An interview with Newbreed/GTS/BeusExcavation/Worth’s Rolando Rodriguez!
Interview conducted on 1/5/2015
Who are you playing with in 2016?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
OF, EH, C
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
There are far too many to list. The name that first comes to mind is Greg Connell.
Why do you like the game of softball?
It's an amazing sport that allows grown men to have fun while competing at the highest level.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
This might be bias but two people come to mind:
Jon Gastineau – Hits the ball, hard, on a line, all over the field.
Cole Patterson – He can hit for average, power, and his inside-out dumpy swing makes him a magician with a bat.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
I don't really have a softball nickname. I've been called "Pretty" before because it takes me forever to get ready.
What is your height and weight?
6'1'' 230 lbs.
Where do you call home?
Los Angeles, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Tee work and live BP, hanging out with family and friends, and relaxing.
What do you do for a living?
I work in HR as Program Manager and Strategic Process SME for Diversity and University Programs at an international technology company.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played both football and baseball in high school, some college ball.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started playing in local tournaments with friends from my hometown. When I moved to Seattle I was invited to play on an E/D team for a season. The following year I was selected to play conference for Newbreed.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
1- Conference play is faster, more serious, and more intense!
2- The talent of conference players and competitiveness is at a much higher level!
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
I don't think I can compare my game to anyone. Growing up my favorite player was David Justice and I always tried to mirror his game.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Winning Hispanic State in Washington with my best friends that grew up with me!
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
My dad who taught me two important things about playing ball:
"Si fuera facil, todos lo harrian" and "Del dicho al hecho hay gran trecho."
My current coach, Ryan Lekness, who helped me develop my approach during and at-bat and helped me develop an opposite-field swing.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Challenge yourself, put in the work, stay humble…ALWAYS stay humble!
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I grip my bat with athletic tape, spray, and no batting gloves.
I swing a 27.5 or 28 oz endload.
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
strength training, conditioning, and bp in the batting cages.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
My favorite sport other than softball/baseball is NHL Hockey.
I am a Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Braves, and KC Chiefs fan.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
Showering before the start of every tournament and before any championship game.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
"Mi Gente" – Kumbia Kings
"Cult of Personality" – Living Colour
"Unstable" – The Ultimate Warrior WWETheme Song
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
In Conference Play: having an East and West coast division with points and standings determining who goes to the Major. Setting up conference events in both regions will be more efficient for team budgets, travel would be more convenient, and lead to an increase of more conference teams.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Hispanic State in eastern Washington state. I love the environment, hospitality, food, music during games, and most of all, playing with close friends.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Osceola Park – Houston Astros Spring Training facility. Who wouldn't love the experience of playing in a major leagues stadium?
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I am trilingual.
I enjoy washing dishes to relieve stress.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My first baseball glove given to me by my dad at age 3 (I still have it at home).