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Discussion: Softball danger - how do we fix it????

Posted Discussion
April 23, 2009
Men's 55
88 posts
Softball danger - how do we fix it????
All the new safety discussions have prompted me to state what I think is the problem that no one seems to address much if at all. It is the BALLS that are causing all of these injuries my friends #1, then #2 the bats contribute also. If the balls were changed, the bats could remain in my opinion. The worst injuries I have seen on a softball field have mostly been from thrown balls. I had my jaw broken in 2 places by a Skyhawk Blue Stitch 47/525? ball thrown back in 1992 before special bats. I have the plate with 4 screws still in my jaw to remind me of that one. I know of and witnessed 3 people who sustained permanent damage from being hit by wild thrown balls at 1st base trying to beat our grounders. Brain damage, broken cheeks, jaws and eye sockets resulted. I witnessed an Ultra 2 line drive that shattered our pitchers eye and socket in 2003. I sustained a ground ball injury to my shin at 2008 Spring Worlds that had me concerned about losing my lower leg from infection being a type 1 diabetic. That injury happened in April and lasted until August last year. Bottom line is that the current softballs are just hard plastic with no give nowadays. They break bones when they hit you now. Joe Lecak recently published a very interesting article from 1982 about softballs changing. The old balls were not plastic, they were wound or cork center and did not kill you or shatter bones when they hit you. Kevin (Trumpball) gave us all good info on ball technology a while back also. Now I love to hit and I dig the long ball, but I feel I could always adjust to being a singles hitter if I had to and leave the home runs for the big boys just like the old days. If we could just get a higher cor, lower compression ball, that would not feel like a pillow when you hit it, that is the solution in my opinion. It would eliminate missed balls going over the fence and the little guys banging them out and acting big and also bring defence back into the game a little(for me hopefully:) I remember playing softball many years ago without gloves at picnic type games. I would never dream of doing that now. I would rather be hit be a hard ball today that a softball because the hardball is actually softer, not being plastic. Sorry for the long post, but had to give my 2 cents. PS - I don't like HR restriction rules or the ridiculous PPR rule because no pitcher I know ever stays in the stupid box.
April 23, 2009
Men's 50
3114 posts
It's always great to hear what you think
It sounds like the guy who comes up with a ball that's lively and doesn't penetrate
when it hit's a body is going to make
a zillion bucks.
To the lumber yard....
Look at baseball.
The Ball has to be able to go fast and far from the ball or the bat or the muscles (STEROIDS)
in order to be enjoyable enough
to play, enjoy, watch or invest in.
This is what everyone seems to be missing.
You have to be able to hit the ball
hard or fast or far
when you hit it right.
Now, maybe some light air filled ball
like a tennis ball is worth some research one that smooshes when it hits you and won't break bones.
The hardest I was ever hit by a ball
G, was in a rec league game
running through first base.
It made my head buzz real loud for a couple of seconds.
Say hi to l'il G for me.

April 24, 2009
Men's 55
88 posts
Hi Joe.
You and I agree on one thing that we both enjoy in softball.
Hit ball hard, watch ball go far.
But, there are always things we will disagree on which is cool with me.
Balls are the simplest and cheapest solution to this mess in my opinion.
I don't think anyone is going to get rich selling softballs. They are like golf balls and have a very small profit margin. Like golf, the money is in the big ticket items - clubs, and in softball -bats.
Think about this - how many HR's have you mishit that still went out while using Sr. bats and current balls?
I still feel like I'm cheating when that happens to me. A direct result of Catholic School guilt maybe.
I also used to get a kick out of buzzing a ball down the third base line just out of the defender's diving reach, or hard up the middle where the pitcher couldn't get to it.
Now, we can't do that without risk of hurting some one who is often your friend on the mound.
Why should the middle be taken away from us as hitters?
Some of the best hitters I've played with hit it hard up the middle, but none of them intentionally want the pitcher to catch it or to hurt the pitcher.
If we had a ball that would bounce off of people without killing them, maybe it would be OK again?
I know for me, I don't always get something until I see and feel it first hand.
Seeing a buddy lying unconscious in a bloody heap on the mound is something I never want to see again.
Having my jaw wired shut and eating through a straw for 9 weeks is something I never want to experience again.
Something has to be done to get the game back to where it should always have been.
When you hit an HR, you should know you crushed it, got it all and hit it perfect, not oops, missed it, then wow, it went out...

James LG - nice to know someone in this world agrees with me on something. : ) Thanks.
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