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Discussion: The Rock balls

Posted Discussion
May 1, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1953 posts
The Rock balls
I understand that they stay hard in the heat of Las Vegas. They travel like they are never going to come down when you hit them good. I understand they last for a long time. But have you tried to catch a knuckle ball rocket hit by a Paddy Mac or Bobby Davis or a Kennard when it might duck hook 30 feet or more? Or jump like a Mexican Jumping Bean. A considerable portion of shots coming off bats from this ball are knuckle balls and even 'can of corn' looking flies can be knuckling and just dart away when you are ready to catch them. I have to say defensively I would rather play with the Stote just for the truer flight.
May 1, 2013
rightrj1
Men's 55
202 posts
Webbie,
Your words are so true…As a thrower I HATE catching & throwing the Rocks…There are NO threads to grip…..I guess we can’s have it both ways…Since Slow pitch softball is a hitter’s game , I think everyone gets a win win with the ROCK!
May 1, 2013
Tate22
Men's 55
260 posts
Mark, nice to see you in Vegas. I totally agree with your point on the volatility of the Rock ball. If we had one, we had 10 plays this past weekend where balls heading directly to our outfielder suddenly veered away. Ronnie, while we certainly play a hitters game, it is frustrating to play with balls whose flight is as erratic as a whiffle ball. There needs to be some balance. All things considered, I'd rather use the Stote for the same reason given by Webbie.
May 2, 2013
Marv19
Men's 60
429 posts
I find this an interesting subject. We have an organized batting practice group that meets every Wednesday and Friday at Spencers Crossing park in French Valley. We have around 100 "ROCK" balls. (the choice of the players) Yesterday I noticed several (yes several) balls wiggling as they flew into the outfield. Those balls were not knuckle balls and were definitely spinning. I asked one of the guys to check one of those balls as he picked it up to see if it was cut. It wasn't. I'm just wondering if there is a design flaw in the construction. We cut one apart last year and it has two outer shells. This is what gives the ball the spongy feeling and I suspect the durability in heat. I'm thinking the two shells after being hit morf in some way to redistribute the weight somehow thus causing the ball to wiggle in flight. Are you sure these balls were not spinning?? I'm not an engineer but it would be interesting to find out. We as an association through the encouragement of several managers have just started using this ball. If the ball is flawed we will switch back. I'm less concerned about balls breaking down than a possible safety issue. I guess we can test it on the 18th-19th in Temecula as I have a case of them on the way. More input is welcomed.
May 2, 2013
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
Webbie, I also noticed that some very good outfielders were misjudging the ball repeatedly. Granted, balls really fly in Vegas due to the altitude and dry air but almost all of my outfielders were being fooled by the flight. However, being troopers none of them complained about knuckling or the ball sailing on them. That does explain to me why they were having troubles and I will ask them their perception of the ball.

The ball did perform well in hot conditions and was fun to hit. I did notice that you had about a 25% chance of the outfielder misjudging the ball if it was hit right at him!
May 3, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1953 posts
audieh-I wondered if you might comment. As hard as you guys hit the ball, it was most noticeable against you. I had one that I think Bobby hit that totally reversed me in the outfield. I got a good jump to my left and ended up diving back to the right and never got it. And, Imlay hit one that appeared to dive away from your left center fielder. Knuckle balls are part of the game, and I benefit offensively from them too, but it just seems that the percentage of knucklers is MUCH higher with this ball.

Let me know what your outfielders saw, please. I am hoping it wasn't just me getting lysdexic out there.
May 3, 2013
PattyMac
96 posts
Hey Webbie,

My thoughts on the balls are this. I really enjoy the rock balls. In the south where we play most of our tournaments we hit the stote in SSUSA tourneys.

They are good when the temperatures are below 80, usually winter nationals or TOC. Summer tourneys around in the south the temps and the humidity make the stote a rolled up sock during daylight hours. No fun to hit them.

Most teams down here feel the same way about them. Differend environment down here in Dixie. Give us the Rock anytime.

PattyMac
May 3, 2013
canIjack
Men's 60
321 posts
Offence- I love them, Defence- hate them, pitching - afraid of them.
May 3, 2013
Olden Slow
Men's 65
173 posts
Webbie...I played in Vegas with both the 60's and 65's...Played LF and LCF...Most of the guys had the same issues...Ball never seemed to fly straight..We had more dropped balls than normal...Made every fly ball an adventure...More so than normal....Loved hitting the ball...not so much catching it...Seams were an issue as well...Thought it was just us...Maybe not..
May 3, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1953 posts
PattyMac-sorry for the mis-spell on your name in the earlier post. There is no doubt I love to hit 'em for all of those reasons. That one you hit at the end of the Championship game almost went through the fence. I have only played with them in Vegas. It would be fun to see it somewhere in the humid east. It did seem that the Stotes flew pretty well at Dalton last year. Great playing against you again, as always.
May 3, 2013
softball4b
Men's 60
722 posts
Webbie, don't apologize to PattyMac, he turned you like a Merry go round. Just be glad he hit it out instead of at you.

Equally impressive as their hitting is their speed. I thought we had a fast outfield.

Sounds to me like we have the makings of a good grudge race around the bases between Ed, Tom, you and three of their guys. To make it interesting, we could have me and audieh in the anchor position for each team. Anchor being the appropriate word in my case.
May 3, 2013
audieh
Men's 60
241 posts
Big Mike, we accept your challenge! We will meet in Dalton after a game and time your fastest 3 guys plus you going around the bases in a relay. Then we will time ours plus me to establish a winner. If nothing else it will start as a world record! haha Should be fun. I suspect me and you will be the slowest but for sure the most fun to watch! I have a sun dial for us!
May 3, 2013
softball4b
Men's 60
722 posts
It has been a while, but it is like Nascar, turm left, turn left, turn left, pit.
May 4, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1953 posts
I did feel a little like I was doing a senior softball players version of the Nutcracker out there.
Spelling and pronouncing a person's name correctly is just an important courtesy.

It would be fun to watch the fast guys run that against each other. Speed is normally a relative term in senior softball.
May 6, 2013
Turbo 34
Men's 50
10 posts
PattyMac, the way you were hitting in Mobile it wouldn't have mattered if you were hitting rolled up tube socks we still wouldn't have got you out! I can't image the Rock going any better than those Stote balls. Would definitely be fun to hit them!
May 6, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
62 posts
Hollis team a great Las Vegas tournament with a very impressive hitting display using the Rocks (I don't really think it would have mattered which ball they were hitting). You all were really making those balls dance. D&K played very well and were hitting the Rocks very hard as well- we almost lost our right fielder on one that CC hit. Facing Kennard and Conway is tough enough without hitting the Rocks. Patty Mac could hit any ball hard but it was even more impressive with what he was doing with the Rocks.
Great ball but I have to admit the ball does move a lot, however if we had used the Stote's ball (normally a very good ball) they would have been worthless in that heat.

Steve Imlay
Sept. 11, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1953 posts
I brought this forward to add to the discussion on the product review thread from Steve Imlay in September. I will refer to it there.
Sept. 12, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
It was fun to hit, but difficult to field as an outfielder! Looking forward to playing with them again! Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 12, 2013
J R
179 posts
We use 44x375 Tattoo ball great ball.We order from Tattooball.
Sept. 12, 2013
Gorilla Boy
Men's 50
183 posts
Yes the X-Rock softballs have a tendency to bounce more than a regular 44/375. The reason being the extra cover underneath the outside cover. The SSUSA has been using the Trump/Stote 44/375 balls for years. It is a synthetic cover. Great ball. What happened was Las Vegas used the ISA X-Rock when they had their tournament in Vegas. Yes the balls were flying even in the heat. In Phoenix where the SSUSA played their tournament in late September or early October for a number of years the synthetic covered ball was used. When the SSUSA and Las Vegas merged it brought the X-Rock ISA ball back into tournament play. So here SSUSA has changed their program format and now play the Nationals in Vegas with the X-Rock. So you can use the synthetic cover and the ball will stay down more and not be as bouncy, BUT won't fly like the X-Rock in the heat. I don't have any answers on the matter. It all comes down to, what you prefer. Defence where you don't have to wear a helmet to catch the ball or homeruns flying out of the park like missells. Hope this helps a little bit. Hav a great day players...

Mike Macenko
aka:Gorilla Boy
Sept. 13, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
Mahalo for your point of view Mike! It is always refreshing to hear from a player of your caliber and it's cool you are willing to share with the rest of us. Are you going to Vegas? Would be cool to meet you...I play for Familystones 50's Major team. #7 Fabe (left field). Aloha....
Sept. 13, 2013
Gorilla Boy
Men's 50
183 posts
Fabe, not sure yet on Vegas. Probably won't make it this year. Would love to meet you and talk softball. You know I am a hitter so you know I want to hit homeruns just like everybody else. I love to see good defensive plays also. One thing is for sure, the X-Rocks do make it a little tougher to catch a line drive coming right at you. That is for sure.

You can do what Mighty Joe Young used to do when he had to play the outfield. If he caught it he would throw to the outfielder next to him and tell him to throw that shit in. He was quite a character on the field. He used to make me laugh most of the time with his lingo.

Mike Macenko
aka:Gorilla Boy
Sept. 13, 2013
PattyMac
96 posts
Big Mike,

I watch you on youtube all the time. That was the good old days, no limits, no divisions just play softball. I say make 2 divisions in senior softball, good-live ball ( Rock, tatoo ), and less lively ball, trump stote, or something as dead in the heat Let every team decide what division they want to play in.

Wish we had some of the old Steele balls. haha

See you soon my friend,

PattyMac
Sept. 13, 2013
Fabe
Men's 50
208 posts
Mike it's so good to know you still enjoying this great game! I've read a few post on guys just taking this to serious...I keep saying softball is what I do not who I am! Besides our big waves are starting to hit our North Shore and surfing is a greater passion of mine....so bless living in the Tropics! Aloha, Fabe
Sept. 14, 2013
StevenL.Imlay
Men's 60
62 posts
Webbie thanks for bring this discussion back up. It's always good to hear from Mike, Patty Mac and Fabe and their opinions on these issues. Rock is a fun ball to hit and I know I look forward to Vegas because of the Rock, chance to catch up with all the players, the competition and it's a great place for a well run National Tournament.
SLi
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