New Team —> Elites Corey Kluth
Interview conducted on 5/17/2016
Who are you playing with in 2017?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Why do you like the game of softball?
It's competitive, fun, good reason to get out of the house, and helps me stay in shape.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Klu, not sure how it started, but back in college people started calling me that.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
Oak Creek, WI (Milwaukee area)
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Working on my house….always a project to be working on!
What do you do for a living?
Credentialing Coordinator…. nothing exciting.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
High school football and basketball.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
Started on my mom's work team when they were desperate for players lol… then joined my work team…. it was ugly but from then I was hooked. I've worked up to C level, so wouldn't say I'm upper level, YET.
I got the opportunity to play C in 2015 when I got a call from local celeb, AA Champ, Todd Ankney telling me to clear my calendar for 2015 ASA C Nationals & C Worlds because Precision Recovery (IL/MO) needed a pitcher. Learned to play at the next level and can't wait to see what pans out in the future.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Only played in one conference tourney, went 0-2, so can't really say much. I stuck around to watch a bunch of games and the one thing I've seen and learned is that everyone brings their A game, no matter what level you play. Watching games streamed online I've seen the pace is a lot slower, hitters are more patient, players are bigger, faster, stronger, and more consistent. The intensity is through the roof.
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
Mooch, -he works for every out, whether its with the jukes, shenanigans, or just good movement…. So defensively I work just as hard on the bump, watch a lot of Mooch's games, steal some of his moves and use em myself
Offensively, I just try and hit the round yellow thing like everyone else.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Winning IL USSSA "C" State, and WI ASA "D" state this past year.
Until this year I don't think I've ever had the ""walk-off"" hit, ASA state I had a walk-off hit to win our first game in the tourney… and probably the biggest moment for me was when we came back in the "if" game of C state against a tough SWIING KIINGS squad. Down 7 in bottom of 7th… we came back- and I had the game winning hit down the left field line, getting us the C state trophy!
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Todd Ankney. Regardless of how annoying I'm sure I've been, he's always given me advice, opportunities, and tips to improve my mental approach, pitching tips, what to look for when batting, and has been my first contact when making big decisions with teams and such. He has easily influenced, improved, and impacted my game the most.
I also have to credit Chris Matthews, Mike "Brucey" Rhines, Seth Burgemeier, Jason Kirby, Bubba and Richard Lasek for all the help along the way.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Telling people how great you are, how far you can hit the ball, what equipment to use, etc… gets you no where. Show it on the field. Work harder than the next guy. Don't waste your opportunities.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I use 2 hands on the taped part. 26 or 27oz bat.
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Work out, finish project on the house that I put off all summer… work as much as possible and bank PTO days.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Green Bay Packers. Fav sport- Football & Baseball.
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
turf infields 🙂
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Chula Vista (Wisconsin Dells) Dome tourneys in the winter. Scratches the softball itch we get throughout the winter. Just a fun tourney and a chance to see the softball community again.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Oklahoma City HOF Complex- I've only played in the stadium.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Anywhere there's meat and chicken!