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April 24, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: WOODLAWN HITTING CLUB?

I go every Tu and Th when I am down in Riverview visiting my mom.
She knows better than to try and schedule something during this time. The format is perfect. You divide into two groups. One hits and one shags the balls. Then you switch. Then you do it a second time. When hitting, you line up and each man takes 5 swings and goes to the end of the line. This continues until you have 25 hits. You will end up with 50 total and that is enough. The weather has to be pretty bad for them to cancel. They have guys who pitch but are always looking for more. They use a protective screen.
April 24, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: This is for Bogie

Unfortunately, I will miss you at all three events. Even though I live only 35 minutes from Elgin, I always miss that tournament. I am a Legit Bad Ass Harley rider and as usual will be out at the Sturgis biker rally in SD raping and pilaging as usual.
April 22, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: This is for Bogie

If this is the Bogie that posted to my last post and produces the swing makeover series, this is for you.

I have hit with you at the Woodlawn Hitting Club and really enjoy your hitting series. The last one one jumped out at me when you said your back was limiting your swing. That made me think. It pretty much decribes a good many in the older age groups. Your videos show case younger guys with extrodinary bat speed, power and follow thru. How about a video geared directly towards say the 70 and overs. Guys who don't have that great whip anymore. Maybe your best research on hitting solid singles and the techniques involved. For example, in my case, I am still very athletic and "used" to have a bunch of power. I am trying real hard to deal with the fence is now that thing off in the distance that I only visit if I hit a gapper. I am trying hard to become a really good line drive hitter. Could use some advice.
April 20, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Hot Bats and Hrs

Guys have posted for years about the soaring Hrs hit at will anytime a batter wants one. When you post about the excessive Hrs caused by hot bats please indicate your age group and classification just for clarification. In my last two years at the 65 AAA level and now in my 2nd year at the 70 AAA level, plus a number of games against major teams, no team has ever used all their alloted # of Hrs. This covers about 15 tournaments in various associations per year. I can hit maybe one Hr, in batting pratice, with a grooved flat pitches and wind blowing out at about 30 MPH. In games, the pitchers try not to groove the ball. It is a different animal thus very few Hrs.
I have seen over the years, less and less batters buying into the Hr every swing myth as they are tired of hitting 280' fly outs. Playing all over the USA, I am seeing an endless number of absolutely terrific singles hitters who are almost sutomatic.

I really enjoy the flurry of new hot bats that hit the market each year. After the initial buying freenzy, at each passing tournament more and more of those new ones disappear and the Ultras start showing up again in great #s.

Yes, all composites will break. I just developed a crack in my 29 black ultra. Very disappointing-only got 4-1/2 years out of it. Will now wrap it in duct tape and use it for batting practicing until it goes. My new one has 20 hits on it and will go in the bag for games only. I get a kick out of guys who complain about a bat breaking and then admitt they use it in games, batting practice, rain, cold etc. I find it amuzing when someone will complain about having to buy two bats in a season and yet not blink when spending $100 or more at a dinner or bar, or paying several hundred for one round of golf or go to Vegas for the Masters and drop a thousand or two at the gambling tables.

The above was long, but I am retired and have time on my hands.

Staff, my complete hate for the 0-0 count will never end. However, the rest of the game you guys have put together is awesome. Keep it going.


April 13, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Wondering about your team name; especially the unusual ones.

It is a good idea to make sure your team name is something different. We are the CHICAGO Gray Sox. Had tourney a few years back when two teams just named the Gray Sox had reservations at the same motel. Staff thought they had dlb booked and canceled one of the sets. We got there 1st, got the rooms and the other team had to go looking as the motel was sold out. Thus we made sure Chicago came 1st.
March 24, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: SSUSA survey

This might seem trivial to most. However, I was filling out the survey you sent out until it came to incomne range. My income range is private and rather modest having been a teacher. You need to have a N/A choice on this question. Don't know if was just me or if others had an issue with this question.
March 19, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

This subject has been covered many times. However, it still has merit to discuss. Thots!!

Too many pitchers pitch and do not get into a defensive stance but rather just stand there, hands at their side. The ball is in the air quite a while. How about a little knee bend. Glove open and up towards the chest. Expect every ball to be hit at you. With the pitching helmet/mask I wear, I feel very comfortable at that position.

Infielder injuries, hot bats or bad hops off infields that are poorly groomed? I don't play infield but if I did, I would wear a mask.

I also have a mask not attched to my helmet. I will wear that in the outfield anytime I am looking into the sun.

Think of all the sports that have left the macho era behind and adopted wearing head protection as their games have evolved with hotter equipment. Why is it a problem if senior softball follows suit.

For you younger guys, my team moved up to 70s last year. With that 11th guy at middle infielder around 2nd base, not many balls go up the middle especially with runners on base. You might look into that.
March 14, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Required Face Masks

At the Huntsman games last year, I saw "3" guys being helped for medical care on day one with face injuries due to batted balls. Nope, sorry bat haters, they were fielders, not pitchers, who took bad hops.

I pitch about 1/3 of our games. Just a suggestion for Ry-Guy. Not only the masks but encourage the pitchers to get the helmet-mask combos. I took two hard shots off the helmet last year. Nope, not due to hot bats. Both were what should have been fielded grounders that hit the pitching rubber and shot up while I was going down to block/field the ball. Won't pitch without the helmet.


Feb. 20, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Tournaments
Discussion: 2015 Las Vegas World Championship

Staff thanks for this change. It is not about how many games but how many quality games a team can play and make a run at the championship. Last year many of the 70 AAA teams were all in after 4 prelims and the real tourney hadn't even started. Much prefer the new format.
Jan. 30, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Endload or balanced?

Does age have anything to do with the above #s. My 70AAA team has experimented with ELs and all went back to balanced.
As for me, I am fairly strong and found it a chore to get the ELs around on day 3 or 4 of a major tournament especially when heat and humidity came into play.
Jan. 30, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Facing one batter

good point BJ. Maybe the ump should have had to sit out one batter for forcing a player to pitch without protective gear.
Maybe the staff should contact this ump and remind him of what he did as to safety.

Jan. 7, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Do you use senior bats in non tournament games/leagues?

Made the move to Dudley balanced-love them. Broke both of them in and now use them only for tournament games. If one does ever go down, I have a 2nd ready to go. One of my Ultras had a very small crack, some gorilla glue and 3 wraps of duct tape and I got a warm weather "batting practice" bat. Found a centurion with a small crack in the garbage at a tournament, more glue and tape and I got a cold weather "batting practice" bat.
My other Ultra is in good shape and now use it in a dlb header league once a week from May through Oct.

P.S.
I have been doing the bat repair thing for years and can usually get anywhere from 3 to 12+ tournaments of "batting practice" before they go to bat heaven. This may sound nuts to some of you younger guys. Just wait until your 70 and every retirement $ counts.

Jan. 2, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The TOC

pitcher 22

Didn't know you were M+ You guys are elite players with talent way above most of us. Maybe you have a case to appeal or get things changed considering the lack of M+ teams around the country for your classification. My team is AAA and 1 or 2 players added by another team for this could make a huge difference.
Jan. 2, 2015
garyheifner
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Pitcher safety screens.

My team got one for batting practice. If you don't have one for your team, you are making a big mistake.

I play in a league that uses the screen. Guys- It is not a big deal. It does not interfere with the integrity of the game. Ball hits screen-dead ball do over. After a few innings, the pitcher really hardly knows it's there. The middle shooters can blast away without the worry of hurting an opponent. We have many games where it is never touched and if it is hit, maybe only once or twice a game. Game time delay maybe 5 seconds. Pitcher picks up ball and pitches. Since moving up to the 70s and with the middle fielder, only a very few balls are hit up the middle anyway. Saw mostly pulling or going opposite field last year.


Dec. 29, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: The TOC

Pitcher 22

I feel your pain as my team has played short handed in this before. However. it is just not fair to add players to this. Your 3 might be new to the game but be great athletes/players and not be fair to the rest of the field. They will have the opportunity to help your team get back to the TOC next season. I know one of the staff's greatest challenges is to try and rate teams properly and keep the playing field as fair and even as possible in every age group and level of play. It is sad to say, but there are managers/teams that would load up for this if given the opportunity to add players and turn this really nice event into a farce.
Dec. 14, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best turf shoes out there

I have tried at least 5 different brands if not more. Still trying to figure out why I wasted money on all of them except Tanels.
I have one newer pr for tournamnets, 2 older pr 1 for practice and 1 for league play. After 4-5 years on several, they are still going strong. For the hell of it, I bought a new brand at a tournament in Joliet last summer. They lasted 3 games before falling apart. I prefer the mid level over low cut as they give me a little more ankle support. I have had a little toe issue in the past. I now buy 1/2 size bigger. The difference between an 11 and an 11-1/2 is really small, but gives the toes needed space. Problen solved.
Dec. 3, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Home plate Mat size change?



As a part time pitcher, I don't care what the size is. I can zero in and hit it.

Maybe my thinking is off here, but if the mat is bigger, wouldn't the batters have more area to defend? As a result, the hitters would be more likely to swing at the 1st pitch that is in their window rather than take 2 strikes and be forced to swing at a marginal 3 strike. The pitcher would have more area to throw a waste pitch that could still hit the mat. The larger mat might help the many of us who would rather play with the 1-1 count as I said above might encourge hitters to swing sooner. Hope you get my thought.
Dec. 1, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Tournament Balls

In the spirit of the staff post re: game balls.

Remember, when you are flying to ring tournaments you have limited space in your ball bag.

One of the really "BAD" perks of getting knocked out of ring tournaments early is that you accumulate a stock pile of new balls. Being sure that we will use the Stote in Vegas and want more than the 6 you get, I bring 3 brand new ones and 3 like new. Get there and they are using the Rock.

Assuming SSUSA has switched to the Rock, I bring 3 new and 3 like new Rocks to Ft. Meyers and they are using the Stote.

Staff, can you post what kind of ball will be used in future ring championship tournaments.


Nov. 17, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Suggestions for 2015

I disagree with some of the above. My competitive AAA played some majors this year. It's not just about HRs. Those guys killed the ball. Obviously a talent level far beyond ours. Without the "5" runs the games would have been more of a farce than they were. Do the major teams really enjoy beating lower teams by slaughter rules? By the way, you majors can practice hitting singles when you need them in big tournaments rather than huffing and puffing and hitting balls into the parking lot.

It's beating a dead horse, but the 3-2 makes the games go faster. Hitters go up to hit. I pitched most of the games in Vegas for our team this year. Not a single batter in 5 straight games swung at the 1st pitch. Many took a second pitch. For those of you who claim the 3-2 doesn't matter, how come in every qualifier we played in this past season the TD used the 3-2?????? I had one ump ask me in Vegas why we don't use the 3-2. I said, dumb isn't it. He said, I agree and hopefully we can can get in 7 innings.

Also, I can remember back in my younger days before the 3rd strike fair rule, batters intentionally fouling off 3 or 4 balls that were going to be close just to get the pitch they wanted.

As to courtesy runners, we have guys who would not be playing without them. Of the things my team does really well, we know before most games who is running for who. Our pinch runners are usually heading out of the dugout as the ball is coming into the infield. If a guy is coming up to bat that will need a runner, we often have that runner coaching 1st base for a quick change. I will go along with, if a guy gets on base and needs a runner, it must be done right away. Once the next pitch is made, that guy should have to continue running-no sub.

Also, although I live in Oswego, Illinois where it is 1 degree, I am sitting on the beach in Fort Meyers Fl by the cottage I am renting for a month. It is partly cloudy and 80 degrees. So, all the above doesn't really matter.







Nov. 15, 2014
garyheifner
Topic: Bats
Discussion: NEW Miken Freak Black Senior bat with a 1 year warranty

What weight is the bat you have hit for 1600+ hits. And, have you tried various other weights.
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