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Discussion: Has the game really been toned down?

Posted Discussion
July 31, 2013
Pricer
Men's 50
622 posts
Has the game really been toned down?
SFTF said, "One accident and we are going to reinvent the bat and ball combo! The game has already been toned down! Injury's happen, even in the70s! I would where gear for fear of a bad field more than anything!" My quess is the memory is going or gone, because I cannot recall as many injuries let alone catastrophic ones back in the 70's or 80's.
July 31, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
998 posts
Senior game is toned down from when they started.. I believe Einstein told be they were hitting 50 core 525s when he started playing... now as far as Catastrophic injuries.. My friend killed a pitcher in the early 90s.. another guy lost an eye in the early 90s too.. so I would say there is always some bad thing that can happen at anytime no matter what equipment you use!
July 31, 2013
crusher
Men's 70
389 posts
Swing - USSSA standard ball was 50-525 as I remember, and as a pitcher you had to pitch it almost flat or it was a ball.

With an alum bat you could clear a 320' fense that was 10' high. Most balls went 350 to about 425 when they landed on buildings behind park. Good bat + hot ball = good fun.

About same today with composit and restricted ball. At least it is about the same for me. Once alum bats were out (and not 1/4" thick walls) the game got hot. When we used wood bats most balls were NOT HOT. They would go some but never got close to hitting one out of a park. Many parks were 225 to 265' then.

C
July 31, 2013
DCPete
234 posts
From 2000 - 2002 we used the 47/525 Dudley Red Thunder in every tournament. As soon as the Ultra 2 came out in 2003 the ball was switched to the Dudley 44/375. The Red Thunder was about 10% longer (around 30 feet for most players) than today's 375's.
July 31, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
998 posts
guess I don't no anything about a toned down game hey Pricer! Anyway, the way it stands now, I can live it.. anymore toning down will be BS in my book.
July 31, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
if the ball still goes over the fence,how is that toning it down.....i have seen the 52 ball hit well over 350'...isn't that over all fences of any softball field you play on...how far do you need to hit a ball.....how many players will it be ok to kill or maim,before we stop the foolishness of this hot combo we use now....
Aug. 1, 2013
tattooball
614 posts
The truth is most of the senior players today never hit a homerun wen they were younger, but at an advanced age can now hit them. I think that says it all. I have many friends playing now that never even tried to hit a homerun in the 80's or 90's that hit them now.
Aug. 1, 2013
swing for the fences
Men's 50
998 posts
Mad dog, how many players were killed in senior ball so far...????
Aug. 1, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
i know of one,and guess what,he was playing with ASA bats and the balls we use now(44-375).....so to me that is one to many....what is your limit....10,20,30...what is acceptable...
Aug. 1, 2013
the wood
1079 posts
'The truth is that most senior players never hit a HR when they were younger'... based upon my experience, I'd have to agree with this in concept. I always felt that it was a pretty clear distinction between HR hitters and table setters (30-35 years ago).
At the risk of splitting hairs, I would substitute the word 'seldom' for 'never' though. Many table setters hit occasional HRs but it wasn't their primary objective.
As I read it, Kevin's point is really about the egos of senior players and how hitting HRs feed into that. It amuses me to watch guys who are not power hitters pretend to be one.
With 1.2 or 1.21 bats a guy with warning track power can now hit the ball 310'... and he'll waste several At Bats trying to do so.
BW
Aug. 1, 2013
Tim Millette
484 posts
In my experience

1980-90.... Very few could hit homeruns..hrs usually max 340 feet

90-till Double walls came out...a few more could hit homeruns usually max 360

Double wall era... Maybe 70% of the team could hit homeruns....usually 390 max

Composite era... Almost Everyone can hit a homerun... Max for above average power hitters 480...elites 500?

So if your going to talk about comparisons you first have to decide what earlier era your talking about.
Aug. 1, 2013
the wood
1079 posts
Tim,
I thought that I did spell out the era that I was talking about by saying 30-35 years ago. Since this is now 2013, subtracting 30 and 35 from it would put us in the year 1978 to 1983.
More than 'very few' hit HRs during that span. But, as I said, there was a clear distinction between table setters and power hitters. Of the guys now playing senior ball (bear in mind I'm not talking about the 50 division) only a handful were deemed power hitters years ago.
I'm guessing that you're 12-13 years younger than me so our areas were different.
BW
Aug. 1, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
88 posts
I remember hitting the old Harwood Softball with a Wood bat. The first aluminum bat we ever used was a joke. My 2nd baseman hit a pitch and he was left standing with just the rubber handle as the aluminum portion flew into left field and man, did it sound funny as well.

We learned that you could put a bunch of different items in them as well like golf & super balls, etc.

I am truly amazed at the home run hitters these new bats have created. I have never seen so many guys that I remember playing with and against that never hit a HR (unless in the park) and now, they are the second coming of the Babe!
Aug. 1, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
yep wood,i was one of those type of table setters.....i was a basehitter with some power,but now in senior ball i'm being hit in the 4 hole,go figure....still trying to get used to it....some just don't get it......


tell me spark....
Aug. 1, 2013
STL0
38 posts
This is my first year of senior ball and I think the bat and ball combo is ridiculous. There's no reason to have it where 90% of the people on the team can hit a ball out. It adds to it when there are no home run outs after reaching the limit. My guess is that they do that because they don't want people shooting the middle when they are out of HRs but it allows teams to just have big guys hammer the ball out of the park every swing.

I love to play and enjoy the competition of senior ball, but this game is not really how softball should be played in my opinion. I'd rather see the ball in play more and make defense a bigger part of the game.
Aug. 1, 2013
phantomf4j
21 posts
OK, I rarely share my thoughts, but I am on this topic, even though I will probably catch heat for my comments. I play in the 70+ league in San Antonio. I recently lived in a Del Webb 55+ community. There was a decision made there to drop the hot-tub temperature down from 104-degrees to 100-degrees because the "older" people could not handle it. IMHO that is an absurd thing to do. Why penalize everyone for the few people who "might" have a problem with a hot-tub at normal temperatures? That is how I see this discussion about senior softball bats/balls and the danger of that combination. Yes, I understand that a batted ball can be dangerous. But if an older athlete cannot respond quick enough to get his glove up then maybe he should be trying another hobby. I realize that may sound cold, but I don't play ice hockey because I would ruin my ass from the falls I would take while participating. But I would not expect the league to be modified to ensure my safety. Pure nonsense in my opinion.
Aug. 1, 2013
phantomf4j
21 posts
Sorry guys, I clearly should have posted this further down on another thread.
Aug. 1, 2013
phantomf4j
21 posts
Sorry guys, I clearly should have posted this further down on another thread.
Aug. 1, 2013
Tim Millette
484 posts
My first softball season was 1975...

I still play in that league (Orinda/Moraga).

We used wood bats.

A year or two later the aluminum came in...as stated above. The rubber handles were glued on...

mine came of while hitting off a tee in my parents backyard...it flew straight through a plate glass window and stick handle first into a heater duck in the basement.

I have only played senior ball for 5 years...in my time I have not seen a noticeable reduction in hit ball speed do to any ball change.

Aug. 1, 2013
Sparky.1
Men's 55
88 posts
I remember the days back in the 70's & 80's when the bats were Bottle and weighed up to 38 oz. (Bombats come to mind and I was never ever a power hitter but I could spray the ball down both lines and middle and hit for the high average).

As I mentioned in my earlier post, this is my first season in Seniors and since "father time" has laid his big ugly paw on me, I can no longer play but being fortunate financially, I can and am sponsoring a men's 55+AAA club and am having a blast.

I just for the life of me can not figure out the purpose of using these high tech expensive bats and softballs that even new, could not stand up to the ones we used in batting practice back in the day.

It just seems strange to watch players that I have seen in the past who were never any type of power hitter seemingly becoming a power hitter in their Senior years. They have lost many, many steps, lost much of their arm strength throwing the ball, reaction-time is completely slowed down and yet, they are now possessed with the power to hit the rock out of the park.

Aug. 1, 2013
Shut Up & Pitch
55 posts
It's not just the Bat/Ball combination that's making guys in their senior years hit better now than years ago.

I think there are other factors that are "overlooked" when it comes to seniors hitting the ball better now than when they did in their younger years.

One example is the fact that the seniors I play with do a whole lot more batting practice now than when I was playing ball 20-40 years ago. I have done BP with guys like Imlay (He hits balls by the bushel basket)and I hit about 100-150 balls a week. I know of guys that have their own back yard batting cages. Years ago home batting cages were practically unheard of.

Another factor is that I have learned more about hitting in the last 20 years than I ever knew. With hitting videos from Ray DeMarini and many others, I learned a lot. And what about "Training Camps" and baseball/softball schools? Now with the internet there is a whole lot of hitting advice and information at the tip of your fingers. Also there are lots of information on hitting drills, not to mention instruction on sport specific strength training. Another source of learning is from just watching MLB games on TV. With instant replay, slo-mo, stop-mo and 3-D, I get to see things in HD that were not possible to see on that old 19" black and white TV set years ago.
Aug. 1, 2013
crusher
Men's 70
389 posts
My current EXPENSIVE 30 OZ Combat cost me $80 LESS than my 1997 Demarni 26oz. I just wish the bats today would hit as good as the ol 1997...... Even Though My Centenarian will rocket a ball out of the park.

I just can not understand why so much bitching occurs about the expensive bats of today when they are cheaper. If you want to bitch bring the T2000 balls back. You could hit one of those out with a 38oz Howard Steel bat that would beat a tree down.

HEY, Phantomf4j I am with you, when I can not react, then it is time for GOLF FULL TIME.

Just enjoy the game and be glad you can get out.

C
Aug. 1, 2013
Tim Millette
484 posts
Crusher, I have a mid 90s Demarini double wall I will trade for a new ultra...
Aug. 2, 2013
tattooball
614 posts
Crusher you mention the t2000 it was actually the t4000 but that is not my point. When I developed the .52/300 ball it was made to the spec's of the old super balls of yesteryear. The t4000 was a .52 cor 400 compression made of surlyn and eva. The new balls are made of poly. If you tested them side by side with todays bats you would see no difference in performance.

Back then bats didn't flex so you wanted a high cor ball to bounce off the barrel quickly, today the barrels flex so you want a low cor ball to stay on the barrel longer and make it flex.

So I agree lets bring back the super balls of years ago, because they are already here exposing average players everywhere.
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