2016 Free Agent P/1B/C Gene Traylor
Interview conducted on 6/2/2016
Who are you playing with in 2016?
Played with STS from Phoenix, Arizona 2015 "E" & Toe2Toe Athletics/DeMarini/Hangrite in California "C" team 2016. And just played with AK Ravens 2 in Portland, Oregon in the USSSA Border Battle Series.
2016 Free Agent – firstname.lastname@example.org
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
I am a Pitcher, Catcher, 1B. My best position is 1B.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Filip Washington is probably one of the best players I have seen play the game. His hitting and defensive skills are something that I am continually working on for myself to be an elite athlete. There are many more folks that are great athletes in this sport, but he is someone who I closely align and mentor with often.
Why do you like the game of softball?
I love this sport because it brings a group of strangers together, who end up becoming good friends and sometimes family. It is a stress reliever and overall adrenaline rush from making a play decision that affects the outcome of the game to crushing a 400 ft bomb.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
My nickname is "Tractor Traylor" because of my last name & size.
What is your height and weight?
I am 6'3 & 300 lbs.
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Spending more quality time with my beautiful wife and three year old daughter. I also love to go fishing, shooting/hunting, lift weights and volunteer time at my church and community.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Security Director for a Healthcare system in AZ.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played 4 years of High School Football and Baseball. No college or pro experience.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started playing in league play with a team called American Warriors/Berserk Athletics in 2014 with Adrian Corona in Glendale, Arizona. I began to see where my talents were going and decided to reach out to teams and owners for opportunities to move up and display my talents.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The most surprising difference is the professionalism and seriousness of the team and owners. It makes me proud to be at the same mindset and level to want to win and progress with more achievements in the game.
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
I would say that I mirror Chris Larsen a bit. I watch his grip and swings and I am similar but would love to take BP with him sometime in the future.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
I played with a team called Yard Dawgs in USSSA and we were down by 2 with two outs and two men on base. I took a strike and the next pitch I rocked over the fence to end the game with a walk off HR. It was a good feeling.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
My mentor is Michael Echivierra (Mike Nino). He has changed my entire outlook on the game and constantly reminds me to go out and have fun. He has taught me a lot on my mechanics and fielding. He is someone who I am forever grateful to mention as a great leader, brother and friend each time I have an opportunity to.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Keep working hard, have faith, shake negativity, be encouraged with eagles (positive people) & recieve constant feedback from others in the game.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Two finger grip overlap with pinky on the bottom of the knob (26 oz-27oz bats).
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Eat clean, train dirty 24/7
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
I am a Native of Arizona, but my father was from Pittsburgh. So I root for the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers for the NFL.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
If I don't get enough sleep, I feel like I won't perform at my best. Every opportunity I get, I try and nap to be refreshed and focused for the next battle.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Stick Talk by Future.
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
There should be multiple facilities designated for upper level play, such as a big jumbtron on each field, an announcer and commentary. Is this too much to ask??? Hahahaha!
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
I love the Whole Enchilada in New Mexico. Just a fun time and all softball brothers and sisters there to have fun!
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
I love playing at Delta Sports Park in Portland, Oregon. Just very beautiful and professionally ran by the USSSA director there.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Any place with good wings and adult beverages!
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Probably during Halloween Tournaments. Love seeing everyone dressed in costumes and playing. Pretty funny seeing a guy in a Zebra suit dive for a ball at 2nd base (LOL).
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I am a comedian on the side (haha). I love to make others laugh and just enjoy life. It's pretty evident when I run into folks and they say you are a funny man!
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
I recieved a $500 gift card to Dicks Sporting Goods for winning a Homerun Derby in 2015.