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, May 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Teams looking for players
Discussion: new 85 team forming looking for players

Fred, I'm pleased to read of the help that SSUSA gives us oldsters. I wasn't aware of it because we have yet to play in a tournament because half our team usually can't find the park. Those who do arrive at the park have younger wives who drive! LOL
, May 1, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Shadow Rock Complex

One easy solution to the Shadow Rock challenges is to limit the number of entries to those that acceptable fields can accommodate. All of those teams who are willing to skip Vegas in order to have everyone play on safe fields, raise your hands...I thought so.
, April 19, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vegas 50's Fields

Sorry. Adding in the surcharge for wives and guests, the cost is about $500 more! Less a potential $100 in food savings. That is REALLY a big extra cost for a team to play on those fields.
, April 19, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Vegas 50's Fields

curveball, our team played at that BLD in Cathedral City two years ago and we, also, were not charged as players since it was explained that our tournament entry fee covered the charge. To our surprise, our wives and other guests were not charged either! Happened on two different days with two different gatekeepers, so I guess it was the policy for tournament players.

One thing that should be mentioned to those lusting for BLD fields is that they allow no outside food or beverage (other than water) and will inspect your bag for same. This is the policy at the three BLD complexes I have played at. The frustration is that sometimes these fields are not that great. As an older team, we appreciate the covered dugouts, the cool central dining areas, and the true-bounce infields, not to mention the "thrill" of playing on a major league layout. But we have encountered poorly maintained outfields (mud holes), ripped up and poorly patched infields in front of the bases, and scoreboards that might or might not be working, but certainly were not always on.

Also, as a tournament team that usually travels to tournaments with a roster of 16 or 17, when you add in the wives, etc. for three days, the BLD surcharge is $250!! (with a sometimes-desired discount of $50 in food/beverage credit). That's a pretty hefty surcharge on top of a large team tournament fee!

That said, Dave, we will take BLD anytime we are in Vegas. Don't move us and blame me!
, April 4, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Shawnee tourney

Sparky's comment brings up a question: what do sponsors expect when their team wins a major tournament? In recent years, I have been playing on the first sponsored team in my career. Sponsor buys shirts and caps, gets lodging discounts, helps a bit with some tournament fees, and stocks a snack wagon each day at a tournament. Nothing for travel or lodging, bats or balls, but I'm happy with what is offered.

For some tournaments we won, there was a nice winner's trophy, and the sponsor was glad to display it back at the store. For other tournaments won, there was no trophy, just individual rewards from shirts to caps to bat bags.

What does the sponsor expect? Is the sponsor insulted by cheap "trinket" rewards as Sparky calls them? Does the sponsor want an old school trophy of mahogany and metal with an engraved plate? Does the sponsor care beyond having his name out there on the shirts?

I was never a sponsor, so I don't really know. What do some of you sponsors think?
, March 23, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Dudley lighting 26oz balanced

swing, I told you that you were too modest about your power! Did you break it at Hayward? I think I swung the Lightning a few times when they were selling them at Worlds in Vegas in 2014. I didn't like it. Maybe they were all end-loaded back then?


, March 17, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Adiktiv6, oh how I would like to believe that I am not only getting smarter as I age, but better! Here is my actual reality.

In 2003, a teammate started using the first Miken Ultra II that anyone on our team had ever seen. He was very generous and let the rest of us use it the second week. We were anxious to give it a try since we had noticed the dramatic improvement in how his ball travelled.

We were playing at a park I had been playing at for 50 years. The fence distance had not changed (street behind it) but the height had been raised a couple of times. I had never hit the fence in all those decades of playing there. On my first at bat with his bat (no batting practice), my ball hit the base of the fence on the fly! And my second at bat I again almost reached the fence. The first time I got a triple (left fielder was playing me customarily pretty shallow) and the second time I got a double.

I don't think I improved my swing from one week to the next with no batting practice. Not that dramatically to extend my range by 40 feet! I went home and ordered a Miken that same day. I will admit that with the new power I did change my swing to repeat the feat, and it is also true that the Miken was the best balanced bat I had ever swung, but in my mind, the bat made the difference!

But I like your thinking. I must be a better player now than 13 years ago! I'll go with "hands around the bat" as a reason.
, March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Mango, good points.
, March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Swing, I can't even hit singles "at will!" Anyway, a guy my size shouldn't be able to hit one out even with 250 foot fences…except for the hot bats. I think you are too modest about being a line drive hitter with pop. I would describe you as a doubles hitter with pop, even playing against the Major Plus guys.
, March 15, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Hey Swing, good to hear from you again. I hope to see you again in person at a tournament this season. You missed a crucial phrase in my response "In the friendly tourneys with fences closer than 300 feet". I would go broke trying to bet you that I could clear 300 today. That train has left the station. Wish I had such a thing as a Miken back in my 30s or 40s. I even borrowed a friend's titanium bat a couple of times and it didn't have the pop of my trusty Ultra II. Maybe then I might have been able to send it that far…or even better, since most of the fences where I played back in my 30/40s were 250-280, I could have had a few pops then with a Miken.
, March 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Sparky, you've got it! All my life I played the equivalent of AA or AAA ball, depending on who else was on my team. I was purely a singles hitter—not one home run in my decades of playing, and only a few triples, an occasional double because I can run. I usually batted 7 or 8. Suddenly, with my Miken, I can send the long ball. In the friendly tourneys with fences closer than 300 feet, I can clear the fence! I am now a mighty mite who can hit a mighty ball (Trump Rock is the mightiest) with my shiny mighty bat, and I am admired by all, hoisted on the shoulders of my teammates, focus of parades held in my honor when I return to my home town, given the key to the city by the Mayor, etc. I am a Super Major Ball Player.

Unlike RayRay's team which has probably been hitting home runs with a wooden bat since they were teenagers, my prowess is purely the result of a hot bat. As a consequence, I have argued for years on this forum that the hot bats are ruining the sport and the source of the decline in number of players when they should be growing as our generation has better medicine and better health!
, March 13, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

Sparky, Super Major Ball is when a pipsqueak like me on the other team can still hit a home run that clears the fence. Wait. I can do that with my hot Miken bat. I never could in the first 50 years of playing. I guess we are all playing super major now with the composite bats.
, March 9, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: bat rolling

jimperry19, your word picture was so perfect. "Has anyone ever brought their buddy from work to fill in on league because you were short guys? You know, the guy in jeans who hasn't played ball since church coed 15 years ago, but he's a good guy and owns a glove? " Don't we all know that guy, and yes, he usually pulls a hammy trying to prove his worth, or drops an easy catch because he is out of practice. The idea that he might get rocked by an illegal bat is not just scary but sad.
, March 8, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: face masks

BruceinGa, seems like it takes a secure ego to laugh off comments. I've heard them, too, especially when the mask was first introduced a few years ago. I even wear my mask in rec league, primarily to stay in tournament form as we also use a mandated screen and I could pitch without a mask.

I'm amused by 19's view that NO one is affected other than the pitcher and his immediate family. Really? A broken face…a concussion…a loss of eyesight…a death…none of that would affect anyone else? What about the slugger who hit the pitcher? I know a couple who stopped playing because of injuring a pitcher. I stopped playing co-ed ball because of hitting women who were not at the skill level of their boyfriends/husbands…and none of my hits were serious injuries, just enough to bring tears and an exit from the game.

What about the emergency room costs for uninsured injured pitchers? My taxes pay for those. What about rehabilitation costs for uninsured pitchers? Etc. Etc.

And even if it were just the pitcher's family. Is it fair to expect my wife to deal with a concussed person for years? Is it manly to drive my family into financial despair because I lose my job from injury…or have to retire too early…or get overwhelmed by medical bills beyond my ability to pay immediately?

John Donne said it well 400 years ago:
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
. . .
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
, March 8, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: bat rolling

There are other consequences to Cougar and friends' altered bats besides safety and illegality. My son played softball throughout his 20s and 30s, just like his old man. We even had the joy of playing on the same team a few years. But as I began to play senior ball, he continued in rec leagues. He never played in a tournament. He was certainly not an elitist, usually playing with his company team or a group of buddies who enjoyed a beer after a game.

But he has quit the game! Now that he's old enough to play senior ball, he has no interest. Why? Primarily because he got disgusted with the guys using altered bats—the phony long balls by out-of-shape, smaller men; the rockets through the infield from guys he'd played with for years who never had that pop until the wonder-bat; the bragging about super hits by big guys who put the ball far over the fence, farther than necessary, of course. In other words, it was altered bats that made him decide the game he loved was changed and he just didn't have any tolerance for cheaters and didn't want to cheat himself to keep up.
, March 7, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: Question about single-wall metal bats

I remember the transition time. The manager kicked in to buy the first aluminum bat and we ALL used it. Wow! A bat that won't break! After awhile another guy got tired of swinging a heavier bat than he liked and he bought the team a lighter bat. Similarly, our big guy bought a heavy bat for himself and anyone else on the team to use.

I remember that they all eventually got dented. But we all kept using them. No one saw any advantage to using a dented bat. The performance began at one level and stayed consistent. No thinking of a "hotter" bat in those days. That began with the titanium bat and the double walls. The aluminum bat in our minds was just practical.
, Feb. 29, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: General and miscellaneous
Discussion: Mendoza Line

Webbie, an interesting topic. I think I side with DieselDan on this one. For teams that have a limited geographic pool of talent, or older teams where the number of able players is reduced, there are many factors other than batting average that make a player vital to the team's success.

Also, not every team is keeping players with the goal of being a champion at the Major Plus level. Most teams, I suspect, stay together for reasons beyond championships. I loved it when my team won Vegas, but that wasn't our ultimate goal. We just wanted to play competitively in all the other 20 tournaments we were in that year. We would have had a fun and satisfying season without winning it all.

I have been on teams so desperate for a competent shortstop we would have accepted one even if he hit .300! And we rode a power hitter to a couple of tournament championships even though his batting average was one of the lowest on the team (too many long fly outs). We have also kept a pitcher with a low batting average because of his success in limiting opposing teams. And I played one year on a team with a left center fielder who was so good he covered for weak, slow fielders in left and right center. Lots of things to consider beyond batting average.
, Feb. 24, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Players looking to join a team
Discussion: 50-55 tournaments MICHIGAN

kws, joel is just having fun with you, but there is some more information that is needed.

Senior softball is made up of teams in age group segments of 5 years. For example, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, etc. Of course, if you are fit enough and good enough, you can play with younger guys (a 57-year-old on a 50 team, for example). What you can't do is play with older guys if you're not old enough. So one need, it to know your exact age.

Second, senior softball divides teams into skill categories: AA, AAA, Major, and Major Plus. This is a tough one for a manager who has never seen you play. Are your skills closer to AA or to Major Plus? Again, a need—what team would best fit your skills?

Third, teams often have guys who commute hundreds of miles to play with them, but are there tournament teams in the Pontiac area that need to pick up more guys? This is not your need, but is there an opening?

Fourth, you don't list your positions. Some teams are desperate for a pitcher; others need outfield help; any one would welcome an excellent shortstop. What are less needed are catcher or first base, unless you are a very good or very powerful hitter. What are your skill positions? What kind of hitter are you—high average or slugger?

Fifth, do you have experience with senior bats? They are high performers and also expensive. Will this be a need for you to afford and obtain the right equipment?

Last, you do need someone to ride with to tournaments. This is not unusual—lots of guys on a team carpool and ride together. But you actually have a need and can't take a turn driving. That is another need joel was referencing.


, Feb. 22, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Bats
Discussion: bat rolling

Here's an example of Professor Smith's research:

Park with 300 foot fences. Known pull-hitting slugger is at bat. Left fielder plays him deep. Ball is well struck, LF runs back, crosses the warning track, leaps, and pulls down the ball right in front of the fence! Great play! Fans cheer. Even the team at bat applauds the catch.

Two innings later. Slugger up again. Picks up a rolled bat (with "only" 2% more performance), exact model as his regular bat. Pounds the ball again, LF again gives chase, jumps up against the chain link fence, glove stretched high, ball easily sails above his glove by a foot or two. Home run! Fans cheer. Knowledgeable teammates of slugger are a bit muted. Left fielder mutters: "I didn't know he had THAT much power."

Altered bats are illegal for a reason.
, Feb. 17, 2016
Omar Khayyam
Topic: Rules of the game
Discussion: Intentional walk rule

Good idea, Fred, but it won't work in this particular situation where you have a batter described as having great bat control AND power and has already threatened opposing players. Nope, I would just get him out of the league, or get more assertive umps.
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