Sunday November 19th, 2017
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Jason Kendrick

 

Jason Kendrick

USSSA Playing History

Major Players List

 GoSoftball Player Page

2012 Interview

Why do you like the game of softball?
I enjoy the game of slow-pitch softball because of the competition, the excitement that comes with each new season, the off-season to commit to new team and personal goals, seeing and playing against all the new up and coming players each year and mostly building relationships with teammates, that will exist long after competitive softball is over for me.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play at each position?
Hard to pick just one, as I've played with and against some of the greatest players of all time.  If we had a draft today and I had the first pick in said draft, I'd pick Andy Purcell.

Best player at each position that I've seen play, in my opinion (in no particular order):

Catcher – Hank Garris, Jeff Wallace, Mike Macenko, JC Phelps, Jeff Hall, Scott Brown (was nasty when healthy, hitting close to .800 for several years)

EH – Jimmy Powers (played OF in the past and killed it), Brett Helmer (played 2nd in the past and killed it), Carl Rose (played 2nd, OF in the past and killed it)

Pitcher – Andy Purcell, Paul Drilling

1st Base – Rusty Bumgardner, Howie Krause, Dirk Androff

2nd Base – Darrell Beeler, Dal Beggs, Greg Connell

3rd base – Charles Wright, Todd Joerling, Ricky Huggins (P and EH, as well)

Shortstop – Don DeDonatis JR, Ron Parnell , John Mello

Middle Infielder – Bryson Baker, Dennis Rulli

OF – Britt Hightower, Todd Martin, Dan Schuck (fastest to get the ball back into the infield)

OF – Doug Roberson, Rick Baker, Scott Striebel

OF – Cecil Whitehead, Robin Higginbotham, Johnny McCraw

OF – Brian Wegman, Brian Rainwater, Scott Elliott, Brad Stiles

BEST ALL AROUND PLAYER THAT I'VE EVER SEEN (Hitting for average, Hitting for power, base-hitting, could play infield, could play outfield) – TODD MARTIN, BRIAN WEGMAN

BEST HOMERUN HITTER THAT I EVER SEEN…WITH NO LIMITS – CARL ROSE (the numbers don't lie…between 1988 and 2002, he hit more than anyone in the game)  This list below of homerun hitters from 1990 to 2010 is amazing, because Carl didn't play after the 2002 season, yet he still leads all players for both decades.  I know that we went into a homerun limit era in the 2000's, but he hasn't even played since 2002…that's impressive.   Hank Garris was automatic and amazing as well.

Homerun Leaders from 1990 through 2010. The numbers are from NIT's and World Tournaments at the Major/Conference level only:
1. Carl Rose 2,155
2. Rusty Bumgardner 1,933
3. Jeff Wallace 1,849
4. Todd Joerling 1,846
5. Hank Garris 1,781
6. Dan Schuck 1,653
7. Wendall Rickard 1,612
8. Dewayne Nevitt 1,538
9. Britt Hightower 1,461
10. Jimmy Powers 1,358
11. Todd Martin 1,278
12. Brett Helmer 1,227
13. jeff Hall 1,223
14. Johnny McCraw 1,193
15. Jason Kendrick 1,188
16. Larry Fredieu 1,172
17. Dirk Androff 1,167
18. JC Phelps 1,125
19. Ricky Huggins 1,114
20. Dewayne Frizzell 1,103

BEST HITTERS IN THE SNOW – Brett Helmer and Jeff Wallace (These two great players would take BP and hit in snow covered parking lots every off-season, battling lake effect snow and blizzards in NY…how's that for dedication)

Best before my time – Craig Elliott, Rick Scherr, Bill Gatti, Mike Nye, Buddy Slater, Mike Macenko, Bruce Meade & Rick Wheeler (I actually played with Bruce and Rick in 1993 with Vernon's/TPS…their last year playing on a Major team)

What is your nickname in softball?
Where do I start, as I've been called a bunch of different names over the years…Norman Bates, Psycho, Kendo Nagasaki, J-DOG, Doggy, Kraken, Angry Dragon and a few names that don't need to be in print.  Most players know me as "Kendo".

Where do you call home?
Just moved 3 months ago from being in Naples , FL for 11 years to Lake Walton …between Walnut Grove and Monroe , Georgia (40 miles from Atlanta and 30 miles from Athens )

What do you do for a living?
Combat Sales & Promotions Manager covering six states that include Georgia , Alabama , Florida , Utah , Colorado and Wyoming

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Yes…in high school, I played football, baseball and wrestling.  In college, I played baseball.

How did you get your start in softball, how did you get to the upper level and what teams have you played on?
My start in softball was at the youth level, as I played for 12U, 15U and 18U travel teams.  While in college, I would play locally and travel to surrounding areas to play in weekend men's tournaments.  I got noticed in a tournament played in Thomasville , GA called the Rose City Classic.  I had a teammate named Joe Spurlin that got me an invite to play on Cannon's Roofing and later, Big Daddy's.  It also helped that my college roommate was Carl Rose of Williams/Worth and Lighthouse/Worth.  I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time AND to know the right people, that gave a good word for me and my game.  I went on to play for Datom Argus/TPS in 1992 and got introduced to some very important people with Louisville Slugger in Hank Bassett, Rex Bradley and Harold "Bat Man" Nichols.  At the end of that year, Hank Bassett signed me to a personal services contract and I became part of the TPS Advisory Staff.  While with Louisville Slugger for 10 years, I was lucky enough to play with great players and great teams such as: DJ Sports/Shen Valley/TPS, Shen Valley/Taylor Bros/TPS, Sierra/TPS, TEAM TPS and Long Haul/Taylor Bros/TPS.  In 2002, I started a new chapter in my softball career with Easton Sports.  Greg Barton and Brett Helmer of Easton Sports really welcomed me with open arms, as I played with Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton over the next three years.  I continued to be with Easton Sports in 2005, 2006 and 2007, playing with Resmondo Softball.  After the great Resmondo team of 2007, where we went 60-3, I started working for Don Cooper (Senior Vice President) and Scott Brown (National Sales Manager) of Combat Sports.  I played with Dan Smith for the 2008 and 2009 seasons swinging Combat.  In 2010 and 2011, I played for Team Combat/Laservision.  It's been a great ride, as I've been associated with great teammates, coaches, sponsors and three great bat manufacturers along the way.

What position do you play?
Always in the grass…Outfield.  Over the years, I've played CF in the beginning, moved to LF and I've played RF from 2008 till now.  I'll be taking on a new position of being a C/EH and 4th outfielder when needed for next year.

What batting grip do you use?
I have my bottom little finger/pinky under the knob, with my ring finger around the knob.  I have my middle finger, index finger and thumb of my bottom hand around the bat.  My top hand only has my index finger and middle finger on the bat.  I overlap my ring finger, pinky finger and thumb on my top hand over my bottom hand.  I learned this overlap grip from Robert "ROBO" Blackburn about ten years ago, while playing at Boone's early season tournament and have used it ever since.

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I try to eat clean, hit BP as much as possible, train in the gym and run with my Siberian huskies.  This off-season, I will try the P90X and Insanity workouts.  In the past, I've had a tire mounted to a post, that I'd hit to increase strength and bat speed.  Playing in a few off-season tournaments always helped to get ready, as well.

What is your favorite sports team?
Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons

Any team playing the NY Yankees…sorry Jukes.

What is your favorite sport other than softball?
To play…baseball with my four year old son.  To watch…NCAA Football.

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I really don't have any superstitions, but I have some things that I always do:

Baby Powder in my shoes, I always wear two pair of socks, I wear Mizuno sliding shorts always and I wear two pair of batting gloves on each hand.  I started years ago with the two batting gloves in BP, to avoid getting blisters and it's just carried over to the games.

What is your most memorable softball moment?
Winning championships is always great and it's hard to pinpoint a certain moment that stands out.  The friendships that I've built over the years stand out the most.  I still see and hang out with past teammates today.

Is slowpitch softball a sport or a game?
SPORT

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Wait until Andy Purcell retires…LOL.

People today are into so many more things, as priorities have changed and upper level slow-pitch softball has lost interest over the years.  It's a tough question and I don't have the right answer.  Maybe, level the playing field by having a certain number of "major" players on each team.  I hope someone comes up with the right solution to better the game at the highest level.  For example, we need to create an environment where great sponsors like Andrew Dubberly (Down to Earth Sports), Greg Blackburn (Jean Shoppe), Rick Wiley/JR Nocera (Wileys/Supreme), Chris Walker (Fence Brokers), etc. have a legitimate chance to win each and every weekend…not just at their respective world tournament weekend, once per year.  Find a way to get new sponsors into the game at the upper level.  Listen, I played for Travis Resmondo and he's as good as gold.  He always did everything he said that he would do and I loved winning every weekend.  I could have stayed over there, but was given a great job opportunity from Don Cooper and Combat Sports.  I'm not whining about my situation, as I've been blessed my whole softball career with winning as much as anybody in the game.  I just can't see great sponsors continuing to spend their time, effort and money, with no chance to win each and every weekend throughout the year.  I guess that we should all be thankful for the opportunity that the Conference and USSSA gives us each year at the upper level.  Hopefully change will come soon and our sport will start to grow again at all levels, including the upper level.

What are your favorite non-World tournaments?
Smoky, Dudley, Palm Springs and the Rose City Classic with unlimited homeruns.

What are the funniest things you have ever seen on a softball field?

Rusty Bumgardner hanging ten wearing a straw hat…after he would hit a homerun during a pick-up tournament.

Denny Nelson driving a four wheeler through the outfield during games at Boone's tournament.

Jan Nelson driving a van into the outfield fence after 33 cold ones…she did leave us three in the cooler.

Todd Martin on deck vs. Ritch's Superior during a championship game, talking about a test that he had on Monday at school.

Paul Drilling putting on a show while pitching.

Robin Higginbotham explaining to Mike Glasscock, why he needed to be playing every game for Team TPS and showing him the Higg Flexer.




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2 responses to “Jason Kendrick”

  1. Jody Barnes says:

    Hey Buddy hope you and your family is doing well, hope you have a good Christmas. My number has changed my new one is 912-540-7044 maybe we can get together soon. Jody

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