An interview with Nightmare manager Bob Ellis!
Interview conducted on 11/2/2015
Who are you managing/sponsoring in 2016 and what teams have you been with in the past?
Nightmare/Miken… previously coached Nightmare in '2015; Arkansas Sportwear; TAI/Elite; Classic Glass; Lockdown; MCA/Easton; GEP/Mizuno
Why do you like the game of softball?
Keeps the competitive juices flowing.. softball players and coaches know.. it's different than other sports..
I'm a bona fide "Softball Knucklehead"
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen (by decade if possible)?
Dennis Rulli.. (most every pitcher would tell you Rules is "NAILS")
Bryson and Wegs.. two of the best ever, imho
Andy….. come on.. even his enemies KNOW who's the king
New guys: KP, of course; one of the most under rated I've seen was Jon Lenz with Backman…
Where do you call home?
Mt. View, Arkansas
What do you do for a living?
I'm fortunate to be able to work from home doing International Logistics
What is your softball background as a player?
OMG… just a DH, #11 hitter who hit well, but always sat myself for the ship games.. (unless I KNEW we'd kill that team) .. nothing like what we see in even the lowest divisions in the conference.
Guys.. there are 300 million citizens in the United States and only about 3000 get to play in the conference… think about that for a second
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
Picked up by a sponsored team hitting lead off in a league; played my first tournament in a regional and got all tourney.. it was ON after that.. (even at 38 years old)
What is your teams goal for 2016?
Outwork Every opponent; Win every game possible and NEVER, EVER back down… EVER from ANY team…….. that's my goal.. but it's my goal for our team
Where do you look for talent?
I'm old school.. from California.. where I used to drive an hour to watch players who didn't even know me.. I watched them play, and also watched what they did after they were done playing league/tourney's.. if they opened up the back trunk and pulled out any meth pipe.. I was gone..
How do you evaluate players?
Imo, baseball talent is 80% athletic and 20% between the shoulders.. in softball, it's the other way around.
The best at every position are not necessarily the most athletic .. it's about HITTING first, and if you happen to have an above average glove, you have a chance to make it—should you be willing to work at where your weaknesses are "
What is your favorite sports team?
USC Football, USC Football, Raiders, Dodgers, and Lakers…….and USC Football..
Going on record hoping they hire Tom Herman from UH
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I used to like to wear a uniform until we lost; but in today's game.. you have sponsors buying 4-7 different uniforms.. that don't play any longer lol
What is your most memorable softball moment?
Other than winning the ASA C Hooter's and USSSA B Worlds back to back, watching Bryson Baker say in '2003 hitting opposite field bomb at the HR run derby that year…
Watching Ressy/Hague (I could be wrong on the full name) just take it to O&S with the second version of the Easton Synergy.. which they never used until the MWS, iirc
What improvement/changes would you like to see in upper level softball that could bring in more sponsors?
Some say a mat would be the final answer; however, having a mat, does not equate to strikes "through" the zone… having a mat, imho would make calls "TO THE ZONE", not "through it" like it's supposed to be
Seeing an umpire look at WHERE the ball landed before he calls a strike or ball DRIVES ME CRAZY.. and it's wrong
What is your favorite non-World tournament?
Toys 4 Tots in Cat City…….. nothing like it, you'll get to see the future Jimmy Salas'; KP's… etc
Who was the best team in softball history?
Resmondo.. and it ain't close.. (Sorry but it's true).. their dedication to winning is a formula that no one else comes close to. I know I'll get grief for saying this, but EVERY player on Resmondo is a starter at most any other team.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Too many to remember at my age, but seeing Major players batting LEFT handed @ Demuth Park in Palm Springs because the sun was right behind the pitchers head (2:30PM or so) … is a pretty funny site to see
Seeing Helmer hit a BOMB @ BLD Mira Loma landing in the back of a pick up truck was pretty funny.. because the entire crowd said "Woooooooo"–and then it hit that back of that truck.. at like 11:30PM at night FREEZING.. that got us a little warmer
Tell us something about you that most would never know?
I used to manage and book rock and roll bands that played with Van Halen, Quiet Riot, Poison, Ratt, Great White…..
What is your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Well managing a conference team.. you don't get an "OFF" weekend during the conference season, and I'll be doing BOOK, watching the USSSA Live stream… messes me up on scoring when the link goes down
What advice can you give a young player who is trying to move to the upper level?
1) Respect the game (2) Respect those who have been there, done that, and EVERY COACH and sponsor. (3) ALWAYS return EVERY phone call or text message (4) WORK on your weaknesses and capitalize on your strengths..
and…….(5) remember those on the way up the softball ladder, because you might need a job on your way down the softball ladder