2016 Free Agent hitter Jason Kirby
Interview conducted on 10/30/2015
Who are you playing with in 2016?
Free Agent – Jtk23@comcast.net
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Way too many to choose from. It would be disrespectful to pick just one.
Why do you like the game of softball?
There really isn't much you can do as an adult to really scratch that competitive itch. I get that with softball.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Lots of talent out there these days. Seems like players are getting better all the time.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Kirb. I'd have to say pretty much because no one knows my first name. I don't even know that I've ever heard my teammates call me by my first name.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Not many off weekends for me. If I'm not playing then I'm following my daughter all over the nation too
What do you do for a living?
I own a repossession agency called Precision Recovery. I guess that makes me a repo man.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Football and basketball
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started playing around 18 on my uncles team. I was THAT guy, you know, the one you called when you couldn't find anyone else. Lol. I really didn't get into it until I moved to Oklahoma. When I started playing there really wasn't any lower ball and never realized I was playing upper because that's just what you did. We always played the best competition we could and never considered dropping for the sake of winning. Played lots of tourneys and went 0-2. I could always hold my head up though knowing I lost to better teams.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Pitching hands down. Pitchers are so much better than anything else I've ever played.
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
No comparisons. I just try to be me.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Five years ago or so I won the ASA B State homerun derby. It was in my hometown so a ton of my family were there. My 12 yo cousin was battling cancer at the time. He was bald from the massive amounts of chemo and radiation. Before we started he ran up to me and said Jason rub my head for good luck. I laughed, hugged him, and of course rubbed his head. I hit my first round and was crushing it. I chuckled and thought to myself maybe rubbing his head was good luck. I think I hit some of the longest balls in my life that night. Every round was the same, rubbed his head for good luck. When it was all said and done I think I won $300. My cousin was going to the cardinal game the next day so I gave him the $300 and a big hug and told him to buy himself something nice. We lost him later that summer. Definitely my fondest softball memory.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
I've played a long time so there are lots of people who have influenced my love of the game.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Hit, hit, and hit some more.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Drop two fingers and overlap
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I lift weights and hit all winter long.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
I was always a Bulls fan but kinda have lost interest since Michael Jordan retired.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I never step on the foul lines and if I make a couple outs I change batting gloves.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Swing by Savage
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Could always police the bats a little better but we will leave it at that.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
The Gumby used to be the big one in our area. Not the same these days. Always liked the Thoroughbread and the Corkys too
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
My two favorites so far have been Disney and the ASA Hall of Fame complex.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Guys always make fun of me. If I'm driving we are eating Cracker Barrel or Denny's. May mix in a Waffle House too.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
One of my buddies was playing third one time and hit my pitcher in the back throwing across the diamond. One of those "I guess you had to be there" moments.
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I'm a pretty open person so if you know me I don't hide much. I'm generally the nicest guy in the park, just ask my friends. My daughter is going to Mizzou to play softball next year and I couldn't be more proud of her.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
Best thing I ever did was putting a cage in my shop for my daughter, at least that's who I told my wife it was for anyway ;0) best money I ever spent and it's definitely paid off.