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Oct. 29, 2019
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: ganglion cyst removal

Over the past few years I have developed a significant Ganglion cyst right where my middle finger joins the hand. It is right where the fingers bend to grip, such as holding a softball bat. It became painful over the last few months and the "best" remedy is surgical removal.

If you have a lumpy type growth in your fingers or wrists, it might be a cyst. These are typically harmless and benign, but can cause discomfort, especially if one is hitting and fielding as in Senior Softball.

My orthopedic surgeon agrees that hitting softballs over the years, as well as catching line drives ( I have played 3rd base most of my years) could easily contribute to cysts such as this one forming in the hand. So, if you have noticed such a "growth" forming in your hand area it just might be such a cyst. And it can definitely interrupt your game if it becomes painful.

Just wanted to offer this helpful hint to anyone who might have a similar situation. Hopefully it will never become painful, but if it does, go see your surgeon and find out your best options.
Jan. 29, 2019
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: composite bats and cold weather

I am sure it has been discussed before, but I couldn't find it in any recent posts. My question is at what outside temperature should a composite bat be used without the risk of damage? I have heard 60-degrees and as low as 50-degrees, but it is the time of year when these temps are pretty common here in South Texas. I would like to start hitting off the tee and am wondering about anyone's experience with cooler weather. All my bats are broken in so they are ready to go. I have Miken, Hyper-Z, Worth and Reebok bats. Please advise.
Jan. 2, 2019
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Shoulder surgery

Mulldog- I can tell you have "been there" and have good insight. Please advise me on my situation. MRI revealed a 7mm tear in my supraspinatus last year. I went to therapy and got arm back and in good shape by spring. I play 3rd and SS, so I am throwing 120-130 feet. So I have had 6-weeks of therapy and 3 shots in my shoulder throughout 2018. And although I played thru the season and made throws OK, the pain was still there and is still there today. I worry that the tear is worse now, but cannot say with certainty. The shots do not seem to help me much. I can, however, put lotion on it and take 800mg of Ibuprofen before a game and I can control the pain enough to play. I DO NOT want the surgery at age 75. Every season and every game is important at this late stage of my softball days. So I am doing my own therapy at home with what I learned at my 2018 therapy, as well as Internet therapy ideas. Can I reasonably expect such a tear to heal on its own with therapy? I have heard yes and no on this topic. Any feedback will be appreciated.
Jan. 2, 2019
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Prostate Cancer

chico- I had radical, robotic prostate surgery 9-years ago. I had to wear a catheter for 1-week, while they determined that I could pass urine OK. After that it was about 6 more weeks before I was able to start throwing again. I was 66 back then and was playing all facets of softball in 8-weeks. I had three small incisions that needed to heal along with the inside damage that was done, but give yourself 2-3 months to get back to 100%. I would do it again to save my life, although I was left with some incontinence. I control that by wearing pads every day, but it has not impacted my ability to play ball. Good luck. I guarantee you will heal to play ball again!
Sept. 17, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: ROOKIE SENSATION ARRIVES

Hey Dave, my son was born over 8-pounds as well. He was born in a Baptist Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas. He got a certificate that said: "Any boy baby over 8-pounds, is hereby directed to report 18 years from today to the Baylor Bears football program in Waco, Texas." Pretty funny. Sounds like your grandson might be eligible for some big boy athletic program somewhere. Congratulations.
Sept. 17, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: getting bat bag to tournaments

My team will leave for Las Vegas next Sunday. This is my 3rd trip to Vegas and we went to Phoenix several years ago. A couple of times my bat bag went with a group who were traveling by car. Other times I have taken a large bag that I can cris-cross my bats inside. Then I roll up my bat bag and duct tape it into a ball and put it also in the large bag that will be checked at the airport. I also put all other equipment that I normally use in that checked bag as well. I carry my glove, uniforms and other stuff in my carry on. I ask this because I would like to just check the bat bag, with all contents, in as a checked bag and let it go that way. I am reluctant to do that because I have heard that some bats have been stolen, lost or misplaced during the trip. I would hate to get to Vegas and have to borrow a bat. Have any of you who check your bat bag ever had a bat lost during the trip to a tournament? Maybe I am being too cautious, but losing my bat or bats could ruin my whole tournament. When one pays $600 for a set of bats it is pretty expensive to see them disappear at an airport. Any feedback or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Sept. 14, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Remembering 9/11

Chief- I am playing 75 ball now. And I was a Naval Aviator during the Vietnam War. Flew the F4J off the USS Coral Sea. So 9/11 happened after my watch, but I too am grateful that we still have young men and women who will go keep us safe. I love them all, as well as those who lost their lives on 9/11. I am grateful to live in this great nation and will go to my grave recognizing that I lived better than 90% of the people on this planet. I will never take that for granted. Thank you for reminding us.
March 22, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: warm up swings

I play in San Antonio, TX and we play pretty much all day. Games start as early as 9am and last until 3pm. Tournaments are also all day. So as I read all the replies, I think the Total Control Ball may be my answer. I will be required to take my Tee along, but that is OK as long as I can swing away and make good contact with a solid ball. From what I can see, the ball will not travel over 15-20 feet even if hit hard, so I can swing away and not have to chase it down. I have ordered a few and I will see how it goes. Thanks to all who responded to my post.
March 20, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: warm up swings

I realize younger guys may not have this problem, but I hope some of you will be able to suggest some options for me. I find that when I arrive at the softball complex, it will take 4-5 swings of actual contact with the ball to get my swing mechanics down and my entire body getting into a full swing motion. I hate the first at bat because I have not made contact with a ball and I am uncomfortable until I make contact a few times. Swinging the bat freely, without ball contact, will not do it for me. Neither will pitching the ball up and hitting. We are prohibited from hitting the ball against the chain link fencing, so that is out. What I really need is 5-10 batting practice pitches/swings before game time. That is also typically not possible. What products or techniques are any of you using to provide a simulated ball strike activity before game time? Any feedback will be appreciated.
Jan. 14, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon

Cyclops- I appreciate your comments, because although I am 75 next month, I am optimistic about therapy being my best option. I think I have two more good years and then will probably think about the end of my softball days, so surgery is not an option for me right now. I do realize that I will probably have some pain, but even before I went to the doc I could take 800mg of ibuprofen and slop on some ointment and I could go play. With completed therapy, my meds and Absorbine, I expect to be near 100%. And I will ask about the electric stimulation. Sounds like maybe ultrasound. But my fear now is that I will damage it again or tear it all the way. That is also a fear if I get the cortisone shot, since it masks the pain. But I am going to take that chance.
Jan. 12, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon

Since I started this thread, I wanted to tell you of my progress. As some of you suggested, I found a sports injury therapist and he is convinced that with my partial tear he can have me ready for the 2018 season by our first tournament on Feb 16. (spring comes early in south Texas!!)) If I still have pain I will consider the cortisone injection, but I hope to avoid it. I am going for therapy 2X a week and then doing exercises at home to heal and strengthen the shoulder area. The therapy is somewhat painful, but I am willing to live with it to play ball again. No hitting, no throwing, no real shoulder exertion for the next 5-weeks. But I am planning on playing in our initial tournament in mid February. I do feel for anyone who has the full tear because it is indeed a long and difficult recovery, with significant pain to boot. But at age 75 I am blessed to be among the very few who play competitive sports here in America. I never take that for granted. Thanks for all the comments and feedback.
Jan. 6, 2018
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon

I have been diagnosed (after an MRI) with a partial tear of the supraspinatus tendon. It is a tear that is associated with rotator cuff injuries, although mine will not require surgery at this point. Here are my questions, since I have heard pros and cons to how to proceed with such an injury. After 3-months of pain my shoulder has stopped hurting. It is still painful if I make a throwing motion, but the constant pain is gone. If I take 800mg of ibuprofen and rub in some ointment, I can play infield OK. (3rd base and SS) Hitting is not effected at all. I am hearing that, in time, such an injury can and will heal itself. I am further hearing that once a tear occurs it will not typically tear any further. So with all that taken into consideration, I am scheduled for 4-6 weeks of therapy after which I will get a shot of cortisone if needed. I realize everyone is different, but there are some things that are common to everyone in such an injury. I fully expect to play ball in the spring. Has anyone been down this road? What can you tell me about what to expect as far as the thing healing with just therapy? Does a shot make me more susceptible to further damage? Anything you can tell me will be beneficial to me, so please share your experience. Thanks in advance.
Nov. 13, 2017
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: cortisone shot

I have indeed talked to several players who have had the shot in their shoulders and they eventually had to have the rotator cuff surgery. So, I am hoping it will work for me for a few years. I am 75 and may not play but 3-4 more years, so a short term fix that does not require surgery is what I am seeking.

Nov. 13, 2017
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: cortisone shot

Like many, I am starting to experience serious pain in my throwing shoulder. I can still swing the bat OK and I can throw, but with pain. Picking up an object and moving it away from my body is very painful. Has anyone tried the cortisone shot and if so, what were the results? I understand three shots is the maximum. I am hearing mixed results on the shots. What can you tell me about such an option? Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Aug. 9, 2017
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Warm up bat swing

Great replies guys. I really appreciate it. For all you younger guys who are not beyond 70 yet you may not understand how the body seems to require more warm up and loosening before games. In addition, I find that during the winter my skills erode significantly and it is several weeks into the spring before I start to play with a full range of motion. Even in the summer if I am "off" for a couple of weeks it takes me several days to get back what I lost in just 2-weeks. But I am blessed to be able to play and will do it as long as I can contribute. I know it is often overlooked, but I have a friend, also in his 70's, who says yoga has provided him a new life as far as flexibility and less pain is concerned. I am going to give it a try.
July 30, 2017
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Warm up bat swing

I am 74 and play in the San Antonio Senior Softball League. I find myself getting to the ballpark and my first 2-3 swings are less than full power. That means I squander a couple of at bats just trying to get my wrists, arms and body into the bat swinging mode. It is the same in my back yard at my hitting station. I will swing 3-4 times before I start to loosen up and get my full swing into the groove. If I swing the bat at home and then drive to the ballpark I will lose most of that benefit. So I need something I can take with me and use at the park. I know there are numerous products out there that will provide me with a bat swing warm up before the game starts. I need something that is portable, easily set-up and taken down and will give me the full impact of a normal softball. Maybe none of you need to loosen up with a bat. But if you do, what are any of you guys using to provide a realistic swing impact at the park before game time. Frankly, the wiffle ball or "small ball" products will not work since I need the resistance that a 12" softball will offer. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Jan. 5, 2017
phantomf4j
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: New age eligibilty rules for 75s and 80s - Reactions?

I will turn 74 next month, which makes me eligible (now one of 7 players??) who can play 75 ball. I learned just this week that now 7 younger players can play 75 ball. That means, of course, that when a 75 team goes to a tournament there will almost certainly be competing against a team that is fielding seven age 73/74 players. It therefore forces all 75 team managers to find younger players for their team. I worry that the guys who are 76 and beyond will not get to play regularly. And I will be there in just 2-years, so it is important to me.
Aug. 18, 2016
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: ProSwingEZ

I came across a product that I am curious about. It is called ProSwingEZ. Some of you probably know about it already. It is a pair of rubber rings that go on the bat handle where your fingers actually grip the bat. (also comes in a 3-piece with a matching bat taper) It appears to give more grip control and possibly other benefits. Goes on the bat much like a bat taper but on down where your fingers wrap around the bat handle. My main question is whether it is approved by senior softball associations. It doesn't alter the actual bat and simply is pulled into place by stretching over the knob and down into place where your fingers line up on the bat handle. Anybody know about this product? Is it legal? Any reviews or decisions from SSUSA? Any feedback is appreciated.
Jan. 25, 2016
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Best Wishes to Terry Hennessy

Terry-

Had radical prostate surgery in 2009. Retired in February 2009 and found the cancer in May of 2009. I chose the robotic option. After the surgery I had to wear the catheter for a week, and I was left with some incontinence (soak up about 2-pads a day) but that is a small price to pay for getting to live another day.

I play for the 70's senior league in San Antonio, TX.

Yes, there are some inconvenient issues to deal with after the surgery, but I am happy with my outcome.

I wish you the best my friend. I am convinced that there are thousands of men walking around with prostate cancer and some of them will succumb to it because they do not realize how important it is to get a biopsy every few years.

Kindest regards.


Dec. 9, 2015
phantomf4j
Topic: Bats
Discussion: The care of senior bats

Well guys, as far as composite material is concerned, here is my 2-cents worth. Aviation (both military and general aviation) have been using composite materials for decades and leaving them out in all weather all across the world. I even know of one instance where a composite homebuilt airplane was left to the elements out behind a guys shop. It was retrieved after years of sitting in the Texas heat. It was cleaned up, inspected and put back together. It passed inspection and flew again. I realize bats and airplanes are radically different, but the material is not vastly different. I do not really think composite materials are effected at all by being in the garage in a bat bag or leaning up against the wall. That stuff is pretty tough.
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