An interview with Eurotech/Elite Media Design/Easton outfielder Patrick Ellwanger!
Interview conducted on 2/14/2016
Who are you playing with in 2016?
Eurotech/Elite Media Design/Easton
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
That's a tough question to answer. I have always enjoyed watching Brian Wegman play as he has been so good for so long and plays outfield like I do. The biggest difference maker has to be Andy Purcell though.
Why do you like the game of softball?
It gives me a chance to travel, and fuel my competitive side. I also really enjoy the people I meet and the friendships that have come from the game of softball.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
My teammate Colin Baartman. He covers so much ground in center field, and can also hit the ball a mile even though he weighs 180 pounds soaking wet. He would be even better if he could make Friday night games 😉
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
P-wang. I've had that nickname since high school sports and it has just kinda stuck.
Where do you call home?
St. Paul, MN
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
At a cabin somewhere in Minnesota with friends having some beers and fun on a lake.
What do you do for a living?
I sell employee scheduling and management software for a company called When I Work.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played basketball through high school and baseball for a year in college before injuries ended that.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started playing church league softball with my dad when I was 16. I loved playing it and got picked up to play some tournaments with some guys in that league. A couple years later Bob Hortenbach asked me to play with his team after MN Fall State the next year and I have been playing with the same core group of guys in the conference ever since.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
As everyone else says, pitching. The pitchers at this level are so much better even though it's still coming in underhand.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Hitting a home run against and beating Laservision in 2013 at the dual in the stadium in my first conference tournament was really fun.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Bob Hortenbach – He is the one who gave me the chance to play at this level first and has always done everything he can to help me improve. He always gives me a little tips on how to approach the game and certain situations that have been really helpful. There isn't a better sponsor to play for and he really takes of his players.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
If you really enjoy playing softball and want to move up, hit a ton and play tournaments when you get the chance. You never know who is watching! It also helps to talk to some upper level players in your area and network with them, it really is about who you know!
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Overlap batting grip with a 27 oz bat on softball fields and 28 oz bat on baseball fields.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
I'm a big time Tom Brady and New England Patriots fan! I also really enjoy playing basketball in some rec leagues in the offseason.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Last year at the major it was "Big Things Poppin'" by T.I. but I'll probably change it up if we make it back again this year.
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Sponsorship costs. I don't know or have any ideas on how to do this but it would be really great it we could somehow help out the sponsors who give us all a chance to fly around and play this game on the weekends.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Huff n Puff. It's a tourney in a small MN town but I always play with some friends and it's a blast! 64 teams and 2 hr's per inning on 260 ft fences!
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Playing on the stadium at disney with walk up music and the big video board was by far the coolest field/experience I've had so far.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Any sports bar/grill is always a good choice. Usually ends up being BWWs with our team.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
It's hard to think of a specific time but I'm sure it has to be something Joe Ehnstrom has said or done. He always has something to say that cracks me up.