Monday November 20th, 2017
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2017 Free Agent Nate Holcomb

 Nate Holcomb

USSSA Playing History

Major Watch List

GoSoftball.com Player Page

 

Who are you playing with in 2017?
2017 Free Agent – NHHITIT99@gmail.com

2015 Interview

What positions do you play and what is your best position?
1B/C/P  

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
The best all around player I have seen play is Todd Martin.  When I first got the chance to play upper level softball, Todd and I would take bp all the time. He went hard after every ground in bp, like it was a game.  Then he would hit and just effortlessly put it anywhere he wanted to, all over the yard and then when he wanted to, could hit it as far as anybody.  He would hit middle in bp, while I was pitching with no screen, and just say "stand still, I won't hit ya…"  Pretty scary, but he always hit it right where he wanted to. He always thought he would've been a good pitcher, but in his words "I hit middle way too much to pitch, the other team would try to kill me and then I'd have to fight."  Lol but he taught me a ton about the game.

Why do you like the game of softball?
It still keeps my competitive juices going since my baseball days ended, and it's a release to get out there away from teaching and coaching teenagers.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I love to watch my little buddy Luis Reyna-aka Boo Boo.  He's been around for a few years now, but when he came with us with Suncoast in 2009, I knew then he would be something special.  Another young player that's on his way up is Cameron Cox.  Kid is only 21 years old, but wow what a talent.  And watch for a kid from Knoxville, TN that will get his break soon in the conference.  Justin Teffeteller.  Can flat pick it at SS and stone cold smashes it at the plate.

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Everybody now just calls me Big Nate or 9's.  Forever tho, it was Derby.  Donnie Wilson pinned that on me a long time ago, because if there was a derby at the tournament we were going to, I was in it for sure.

What is your height and weight?
6'8" tall and 270

Where do you call home?
Watertown, TN.  A really small town about 35 miles east of Nashville.

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I always love to spend time with my kids.  They are only 2 and 1 right now, so it's a lot of fun.  In the fall and winter though, you can find me in a tree somewhere with my bow in hand waiting on big buck.

What do you do for a living?
I am a high school teacher and baseball coach.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played all sports in high school, and then went on to play baseball after that.

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I got started playing when I was young with some high school buddies.  After college baseball season, I would always find a league team to play with.  Then when baseball was over, I got asked to play on a really good D team from around the house.  Played with them for about a year, and then I started to meet a lot of guys that played upper level softball from NC where I lived. I met Bobby Nifong, and he gave me a chance to come and play with him in a couple of pick up tournaments.  He contacted Johnny McCraw and Don Cooper from Combat, and the rest is history.  They gave me a chance and I have tried to play the game the right way ever since.

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The pace of play and the pitching.  The game moves so much faster, and the balls that normally went through didn't, and balls in the gap weren't just easy stand up doubles.  And you don't see a knuckle ball like Andy's around the house, that's for sure.

Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
Not really.  I always tried to make my game like Rusty Bumgardner and the late Dirk Androff, just because they were big and tall like me.  When I finally realized I wasn't gonna be them, and just needed to work on my game to be able to the right thing and hit the hard as many times as possible, I got much better.

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
First, would be being able to come back and play after my broken back in 2010, and hitting a homerun my first at bat of the Smoky Mountain Classic in 2011 at Maryville College against Primetime.  It was a long road from the first day in the hospital to that point.  Other would be a homerun I hit in 2007, against Long Haul at the Dudley that ended up being a game winner, to put us to Sunday.  When our GTL team lost our first game of the tournament and won like 10 in a row to get to Sunday.  

In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Todd Martin.  Our bp sessions were more like a practice.  And when he talked, I listened with open ears.  I would also drive down to Gastonia, NC and meet JMac, Rusty and Hallsy for bp early in my career too.  They would hit tons of balls and work on their game.  I knew then, if I wanted to hang around with them, I had to work at it.

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Work hard on your game in bp, don't just hit bombs.  Take lots of ground balls or fly balls.  Lots of defense in this game now.  And don't cheat the game.  

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I use an overlap grip and swing either 26.5 or 27 oz bats.

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I lift and do cross fit, 5 days a week.  Then chase my toddlers when I get home. That's more of a workout in itself.

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
I'm a Yankee fan.  And will always be a Tarheel. But since moving to TN, I have become a big Vanderbilt fan.  And hate UT orange…And baseball is my favorite sport.

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I hate to think I'm superstitious, because I don't think I am.  But 3 things I always do the same in a game.
1. Never step on a foul line.
2. Always put my left batting glove on first.
3. Always build me a little "sand castle" in the front of the batters box to stand on.

What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Superman theme song

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Limit the number of major players on a team across the board.  Make it like 7.  But I think the major list would need to be redone to do that.

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
The Smoky Mountain Classic.  I grew up not far from it, and living in TN now, we have a lot of pride in that tournament.  Not to mention, the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else.

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Disney will always top this list.  But the Summit in Chattanooga, TN is very nice as is the Sports Plex in Murfreesboro, TN.  Maybe the Music City could come back to one of these places? 🙂  Cause rain doesn't hang around long on either of those parks at all.

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

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
At the Dudley, in 2007, when our GTL team was on our roll of 10 in a row, we had to play Long Haul to make it to Sunday.  And JC Phelps was catching.  Well there's a pop up right behind the catcher.  As the ball is coming down, JC is trying to avoid hitting the Softball Kingdom scaffold, and jumps up into the fence.  He hits his index finger on the fence, thats sticking out of his glove.  Needless to say he missed the ball.  We get the out on the next pitch.  He comes the dugout hollerin, "my finger Kevin, my finger…oh it hurts.."  Talkin to Filby.  Jose looks at him, and then we just all look at him.  And then whole team just busts out laughin.  It was really funny, but then you just had to know JC.  Other one was seeing Ryan Robbins, miss ya bud, strike out swinging–and I mean swinging hard, in the championship game at the conference in 2010 off Andy.  Gets back in the dugout, we're all trying not to laugh at him, and he just says "Say bub that was a pretty good one there.."  And the whole team just loses it.  Needless to say he gets another chance that inning, and hit a grand slam.  

Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I love to sing.  I travel and sing at a lot of different churches.  Also, I will be featured in a new TV series call "Fight to Survive" on The Outdoor Channel.  Its a 10 show series that begins October 4, and my show is the season finale.  The series is about people who have had terrible accidents while being in the outdoors.  And my show gives the full story of my accident and recovery from my hunting accident in 2010, 3 days before the Major World Series.

What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My all world trophy from the Major.  And then I have the first Combat I was ever sent in 2005, and got it signed by most all of the upper level players from NC at that time.  Its got 10 signatures on it, and 5 are in the Hall of Fame.  Hopefully my kid will think its pretty cool one day.

 


 

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