Thursday October 27th, 2016

Rick Leith

Rick Leith

USSSA Playing History

 Old interview

Why do you like the game of softball?
I enjoy the competition, the camaraderie, the challenge to improve, and the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world.  The game also teaches humility, as high as you can be on one day, the next day, or the next at bat can bring you back to earth, quickly. 

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Many, Andy, JR, Rulli, Hightower, Mello, Wegs, Helmer.  So many guys I respect. Oh, Tood Joerling for his skills at his age is very impressive. I know I'm leaving out many.

What position do you play?
3rd base most of my life but happy to catch, EP, DH, or fill in somewhere in the IF.

Where do you call home?
Northern Virginia

What do you do for a living?
I'm a Regional VP of Property Management for Home Properties in Washington DC.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played baseball, soccer, and tennis in HS.   Played club lacrosse at GMU (not well).

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I loved baseball but was always just okay at it.  Started playing league ball in 1991.  Didn't know what tournament ball was until about 1996.  Played D until 1999 then started my own C team JAXX in early 2000's.  Got my first dose Of upper ball in B with Taylor Made…we then moved to A from there which was a  goal I had set after seeing Dennis Rulli play for Dan Smith at the USSSA Worlds in Frederick MD in 96.  Seeing a smaller player play at that level was pretty cool.  I played a year of B with Angle Inn Easton in 08' then went back to Taylor Made/Mizuno for 09.

What batting grip do you use?
Bottom pinkie off, two finger overlap on top hand.  Past seven years or so.

What is your favorite sports team?
Caps, Nats, Skins

What is your favorite sport other than softball?
Hockey and Golf

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I clean the plate off with my foot before each at bat and Karma.

What is your most memorable softball moment?
Game winning hit to win the first game of the USSSA B Worlds in 08.   Unfortunately, we dropped the "if" game to Bud Light that year.   Also the first time i ever played in the stadium at the USSSA Major was pretty amazing for a guy that didn't make it to this level until towards the end of his playing days.
Also, winning the A bracket of the 2009 USSSA Conference Championship…it wasn't the A world we wanted, but it was certainly a nice memory and experience.

Is slowpitch softball a sport or a game?

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Control the equipment.  Balls and bats.  Distance and pace through the infield should come from technique, strength, and talent, not the equipment.  The best will still be the best but there would be better separation and distinct classes.

What is your favorite non-World tournament?
Smokey and Dudley

Who are you playing with in 2011?
As of now, nobody in the conference.  Considering staying local and playing with a local group of friends.  I have been rehabbing shoulder for a few months…hope to be 100% by March.  I'll still be representing Mizuno in 2011, with much appreciation going out to B. Floyd and Chad Roberston of Mizuno.



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