Interview conducted on 10/9/2015
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
At the conference level I have played; 3rd, 2nd, short stop, left and right field, Pitcher.
Best position: 2nd or 3rd.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Hard to say as there are so many great players, Greg Connell, Andy Purcell, Brian Wegman, Orlando Castillo come to mind. I think Wegman hit a ball off me in the Dudley this past season that hasn't landed lol :
Why do you like the game of softball?
I love the game of softball for the competiveness and people you get to meet along the way. It's not just a sports its life. I love watching other top end player play, studying the game and being around the fields every chance I can get, I'm what most people would call a 'Rube'
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I'd have to say my hitting partner and good friend Cory Hines from Encompass, dude mashes and sometimes doesn't even know how good he really is. I don't know how much he's up and coming now being a 2nd team all-conference player lol. Ryan Hassler from Encompass is all of 21 years old I think and has the physical tools to be pretty special as well, got to know him when we played together on a team a few years ago before we both played conference.
Also shout out to Scott Jacobs, he may not be an up an comer (8 year conference guy) but he has one of the best swings I have ever seen, I laugh because he would say "Im really hurting today" and barely get around the bases but be 4/4 in the game with clutch hits, I truly learned a ton from playing with him and getting the job done when you physically don't feel well.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Slim and Tbay, I got name "Slim" from Mike Beardsley, I played against his team a number of years ago and I was pitching dancing on the mound with my platinum blond hair while they were buzzing middle lol, Tbay, short for Tampa Bay, I vacation there a lot (Ybor City).
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Weight lifting, at a local park hitting or spending time with my pets at home
What do you do for a living?
Work for Wells Fargo doing QA analysis of mortgages.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Played sport H.S. and College, hurt my shoulder pitching for Community College team, had rotator cuff surgery and never went back to playing as I wasn't good enough to keep playing.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
While rehabbing my shoulder I had a buddy to ask me to pitch Co-ed, I had seen my dad play softball for years in the dudley but I thought the game was too slow to play, somehow I became hooked and after my stints of playing town baseball ended, I jumped into softball and never looked back at baseball.
After a couple years of playing D ball, I asked my bud Mike Beardsley what I needed to do to become a better ball player and move up, he said I needed to get bigger and stronger for one, so that offseason I lived in the gym and put on 40 lbs of muscle. He also told me something to the effect I needed to hit till my hands bleed and then keep doing it, so I did, 100 degrees I hit, snowing I hit, raining I hit. Then he told me to try and connect with some upper players. I hit in Scott Brown's (Brownie's) hitting league in the offseason, he gave me some great tips to adjust my swing and how to overlap grip, I worked harder than I ever worked before and went and tried out for WSC/Sportsman shop in May 2014 and played with them for the past 2 seasons. Special thanks to Brandon Davis, Chad Adams, Jermaine Parker, Stever Hower, Brandon Patzig and to Jacobs Family; Bob, Jeff and Scott all providing me with an opportunity to play Conference ball and providing encouragement, knowledge and expertise at this great game, all of these guys work very hard at their craft.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Never give away an at bat or take a play off in the conference someone will be right there to take your place if you do and the mental approach to the game forget your last play good or bad and concentrate on the task at hand. Confidence is key to success at this level
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
I try to take bits and pieces from different people to make up my own successful game so I would say no.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Going 4/4 with 3 homers and 9 rbis in the Choo Choo classic against Primetime/Easton, hitting my first Smokys home run was pretty cool as well. Playing in front of family and friends as a conference player with an out of state team and beating some Minnesota teams in the Dudley this past season.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
You need to be twice as good as the next guy in the conference to get half of what the established conference guys have.
Work hard, be humble and ask questions of those people who are at high levels in your state.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Full overlap 27 or 28 oz.
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I weight lift in the gym like a mad man, Continue to take ground balls and hit through the snow, work in the cages, hit in my basement, watch games on YouTube to see tendencies of people I may play against; I study my own films of hitting to improve form. I don't have enough talent to rely on that alone to get by, I have to out work every one. It's about no days off, no holidays, no birthdays, no weekends, it's just something I believe in.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Rays. Football is my favorite sport other than softball
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
"Pumped up kicks" by foster the people
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Don't change the softball balls to different level of compression depending on the tourney or field, I'd prefer to hit a harder ball and field a harder ball for true hops in the field.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Dudley-grew up watching my pops play in it and have loved playing in it since I was good enough to play in it.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Berliner complex on the turf in Columbus, great fields with true hops, great atmosphere as well.
Dudley- close to home, special place in my heart for this one
Disney complex enjoy the heat and chance to play for a ring.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
I played on a throw together team for ASA called "LESS XTREME" after the Conference MN team, after one of our games we were playing on off, my buddy Jake Johnson from All-American/Outpost combat took off his shirt, hiked up is shorts short enough to look like an adult diaper and was running high fiving guys and giving them money when they would get on base during the game of "on off" that he called on from, It was on the show field so a lot of people were watching and asking if he was a marathon runner and why he was wearing a diaper, pretty funny.
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I have 3 cats that I call my cubs.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
I got a softball autographed by Larry and Fred Carter back when I was a lil kid and still have it to this day.