An interview with Smash It Sports/Albicocco/Miken/Worth’s Erik Kanaby
USSSA Major Players List
Interview conducted on 12/12/2016
Who are you playing with in 2017?
The Scene / Smash IT / Albicocco / Miken / Worth
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
This is probably the hardest question to answer, do to there are so many different aspects of the game, and how each position impacts the game.
Overall goes to Andy Purcell, he takes away an entire 1/3 of the field on defense and then goes and hits .800 for the year. Are you kidding me?
Greg Connell is one of those guys that if he's up to bat, you stop and watch. Still swings so angry!! His consistency, year in and year out he is always at the top of most of the categories, so I would have to say Connell.
Jason Branch I got the best seat in the house to see what this guy can do with the bat. Hit over .800 hitting it down the majority of the time, haven't seen anything like it.
Have to give a shout out to Cory Newman, the plays he made and throws he made, are some of the best OF field play I've ever seen.
Steve Whaley the man absolutely picks it, and gives it everything he's got game in and game out, smart player and great teammate.
Why do you like the game of softball?
Scratches the competitive itch. Also, you get to meet a lot of new people and make friends along the way. Get to travel to different states and cities that you wouldn't get to see.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Chris Costantino – has great hands on defense and such raw power. He's going to be very good for a long time.
Kyler Kirkland (Panda) – This young man has unlimited power, when he gets more reps, he will be one of the best hitters in the game.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Played Football and Baseball in high school. Went to Cedar Valley Jr College to play Baseball, Transferred to Lamar University. Played Three years in the Dodgers and Marlins organizations.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I ran into an old high school buddy and he asked if i'd be interested in playing some softball, I said absolutely and I was hooked. Played Locally for 5 years, then at the end of 2015 Matt Pavlich got a hold of me and said he was starting a Conference team for the 2016 season and wanted me to be apart of it with ALL OUT. During the 2016 season Jason "Kendo" Kendrick saw me play a few times and decided to take a chance on me and offer me a spot on The Scene, for which I am very grateful.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Pace of the game, the competitiveness of the game. Line-ups are stacked top to bottom, and atmosphere.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
So far getting the opportunity to play on a top 3 team in the country, play against the best players on the planet. Getting to play the Major World Series.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
There are many guys that I am thankful for, for taking me under their wing and sharing their knowledge of the game, so I can go about it the right way.
First my buddy Wade Gibson and Steve Whaley for always making time to hit BP with me and make sure I'm ready for each Tourney
Taylor Lobb and Billy Maggard for teaching me the importance of not free swinging and to have an approach at the plate.
Steve Whaley for leading by example on how to be a class act, great teammate, take nothing for granted, there is always someone watching.
Jason Branch for letting me know when I mess up and explaining how and why so I don't repeat those mistakes and situational hitting.
Matt Pavlich for getting me my start in Conference play.
Jason Kendrick for taking a big chance on me and giving me the opportunity to play at the highest level.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Take nothing for granted. Put your work in and work hard. Repetition, have Confidence in yourself and abilities. Take advantage of the opportunities that come to you.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Baseball pinky dropped over knobb
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
A lot of BP – weight lifting and conditioning to get the body right and ready for the season.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
New York Football Giants
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
I think it's pretty awesome how it is now.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Space city Classic – Houston – Home town tourney
Cajun Classic – great facility great atmosphere
Smoky – Unlimited DINGERS and great atmosphere.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Any BLD – TURF
Disney – amazing complex, atmosphere, and field
Pelican Park In Louisiana. Fields are well kept, just has a good atmosphere to it.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
BURGER KING / Texas Roadhouse
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Jason Branch took a bad hop off the chest, didn't have to pick up ball and make a throw to get an out at first or second, so what does he do, what he does best "improvise" of a bounce JB kicks the ball I mean right on the money to Laski's chest and gets the force out to end the inning.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
Every Bat, glove, cleats, my Dad bought me growing up, so I could play the game I love.