An interview with Gas It manager Joshua Fisher
WHY DO YOU LOVE THE GAME OF SOFTBALL?
– I enjoy the fellowship of my players and their family/friends each weekend we play and hanging out with them on and off the playing field. Also, the competitiveness of the Conference and the Upper level in general. Additionally, simply knowing that you have to bring your "A" game each and every time out to have a shot at the ultimate goal, which is WINNING!
WHO IS THE BEST SOFTBALL PLAYER YOU HAVE EVER SEEN PLAY?
– For me, it is a gentleman by the name of Johnny Burgess. He is from the Upstate of South Carolina. He enjoyed about a 15 year career at the Super Major, Major, AA level. He won many world titles and individual awards throughout his playing career. He literally could do whatever he wanted offensively and defensively was a wizard with the leather.
WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME?
– I reside in Pickens, South Carolina (Home of the Blue Flame).
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
– I am employed by Greenville County Land Development Division.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AS A PLAYER?
– I played for 15 years. 12 of those years was on the "B" and "C" level.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN SOFTBALL AND HOW DID YOU GET TO THE UPPER LEVEL?
– I was fortunate to get picked up by a really good team called Lil Red's/ General Nutrition at the beginning of my career, and have played with many "B" & "C" teams during that time. Last year was our first year as a Conference team, although we've played events in the Conference for the last 3 seasons.
WHO ARE YOU MANAGING/SPONSORING IN 2011?
– Gasit / Lewis Lawn Service / Easton
WHAT DOES YOUR ROSTER LOOK LIKE?
– We have a good group of our core players returning in addition to some newcomers. We feel that we've made some nice pick ups. Our 2011 roster is…. Jason Gilfillan, Blaine Bolin, Shannon Leonhart, Brandon Jonas, Aaron Guido, Daren Hunter, Steven Mcginnis, Matt Lloyd, Zack Dellinger, Raul Cardenas, Bradley Clark, and Kevin Jones. The manager is Joshua Fisher. A very special thanks to our sponsor Vince, and also to Brett Helmer and Easton. Without them, our team would not be possible, so again thanks so much.
WHAT IS YOUR TEAM GOALS IN 2011?
– To continue to improve inside the Conference. To learn how to finish games a little better and so forth. To make the 2011 Major World Series. The Conference this past year, really helped prep our club and helped us to reach our goals in the 2010 season, which was and always is to win a World title. This past year we were fortunate enough to win 2. We won the ISA "C" in Polk County, Fla. and the NSA Super "B" World Series in Las Vegas, Nevada.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR TALENT?
– We look for talent in many places. Sometimes it can be a young kid who we think has a lot of potential, and we may give him a shot. Additionally, around here locally on the Upper level everybody pretty much knows everybody and so forth, so most of the time we just try and get the best players that we can possibly get from North and South Carolina.
WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT, TALENT OR ATTITUDE?
– Is this a trick question, DW lol? No, honestly I obviously want my players to have good attitudes, however, if they are playing well, and we are winning and as long as they are staying relatively in check, I am alright with that. With that being said, I guess I consider it equally important.
HOW DO YOU EVALUATE PLAYERS?
– Most of the guys on our team have either been playing with or against us for years so I wouldn't say I evaluate them too much. We keep a good book, so in the end DW, the numbers do not lie.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM?
– THE University of South Carolina Gamecocks! 2010 College Baseball National Champions and 2010 College Football SEC Eastern Division Champions.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT OTHER THAN SOFTBALL?
– It's a tie between College Baseball and College Football.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS AND IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?
– YES! Any tournament we go to, I have been tagged as the "Bus Driver". I try to never leave the driver's seat from when we leave, until we arrive home. I consider myself a Professional Driver.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE SOFTBALL MOMENT?
– The 2 Worlds this year for my guys would certainly rank up there pretty high. Their are quite a few World/National Titles on my guys' resume's, however, to get 2 in one year is very special in my opinion.
IS SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL A SPORT OR GAME?
– With the money, travel, etc. involved in today's game it has to be considered a sport I believe.
WHAT IS THE BEST IMPROVEMENT UPPER LEVEL SOFTBALL COULD MAKE TO BRING IN MORE SPONSORS?
– Well it's guys like you DW that help promote and cover tournaments that we need more of for exposure. I would also say that limiting the number of Major players on each certain team to even the playing field would help as well. And lastly, I hope each director or whoever really polices the heck out of this altered bat situation. CHEATERS are beginning to take a toll on this game with this bat ordeal. and what is more disgraceful than that is I even heard an incident this year of a team altering softballs.. REALLY?? That my friend, is an issue.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NON-WORLD TOURNAMENT?
– I think our guys really enjoy The Pic -O- Dixie up in Chattanooga, TN, as well as, the Conference events in Atlanta, Ga. and Raleigh, NC.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS?
– I feel if somehow teams could be given a little more incentive to go. I think their were only like 6 teams or so at the "B" this year. Obviously, the more teams the better, in my opinion.
IS THE GAME BETTER OR WORSE WITH HOMERUN LIMITS AND WHY?
– I feel strongly better. It makes the better hitters stand out. A lot of strategy goes into the usage of a Homerun inside of any given game, or at least it should, and we want it to. If you can't hit the ball down and use the entire field, you're probably in trouble (at the Upper level that is) anyway.
WHO WAS THE BEST SOFTBALL TEAM IN HISTORY?
– Well I am relatively young (33) for this question, I suppose. I did, however, see Ritch's Superior and Steele's back in the day in an exhibition game, and was in awe! Heck in the present, I would have to say Travis and those (Resmondo). They have had a great run for quite sometime now. I know that they will continue to do so. He and his staff do one heck of a job year in and year out.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING YOU HAVE EVER SEEN ON A SOFTBALL FIELD?
– If my guy's are fortunate enough to read this, they will know what this means. While playing in Cary, NC earlier this year the phrase "YOU JUST PLEASED THIS CROWD HAMMER" was coined and patented.
Team Pictures from 2010