Friday April 20th, 2018

2017 Free Agent SS/IF/OF Mike Welsh



Mike Welsh

USSSA Playing History

Interview conducted on 10/10/2016

Who are you playing with in 2017?
2016 with Street Kids

2017 Free Agent –

What positions do you play and what is your best position? 
Played shortstop for Street Kids in 2016. I can play any infield or outfield spot. Best spot would probably be 2nd or 3rd.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play? 
Best I’ve played with- Rod Cook & Brandon Dillon. Best I’ve seen- tons of major guys but the one really sticking out to me right now is Kyle Pearson from Smash it. Dude put on a show at the major this year.

Why do you like the game of softball? 
Keeps the competitive juices flowing, and the friends I’ve made playing the game.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why? 
Two guys from Street Kids- Garrett Curless & Korey Carpenter.

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it? 
Hop- when I was younger I could really jump and people on the first softball team I played with called me “Grasshopper”, it transitioned to Hop through the years.

What is your height and weight? 
6’3” 210lbs

Where do you call home? 
Valparaiso, Indiana

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend? 
During the season, off weekends don’t happen much. But mainly relaxing with the girlfriend and dog, watching sports, and making sure to get some BP in.

What do you do for a living? 
I work for ArcelorMittal (#1 steel company in the world). I essentially make sure steel coils get to my customers (General Motors) when they need them to make cars.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro? 
Baseball, basketball, soccer in High school. Soccer and baseball for one year in college.

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level? 
After a year of college, I came home to local university and worked at a job at the same time. A guy there asked me to play. My first year I won a D state title, and moved up the ranks to upper just by working on my game, and being asked by teams to play.

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
One thing and one thing only- Defense

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? 
Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular? Our win over Old Bag at B worlds this year was the most fun I’ve ever had on a softball diamond. We were losing 20-7 going into the 4th and came back and won 36-25. I had a big inside the park homer down the right field line that I’ll never forget. The next day, we came out totally laid an egg.

In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why? 
Mick Mize. Unfortunately we lost Mick far too soon. I really wish I could tell him how much of an impact he’s made on me as not only a player, but as a man

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level? 
Let your game do the talking, and work your ass off! Ask older players for advice, just because you think you know everything, it doesn’t mean you do.

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat? 
Standard- 26oz for end load bats or 27oz for balanced bats.

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season? 
Hit, gym, repeat. There are a couple domes in my area so I’ll play leagues or tournaments in there. I also play in a basketball league.

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball? 
Cincinnati anything. Huge Bengals, Reds and Bearcats fan. I was born in Cincy and lived there until I was 10. Also a big Bulls, Blackhawks, and ND football fan.

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they? 
Left hand batting glove must go on first. I used to have way more. But they have kind of worn off as I’ve gotten older.

What would be your "at bat" music selection? 
Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make? 
Not much in my opinion. I think the game is in a pretty good place. I’d like to see homers capped a little more at the major level. I think it’s way more impressive to see a guy go up his first at bat and rip a ball down the left field line. Then his next at bat, he throws one down the right field line.

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why? 
Topeka Indiana 4th of July tournament. Flag Day in three Oaks Michigan. The atmosphere at both of this places is very cool.

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why? 
Wide world of sports & The complex in Las Vegas (Not sure what it’s called).

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game? 

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field? 
Had a teammate have to stop a game while we were in the field, and sprint to a port-o-potty. So we all kind of just waited on him, and when he came back he informed us that he didn’t quite make it in time.




3 responses to “2017 Free Agent SS/IF/OF Mike Welsh”

  1. Teddy BallGame Panagakos says:

    Good kid great player willing to listen to old vet players like me.

  2. Jeff Gilliam says:

    I have know Mike since he began playing. One thing you should know is he has heart, on and off the field. He has become a very good ballplayer but an even better person. An asset to any team!

  3. Hop says:

    Thank you guys for the compliments. Means a lot coming from two guys who have been around the game for so long, and played it at a high level.

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