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Discussion: What does it take to be a Major player?

Posted Discussion
Oct. 17, 2012
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
403 posts
What does it take to be a Major player?
Thanks for great suggestion Webbie.

Oct. 17, 2012
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
This should be interesting....Aloha, Fabe
Oct. 17, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Like a beautiful woman, probably not easily defineable but you know one when you see one.
Oct. 17, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
I assume when you say Major players you are specifically referring to Impact players. An Impact player is an individual who can change the course of the game, based upon their play or presence.

There are major players at all levels of play within Senior Softball. You can play on a Major or Major+ team and not be a "major" player. There have always been role players that are integral to the success of the team as a whole, but are they “impact” players. I have a huge issue with a team winning a major title and everyone on the team being labeled “major +”. Obviously there are some players who are no question, major + players and there are others who fall short of that generalization. SSUSA has a procedure in place to appeal your rating, so they are trying to treat each individual fairly.

So what does it take to be an impact player. IMO, an impact player is an individual that can affect the outcome of the game. This individual is not limited to offense or defense, but rather to their influence on the game. An “impact” player at AA may or may not be as successful at another level. That does not deter from their significance or importance at that level.
If you are only referring to the “elite or gifted” within our sport, then the list is much smaller. Usually their contribution is a combination of multiple skills.

Are they a “5 tool” player? In baseball, a five tool players hit for average, hit for power, base running skills, speed, and throwing. I believe this translates well to softball, but I would add that you could be a 5 tool player if you do not one of the listed skills, if that skill is substituted with knowledge of the game.

These “gifted” athletes succeed primarily on what they were born with and then there are those that combine their gifts with knowledge of the game. They truly could change the course of a game based upon their play.

I am no authority, but for conversation sake, my list of 5 Tool players plus the knowledge of the game would include:
Sal Formosa, Ron Parnell, Paul Salow, Jim Rossi, Mark Weber.

I recognize there are truly great players that are not listed, but the discussion must start somewhere.
Oct. 18, 2012
LeeLee
86 posts
I do not believe that one of tools is base running skills. I believe it is a glove (defensive skills).
Oct. 18, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
It is hitting for power, hitting for average, running speed, arm strength, and fielding.
Oct. 18, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
I stand corrected, cut and pasted the wrong sentence.

Error re: my player list Jimmy Ross not Rossi, sorry Jim.
Oct. 18, 2012
Olden Slow
Men's 65
182 posts
Crap..That makes me a 2 tool player..On any given day I have no idea which tools I have..But I'm pretty sure I have 2 of them..
Oct. 18, 2012
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
There are some who just think I am a tool.
Oct. 18, 2012
CurtfromKY
40 posts
I believe this needs to be broken down even more. The term "major" should not include the upper age groups(ex. 65-75 ages)because at this stage, nearly all the players play at the same level. There are somme exceptions, but not enough to class major. I agree there are many, many quality players all over that are gifted enough to be called Major, but to use 5 tools is not accurate. Do these players also have to be "giants" or ex-MLB players? I believe the best way to classify a major player would be... does he hurt a team by playing "average" defense; does he know how to hit in any situation (including sac fly, walking, etc.); does he think base running means one base-at-a-time or evrything you can get without being thrown out; would you rather have a player that can hit 2-4 w 2hr or one that is 4-4 w 4 singles? Knowledge and desire to be perfect along with the LOVE OF THE GAME can never be replaced with any tools. Major players should excel in ALL areas of the game----not just a few.
Oct. 18, 2012
leftyodoul
Men's 60
99 posts
A Major player cannot be defined by one particular set of skills or measuring stick. A Major player is someone who brings something to a "Major" classified team that is needed by that particular team in order for that team to be successful. Example - You might be a "singles" hitter who never hits more than .500, but if you are a solid defensive player, playing a defensive position that is deemed to be very important (i.e. shortstop or outfield) to that team, then you are a Major player. The same goes for a guy who consistently hits Home Runs but can't field a lick. He brings something to that team (i.e. power) that is needed. It takes a unique blend of talent and chemistry to make a successful team at any level. Very often, chemistry is much more important than talent.
I think that Jimmy (Enviro Vac) will agree with me on that last statement.
Oct. 19, 2012
Paco13
374 posts
I agree with all the comments about a 5 tool player. However this is my twist to the topic. Senior bats changed what a 5 tool player is. Here is my point. In 2010 I played 50 M for the 1st time with Metro Stars (2010 TOC Champions) and I want to say that on my second or third game with the team I was in 1st and the next batter got a single and I stretch it and slide in 3rd safe. After the inning was over the coach pulled me to the side and asked me why I went to 3rd...when Baer Chandler(SPA impact player list) was coming up and he was going to hit HR which he did. Here is the point with senior bats and especially on a Good major team everybody hits in the 700 or better, therefore u can almost go from station to station, Defense is almost none existant especially in the IF where bullets are coming at you. I have played senior tournaments on where I probably had 2-3 catchable balls hit at me on SS the entire wknd. I believe that the new definition of a senior major player is somebody that can hit 850-900 with power and is a great OF or have the audacity to pitch. Running the bases is something of the past and so are double plays for the most part. Mis dos centavos.

PR NINJA OUT...JESUS TE AMA
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
The 5-tool rule really doesn't apply to slow-pitch for a number of reasons. Looking back historically, was Don Arndt a 5-tool player (didn't run particularly well, but didn't need to)? Same with Rick Scherr. Buddy Slater did not have power, but didn't need to. Yet they are three quick examples of two of the very best of all-time.

Again, I think you just know a high-level player when you see one.
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary33
143 posts
6th Tool Leadership.
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Oops, make that three of the very best.
Oct. 19, 2012
Duke
Men's 60
725 posts
Softball4b,

I agree with most of what you said. I strongly believe that a 6th item as Leftyodoul stated is definitely as important as the talents of any player or team, and that is Team Chemistry. I work that on that for any team that I manage or play, regardless of the level of the team.

Andy Smith,
60 Major
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
"5 tools" is a long-established baseball approach that can be applied to softball, if a way, as well. There is no sixth tool, per se.

Sure other things can apply, heck I don't care if a guy has 10 tools if he is unreliable. But these five tools are a long-rooted concept that won't get changed on here.
Oct. 19, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Gary unless this is restricted to physical traits how about smarts, intelligence, good instincts?
Oct. 19, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, I am sure it can be about anything people want. All I was saying, in regard to the "5 tool" aspect, those tools have been well-defined for decades.
Oct. 20, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Darn, Gary, and now you have to disparage the idea that there may be other 'tools' that would make a player more desirable to a team. For a "one tool player' like yourself (keyboard), I can imagine it's hard to watch guys that can really play. Quit trying to hijack this one, too.
Oct. 20, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
I think we should separate the 5-tools and the 'intangibles'-the mental tools. I agree that you can be all world at every physical aspect of the game, but if you do not mesh with your teammates, you are worthless. Chemistry is so important. Being a team player is critical. Knowing and accepting your role on the team. And stick8, as usual, hits the other big three-smarts, intelligence, and good instincts. And I separate smarts and intelligence, because you can be intelligent (like Gary19), but not very smart (like Gary19).
Oct. 20, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Gary that's true. But I've long held the mental game is as tough if not tougher than the physical aspect.
Oct. 20, 2012
Capt Kirk
410 posts
I thought the tool issue was not a factor in determining whether a player is a major rated player. If his team wins a major tournament as a AAA rated team and then are bumped up to a major rating all players on their roster will be classified as major rated players.
Capt
Oct. 20, 2012
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Probably not as much in slow-pitch as fast-pitch or hardball, and perhaps even less in senior ball since the bats take away a lot of "small ball" that used to be played. But I see your point.
Oct. 21, 2012
boston
306 posts
When rating players I believe it is more about physical skills. Those skills can be observed objectively. The intangibles such as leadership, chemistry etc. are far tougher to evaluate and are subject to various peoples perceptions of what those intangibles are. The one thing about these skills is they are mostly offensive skills with the exception of throwing. But in senior ball I see defense looked at as a non-factor. In many of the discussions a players status is usually based on their ability to hit for avg or power. While playing catcher, EH or pitcher and having people run for them. As much as I like hitting a softball, I enjoy stealing hits and keeping runners from advancing due to my arm and speed to the ball.

Some intangibles I would like added ability to play hurt. Ability to play effectively in 4-5 consecutive games in the OF and still willing to run for others while batting. These are other intangibles that we could add so I can be considered a major player. lmao

"Stay thirsty my friends"
Oct. 22, 2012
bkb555
93 posts
I don't think it is being a "major" player that is important but rather being a "major" team......by this I mean, having a good hitting team that can produce singles but also get HR's when needed.....our team is a good AAA team and I think i could play on a "major" team but the other players around me would have to step up for this to happen so we could compete on that level....right now, we are a AAA team because we lack consistent hitting throughout the lineup and dont get runs every inning...that is a recipe for losses and not moving up.....so back to the original post, I think a major player is a good AAA player who can compliment a team and fill in and produce to keep the team moving along....if you put one "major" player on a AAA team, you will see how his contributions will lessen because the others around him cant compliment his abilities....it is a team thing more than an individual thing....major teams just have a lot more great AAA players....bkb555
Oct. 22, 2012
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
403 posts
Lots of good posts here and like bkb555's opinion. I also like boston's signature ..."Stay thirsty my friends" :)
Oct. 22, 2012
stick8
1318 posts
Good comments bkb555. Could you describe how you would assess a major plus team?
Oct. 23, 2012
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Major player should be someone who can bat over 650 on a consitant basis and play some defense with some power IMO... Major plus should be someone over 700 with power and glove! Impact players should be able to take a game over from time to time either with bat or glove or both.. IMO

My feeling is the best players usually can do one thing well and mostly that is hit! I see Major plus talent that are such good Ball Strikers with no glove that this makes them Major plus Talent! Then there are a few that can dominate with their Glove... and sometimes you get the rare athlete that can do both.. I am truly amazed at all the great athletes that I see competing in the 50s still rolling like they are in their 20s.. In my book it's been a great experience to be competing against all these great athletes...Win or lose it's all about competing!
Oct. 23, 2012
southernson
261 posts
Swing,
I gotta agree with you it is a great experience. I've got many memories of tournaments and games when I was young and playing ball. And there are bonds that were formed then that are lifetime friendships, and yes when I see those guys we reminisce about times on the field and off. But I also tell them that playing ball in my 50's and seeing the talent and competitive level....it's a lot of fun to watch and in a different way, much more rewarding.

The senior ballplayers are soooo much better hitters, it's not even close. And before anyone starts the senior bat routine, skip it. Senior hitters are so much more selective and hit fewer bad pitches. Senior hitters have seen all the pitching tricks so they are less easily fooled. And senior hitters make you pay more for mistakes on defense and mistake pitches. They'll routinely turn what should have been a 3-out 4 run inning, into a 7 out 15 run inning before you know it if you open the door with mistakes.

I've played that game of the best teams when I was young against the best teams when I was older as I'm sure many of you have. The natural thing is to say the young version of us most always wins, but I'm not so sure in reality that's the way it plays out.

We just played Hollis this last weekend, we're vis and up 18-1 after 1 1/2 innings. We lost 35-24 in three innings and there were a few home runs, but most hits were just peas......I don't remember seeing that quality of hitting as much as when I was young. I see it now at least once or twice a month....OLD GUYS DO RULE....
Oct. 23, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Hollis did that to us several times this year-we had them 12-1 in the championship game in Vegas and I only had a sense of foreboding. They all hit- top to bottom. I love playing them-looking forward to next year!
Oct. 24, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
Stick:
You're absolutely correct, the 'real game' is played from the neck up. This is why many players are so enamored with their stats... they don't want to acknowledge that the thinking part of the game is vital... doing so would minimize their contribution.
The other thing is attitude... I don't care how many tools or how far he/she can hit a ball... winning comes down to attitude. If you're in it for selfish reasons you'll be a selfish player.
We made a point to avoid recruiting selfish guys (after getting burned a few times) no matter how many tools they had or how many 'punt, pass and kick' contests they won... or said they won.
It aint what you can do it's when you do it.
For those players that feel that M+ teams are loaded with 5 tool guys really ought to watch a few games. You'll find that 'somebody's smarts' made a bigger difference than tape measure HRs.
This was true years ago and even more true today (senior ball).
BW
Oct. 25, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Wood-You just said it best. I learned a long time ago that you get better by playing the best and watching what they do to win. This year I got the chance to play with some of the best and it was great. I had never seen anybody on GSF except Dennis and Jeff play. Corky and Danoski would play third even with the bag and I know that got in the heads of some guys we played. Corky is amazingly quick for his age-no offense intended of course. Although we had pretty decent power, the games we played the best we had lots of base hits AND played good defense and that pumped the rest of the team up. The guys played within themselves. I got the chance to watch 'real' power guys like Steve Imlay, Mike Adair, and Fred Purvis. Some of their shots are still orbiting, I think. But they also had high averages. It wasn't all about HR's. Pete Houghton did everything out there-5 tools-at(I think) 65 yrs old.
I don't think we hit the 12 hr's all year. Plus, I don't think any 60 M+ team hit 12 against us, although a couple were close. And, I never thought anyone on our team played selfishly. I can't wait for next year now.
Oct. 25, 2012
the wood
1087 posts
Corky & Ron play a shallow 3rd base due to arm strength limitations, a concept that not everyone understands or are willing to admit. Both have extremely good hands and neither are afraid of the ball (another rare quality). They bruise like Irish boxers and very are welcome additions to our team in 2013... in addition to many other character guys from GSF (incl Pete) and other teams.
Neither Corky nor Ron would be considered 5 tool players, they just help teams win... they're keepers, IMO.
BW
Oct. 25, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Wood-Corky knows it gets in peoples heads for sure. I enjoyed bantering with him this year, too. I agree-they are keepers.
Oct. 25, 2012
crump22
Men's 50
44 posts
Enviro-Vac,I believe a Major Player is someone who can make a play or get a hit when your team is behind,any player can hit during a blow out.
Oct. 26, 2012
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
WOODY....IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHAT ''TOOL'' YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
Oct. 26, 2012
canIjack
Men's 60
322 posts
Listen Guys, IMO, Any person that is 60 years old and older, he or she runs, hits, fields, throws and can Tie their shoes is a 5 tool player and BLESSED.


The reason I didn't include speed? I don't believe you have to be fast, but you got to be quick. Those first 2 steps, getting the jump if you will on the ball.
Quick Reaction, Quick feet, Quick hands. Quick to pop. Oh Sorry, please exclude the last Quick. But you get my
drift.
Oct. 26, 2012
Webbie25
Men's 60
1992 posts
Ron-you actually didn't say that, did you??
Oct. 26, 2012
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Well according to SSUSA since we won Vegas (50AAA) we are a Major team...so I guess when shaving I am lookn @ a Major player! Ha,Ha...Aloha, Fabe
Oct. 27, 2012
Tri18
644 posts
Fabe...aloha my friend! Perhaps we can find a loophole in the rules...
If you don't shave, you won't see a major player so you,
Can still play AAA! Lol
Great job, hope to Ambush you soon,
Alan
Team 1 Sports
Oct. 27, 2012
Fabe
Men's 50
225 posts
Wats up AL? I stopped shaving for a while, but some strange gray matter began to grow on my face! Our team is seriously lookn @ playn in the TOC...maybe we can meet after all. Stay safe my Bruddah...Fabe
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