An interview with Thunder/Smash It Sports/Blowoutpicks.com’s Mike Snyder
Interview conducted on 12/20/2016
Who are you playing with in 2017?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
RF, C, 1st.. i'd say 1st is my best position, hard to miss a ball with the claw
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Steven Lloyd and Bryson Baker pound for pound the best players ive seen. Have to say Neil Haglund been playing against him for a while and the kid rakes.
Why do you like the game of softball?
i like to get out there and compete and the baseball days are long gone.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Being from the northeast there is a lot of talent that people don't get to see.
Mike Perry – plays middle for RDD(CT B team) and is one of the best infielders i've seen and played with. He was a big reason they finished 2nd at C worlds this past year. It is his second year of softball and he keeps getting better. gives 110% every second of the game.
Mike Verbasco – he is one of the best pitchers in the northeast. guys a gamer and always wants to win. The main reason RDD came in 2nd at C worlds.
Doug Wenz – hits the ball as hard and far as anyone I know. he doubles as a good bp partner.
Eric Christensen (smalls) – the kid is 140 pounds soak and wet and plays the infield with the best of them and can hit with the big boys. the kid has huge upside.
Kyle Olsen – i got to play with him this year and man does he have the ugliest batting stance but the kid kills the ball. He was playing E ball two years ago and should have been all conference this year.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Mikey, Yeti (I don't have to explain it), and little Snyder. I played with my older brother for the last 10 years this will be the first time in 10 years we won't be on the same team.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
You can find me fishing somewhere. If I'm not fishing i'll be doing something with the kids and gf.
What do you do for a living?
I work in a school as a teacher aide.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
4 years of baseball and basketball and 3 years of football. played baseball my freshman year of college till I broke my hand.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I was still playing legion baseball and would leave games and practices to get down to the park (Norton Stadium) to play a DH with my brother and his friends. For the first 2-3 years I hit the highest infield pop ups ever. Started playing in a Sunday morning league and got asked to play on a E team called Punch the Clown. Finished 5th a E worlds and got beat by a B team at E worlds (BestWay). Played D for a couple years then my brother and I started our own team and played C. Two years ago was able to play with RDD and the great sponsor Scott Delorge. Start off this past season with them and Seth from Thunder called and couldn't pass up playing in the conference.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Has to be the speed of the game and there is less crap talking then you see in local tournaments.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
3 years ago I was playing ASA D nationals in Ohio and we were 8-0 in the finals with the guys who got me started in softball. These guys were ready to retire national champ and we got double dipped at 3:30 am by another CT team. Of course coming in 2nd this year at A worlds with Thunder.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
#1 has to be my brother Ryan. He busts my butt for bad hrs, throwing the ball away, slamming my bat, every little thing.
Then I would have to say a group of older guys who got me into tournament, Carlo, Beaver, Randy and Drew. they taught me a lot about the game and how to play it and have a great time while doing it. they put me in my place a couple times but helped me grow into the player I am today.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
work work work. and listen to advise from anyone who is there and willing to help. soak it all in
My buddy Arnie Delio told me 5-6 years ago if you want to play upper level softball find a position and work on it. I don't know if he remembers telling me that but I never forgot it.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
one finger off the knob and 26/27 oz endload
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I play a lot of roller hockey which keeps me in real good shape. I swing once a week with my bp partner Doug. I always say I'm going to start back in the gym but never make it.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
NBA- who watches that these days
College- Michigan football and Duke Basketball
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
safety bag at 1st and something to protect the pitchers
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
My brother and I run a one pitch wood bat tournament in November. we use a challenge flag and you can challenge one offense ab a game. also you can swing a composite bat once a game if you hit a HR with it you can use it again at anytime till you don't hit a HR with it. people love the crazy rules. its a great time around 4-5pm is the finals and its right when the sunsets its funny to see guys swing and miss.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
We have a nice 5 field complex in CT with turf infields and 300' fences all around. would love to see a major back there sometime soon.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Anything warm.. but I love Millers Ale House
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Was playing in a league game and the batter hit a ball and got a double and got to second base and the other team started to complain about something. the umpire yells out redo and makes the batter hit again. i couldn't stop laughing
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My cousin played in the majors for 8 years, so getting bats and gloves from him was always cool. I still have a 1st baseman's glove from him laying around somewhere.