An interview with SBS/Combat outfielder Ryan Barabe
Who are you playing with in 2012?
Why do you like the game of softball?
It's a good outlet for the competitive desire, and it's a chance to hang out with my buds.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
I think there is a general consensus of the best players in softball. Some of the best I have played with are Mike Bowlin, a great all around player, does everything real well. Randall Boone, he's just an unreal hitter.
What is your nickname in softball?
Boo-Boo, RB, and Barnabilickle seem to be the most popular.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
Gig Harbor, WA.
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Spend time with my wife and dog outside enjoying the northwest scenery.
What do you do for a living?
Pacific Northwest Regional Manager for a Fuel Specialties Company
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
High School Baseball and Water Polo
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
Started playing softball after I moved back home from College and friends I used to play baseball with and against in High School got me out to play. During my first year playing, I got a call from a local sponsor on a C-team called the Red Zone in Washington, and have moved up from there. After that played on a WA B team called Axis. That's where I met Tim Pemberton and a year later I was playing with C-Town out of Idaho and moved up the ranks as C-town progressed to A. Thanks to the great sponsors I have played for, Mark Meersman, Chris Hoshaw, Doc Vern, and Rob Viafore among others. Sponsoring upper level softball is truly thankless and underappreciated.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Play your ass off, and if you can play, and play hard, people will notice.
What position do you play?
What batting grip do you use?
Pinky off the bottom, overlap grip in the middle.
What ounce bat do you use?
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Mainly cardio, make sure the legs hold up through the year.
What is your favorite sports team?
Chicago Cubs, New York Giants, Washington State Cougars
What is your favorite sport other than softball?
To play: Golf and Racquetball, to watch: Football, Baseball, and College Basketball.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
3 taps of each foot with the head of the bat, 3 quick spits to the batting glove, slap the hands and we're good to go.
What is your most memorable softball moment?
Unfortunately the competitor in me would say that the most memorable are the losses, I've tallied up quite a few heartbreaks, finishing 2nd at worlds 5 times. I will say that the best 2nd place finish was in 2007 with C-Town at USSSA Worlds. We lost our 2nd game and won 7 in a row through the losers bracket to make it to the championship before running out of gas vs. Showcase.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Either Jason Aldean "Dirt Road Anthem" or Chevelle "The Red."
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
As much as I know it will never happen, having bats provided for each tourney on each field would be a great way to go. Everyone has to swing the same thing and it cleans up the playing field, at least from the bat perspective. Played a few tourneys like this in the past and its worked really well.
What is the best softball field you have played at and why?
I'm a big fan of the field of dreams complexes, especially the full field turn fields. Those are real nice.
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Before Panera Bread came the area where I live, I wanted to go there every time I was on the road. They sure make good sandwiches.