team that finished an equally imposing 9th in the same event. In 2009 we were immediately branded Major Plus. (Unfair?? Don't Care!!) Because more than anything we love to play ball, we chose to roll with it and leave the moaning and teeth gnashing to others. We won some, we lost some, but we've played 70-80 tourney games each year against some very good 50's, 55's,60's teams in the M&M+ divisions. We likely missed out on a few T-shirts and plastic trinkets, but that's not why we play. Giving runs on a regular basis sometimes got a little old, but it definitely prepared us for the tight games we've played in the big events against our own division.

As for the demise of M+, I can only speak from our experience this year in 55 M+. There were 6 teams in Reno, 8 in LVSSA, and 11 in Phoenix. More than worth our while to attend those events.

The Cliff Notes version of the above long windage is this: You can just accept the structure of senior softball, show up, play the game you loved as a kid, enjoy the comraderie and friendships that are kindled and edure and maybe even get hot and win a big event OR ... well these pages are filled with the other type of response.
If MLB had Major Plus the Phillies and Yankees could have just played in early October . . . but instead we got to witness a team run the table that almost didn't make the playoffs. I prefer the latter scenario.

Thanks to each and every team and each player we met this year on the fields. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Hope to see you all next year, in good health. At the end of the day, we are all old farts in this bus, and damn lucky to still be able to lace 'em up. Fuggeddabout the labels and JUST PLAY BALL!

JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+

Oct. 29, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: 2010 World Championship - Action Pictures

Jack:
Did you shoot anything at Thompson Peak Park (Grayhawk) where the 50 & 55 Major Plus played? There was a photographer there, but he didn't offer a website.
Don Newhard
Nighthawks
Oct. 29, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: How many are going to the So Cal Championships?

Nighthawks will be there
Oct. 26, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Southern California - 2010 Ringleaders

Oops, can't forget Geno's better half Michelle. Again congrats!
And a special tip of the cap to the outstanding field of 11 teams in the 55 Major plus. Every team was a class act and were fully capable of winning it all.
Oct. 26, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Southern California - 2010 Ringleaders

The 2010 SSUSA results are in, and at least in the upper end of the 50's, 55's, and 60's divisions, it's a clean sweep for Southern California. I apologize in advance to the So. CA AA and AAA teams for not having more info on them, but there are plenty of great teams from these divisions in our neck of the woods.
Congrats to these teams and que the Queen song . . .
50 M+ - Mavericks
50 M - Demolition
55 M+ - Nighthawks
55 M - Double Play Classic
60 M+ - GSF
60 M - Double Edge

With the exception of a rainout with the Mavericks, we (Nighthawks) got to play each of these very strong teams all year long in So. CA events. Between SSUSA, SCSSA,and Top Gun, So. CA offered strong, well-attended monthly(sometimes more)tournaments from last December until October. I don't know much, and some would say even less, but I do know regular play against quality competition made a big difference for our team. Marv and Donnie from SCSSA stepped up in a big way to expand our event choices.
Point: As you teams from Nor CA, Northwest, AZ, Colorado, Utah and beyond make your schedules for next year, consider joining us for some serious fun in the sun softball in the coming year.

Congrats to Geno Capeau, Paul & Anna Smit, Andy Smith, Bob "HOF" Woodroof, and the Mavericks brass for outstanding seasons. See you on the fields.

Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55M+
Aug. 16, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: LVSSA 55 and 60 Major Plus Teams

Donnie:
The Nighthawks from Southern California (55 M+) will be there. I believe there will be 2-3 other California teams as well in the 55M+ division.
Don Newhard

Aug. 3, 2010
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: California Championships

Jack:
You hit the nail on the head about having too many levels. We are a So CA team that stopped going to the Western Nationals and the Cal Cup because as a M+ team we were(a)not going to have anyone in our division, or (b)were going to have to give runs to men our own age. With three skill levels, that problem would be alleviated. Anybody that says 4 skill levels are necessary is just trying to dilute the competition pool to their benefit. Pushin 60 - you are so right about no big tournaments in SO CA. Maybe SO CAL SSA will help change that.
JMHO
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
July 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Five run equalizer

Dirty:
Yes, teams are allowed to turn down the stimulus runs. I remind managers of that at each coin flip. I'd say about 10-15% of the time our opponents pass on the runs, sometimes take the extra fielder. As a 55 M+ team last year we never took the runs in the 25 games we played against 50's teams. As a team giving the runs, it is irritating, but it makes us bear down and prepares us for close games when we play other M+ teams. I don't like the rule, but we play a number of SSUSA events each year because for us actually playing ball trumps all agida about the BS equalizing rules.

DAVE - Careful what you ask for, Tucson isn't that far away.
July 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Five run equalizer

Dirty:
Play ball, what a concept! Five year age brackets are sufficient equalizers, with an upper and lower division. Screw the fake run concept. Like Jawood and Smith,Barney advocate, score your runs the old fashion way, EARN THEM!
Don Newhard
July 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Five run equalizer

Joe:
We've often commiserated on these issues and usually agree on the key points. Take note of the current post on the Temecula and Hemet tournaments put on by SCSSA. The guys putting on these events have long played in SSUSA and continue to do so, but are putting on local (So. CA) events for all the right reasons that you advocate. Bring your Vegas crew down in either July or August, it will be cooler and you will appreciate the changes. Nice fields and homers are never outs!
Cheers;
Don Newhard
July 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Five run equalizer

Gents:
Like many entitlement programs in our society, the equalizer program likely won't be pried from the grubby hands that cling to it. Remember, we live in a world where 200-pounders must be allowed to be cheerleaders so their self-esteem is not damaged.

As manager of a 55 M+ team that has to regularly give up the government cheese/run stimulus package, I want to point out the hidden multiplier in the equalizer program. If the "disadvantaged" team takes the fake runs, then they should automatically be visitors. Enough of getting freebies AND the hammer.

A related point is that the undefeated team in the elim portion of a tourney should automatically earn home team, no coin flip until they have a loss. Performance should be rewarded, not discounted.

Jawood, old buddy, here's another vote for your cause of reducing to three levels, like combining Major & Major Plus. Senior/Masters softball did not die when we came up through the ASA 40's and 45's with no divisions. This would eliminate a never-ending debate AND help the environment because less tissues would be used crying over those big old teams that are too good to be allowed to play.

A founding father once said that the best government is the one that governs least - that easily applies to this game!

Play ball;
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+

July 7, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: New Temecula and Hemet Tourneys

We participated in the June event and were very pleased with the overall experience. Beautiful facility in Temecula. We will play again in their July event in Menifee, and as often as possible in the future. All of the above comments are accurate; additionally, the event was also very well organized,and ran reasonably on time. Hats off to Donnie Reddig and crew at SCSSA. They listen to feedback and give straight answers on the spot. For starters, home runs are not outs, ever, in SCSSA.
Don Newhard
Manager
Nighthawks 55 M+
May 19, 2010
Tate22
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Woodroof's turn

I want to take this opportunity to single out the other Hall of Fame nominee, Bob Woodroof. Congratulations on a well deserved honor. As a player and manager, Bob has played at the highest level since his days in open USSSA. He is a great competitor and his knowledge of the game is second to none. Dugouts are fun when he is around, but you better come to play. He has been a thoughtful and dedicated contributor to this board and the senior game in general. Take a well deserved bow, Woody
Don Newhard
Nighthawks 55 M+
April 27, 2010
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Cathedral City Tournament

Phillip:
Thank you, our pool was a very competitive tournament that any of the teams could have won. You have a tough team that will only get better during the season. NCI is also a tough team in our division that always provides a battle. Between Manny, Robert of NCI, our Bill Gombos, (don't know the DP 50's pitcher) there were some very tough pitchers on display.
Hope to see you back on the field soon, as well. Think about playing in Poway May 22nd, another Top Gun event. Good tune-up two weeks before Reno.

Cheers;
Don Newhard
April 23, 2010
Tate22
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: Post major plus tournament schedules

Bob:
I thought I recognized that Bob 50 handle. We'll have our hands full as usual with your crew, especially if your adding from Windy City and Geckle. There are three other active 55 M+ teams in CA who will likely be at the two nationals you mentioned. Not sure about Ruth's 55's, but they will likely turn up as well. Good luck this season!
Don
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