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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.
June 7, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Batters Box

Well, in our league we hit off a batters box mat that has the lines painted on. So there is no way to scrub out that forward line. It seems to me that any batter should be able to hit any pitch within that box without stepping out, but we do have guys who take a couple of steps forward as they move to hit the ball. I have heard that even if one foot is in the box it will not be called. I've heard that the umpire doesn't call it anyway because he is looking at other issues and is not conerned about that one. But then, one gets to serious playoff situations and the umpires there might well call it. I think it's a bad habit to get into simply for that reason.
June 7, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: hitting practice

Just finished reading the excellent article in the spring issue of Senior Softball News entitled, "Batting Practice on Tee Helps Tone Swing," by Art Eversole. I hope Art himself will respond to this, but I want to hear from anyone who might offer any feedback.

I built myself a hitting station in my back yard with a 12 X 20 commercial fishing net. For months I used a stationary Tee and was able to hit balls at my liesure. Then I got another idea that seems to be working well. I purchased a SKLZ Quickswing PX4. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a plastic tube type setup that will hold 8-softballs. It is on a tripod and is raised to about 6 1/2 feet. It has a battery operated feeder that will drop a ball every 6,8 or 10-seconds. It can be configured a number of ways, but it also has a small net and frame rebounder at ground level onto which the ball falls and then is rebounded up into the strike zone. If positioned right it will loft the ball about chest high and right over the plate.

I can hit 100 balls in an hour with no difficulty. I put a bucket of balls up near the feeder end of the tube and load 8 balls at a time then go push the timer and hit all 8 before I feed another 8 balls. In the summer I can hit 100 balls in the morning and another 100 in the evening. With lights I could hit into the night easily.

I believe live arm slow pitching is the very best for hitting practice. But I can't afford the time or the expense of doing this several times a week. However, I can achieve 100-balls in an hour as I've described above. So here is my question for the hitting gurus out there in Senior Softball: Will the drop toss method I have set up provide a better hitting experience for me than hitting off a stationary Tee? Is the motion of the ball, even off a rebounder as I have just described, a better option for building muscle memory and technique? Would I be better off just hitting off the Tee?

With this approach I can position myself between pitches, I can think about bat speed, follow-through, extension, etc Even at age 71 I still love the game and want to improve, especially in my hitting technique. I have several other related questions about hitting practice, but will post those at another time. I am eager to hear from anyone who can give me some views and/or feedback. Thanks in advance.
Feb. 3, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: gloves on throwing hand

Airbosn-

"J" model was an incredible machine. But we better stick to softball or get a reprimand! Manning is not the only QB that wears a glove on his throwing hand. I realize such gloves might not be for everyone, but I am looking for any edge. I have developed arthritis in my fingers, hands and wrists and in cold weather I think this glove might be useful. I will keep searching for this product and if I find it I will let you know.
Jan. 30, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: gloves on throwing hand

I'm a naval aviator from the Vietnam era. We were issued flame retardant gloves that were like a second skin. As softball4B mentions one can pick up a dime with these gloves. I am certain I could throw a ball accurately with these gloves on. Of course, they were for aviation and too long (mid forearm) to used as such. But I am convinced that such a glove must exist out there that could be applied to the softball game. I will look into the Lowe's/Home Depot idea as well as the G-Tek suggestion by Treacy. Thanks to all.
Jan. 28, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: gloves on throwing hand

Thanks taits. I will only add what I have read about such gloves. The gloves that I have heard about would indeed allow one to grip any ball, even the 12" softball. And frankly, if you observe where the hands are placed on a football it is not all that much greater than our senior softball. The fingers in gripping a football are more spread for certain, but the overall ability of the hand in this glove is flexible enough to throw a softball, with the fingers curved over the ball. I believe the product is out there, but has not been connected to softball yet. I hope it makes an appearance because I would like to try them. Please let me know what you find out and thanks again for the research.
Jan. 27, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: gloves on throwing hand

softballnuts-

I have also been to that site and agree there is no mention of a glove for the throwing hand. Nevertheless, there is such a product and it is being used in other sports. Apparently these gloves have knuckle expansion and skin-like material in the palm and fingers so one can actually grip a ball as well as he does with the naked hand. I always wear a batting glove on the hand inside my fielding glove. But in cold weather I could sure see how a supple gripping glove might be useful on the throwing hand as well, especially in the early spring and late fall. I hope someone has tried this product and can add some information.
Jan. 27, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Product review
Discussion: gloves on throwing hand

I am aware that equipment of all types has been advanced beyond what any of us ever expected. I am now hearing that there is a glove on the market that actually allows one to throw effectively with the glove on the throwing hand. These gloves are surely different than a normal quality hitting glove, as I doubt anyone can throw effectively with a normal batting glove on their throwing hand. I am hearing of two product lines that offer such a glove. The manufacturers are Saranac and Sandman. Have any of you ever tried these gloves on the throwing hand? I am wondering if they are effective and if there is any performance tested data in the softball arena. Many NFL QB's are now wearing them on the throwing hand and seem to be performing as usual. Just wondering if any senior players, especially those in the northern climates, are using such a product.
Jan. 3, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Bats
Discussion: bats and cold weather

titanhd-

I tend to agree with you about the negatives of hitting with a composite bat in cold weather. However, my concern stems from a comment I heard recently about bringing your composite bats inside during the winter. (storing them under the bed or somewhere) Because, according to this theory, the cold temperatures over the winter months will have a deteriorating effect on the composite material and weaken it somehow.

You are correct that there are no warning labels on either bats or balls about cold temps, but that can't replace observed experience.

I guess I am skeptical of the premise that repeated exposure to cold will damage a stored bat and just wondered if anyone had heard anything to either certify or dispel that suggestion.
Jan. 2, 2014
phantomf4j
Topic: Bats
Discussion: bats and cold weather

OK, this has probably been hashed and re-hashed, but I need to hear opinions on it. As I understand it, it is not usually the composite bat itself that is affected by the cold, but rather the ball. Thus, when the composite bat makes contact with a ball in cold weather, the changed consistency of the ball causes damage to the bat. If that is basically a fact, then it leads me to this question.

Is it OK to store a composite bat in a cold environment during the colder months? I live in South Texas, where temps rarely fall below 30-degrees, even on the coldest nights. I typically leave my bat bag and all my gear, including bats, in my garage. I have never experienced any damage or repurcussions to the composite bats when leaving them in a cold garage. But is there any chance that cold temps could in any way cause deterioration to composite bats?

So, I based my question on the premise that it is a cold ball that causes damage to a composite bat, instead of the bat itself being cold. Please comment on that premise as well as whether the "cold storage" aspect has any bearing.

Thanks in advance to all responders.
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