An interview with Rebel Sports/ASP/Miken outfielder Zach Renner
Interview conducted in 2016
Who are you playing with in 2016?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Any outfield position, center or right are probably my best.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Dennis Buis, David Buck, Brad Sparks, Brandon Dillon and Travis Dale. Brian Pucket is hands down the best hitter I've ever seen.
Pinkham best pitcher.
Why do you like the game of softball?
The competitiveness and the challenge of always trying to become better. I've met a lot of my closest friends from playing ball too.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Brock Morrison, Joey King, Justin Smith, Drew Smith, Clay Norton, and Jake Robinson. All great hitters and good defensively.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Renpup, Renn, Puffy, and Z.
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I like watching my buddies play ball if they are playing or playing a Round Robin. Can never complain about relaxing at home and watching baseball or football.
What do you do for a living?
I work at a restaurant called Yats.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Baseball, basketball and football until my sophomore year of high school.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
My Dad played for years and was forced to stop after some health issues and the year he stopped one of his buddies who is my boss at work asked me to play and I couldn't get enough. Tony Maxwell and Keith Badger gave me my first chance playing upper ball back home and this year Joe Bissinger and Jeremy Couture let me come play for K&G after my local team fell through.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Everyone is better at the conference level across the board, pitching hitting, defense. I feel like the respect level is much higher too.
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
Not really, everyone plays the game in their own way. Ive learned a lot from a few friends who have played at the conference level for a while which has been really helpful.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
The first time I got to take bp with my Dad once he was healthy enough after a battle with cancer.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
There's a few people that stick out to me here, Tony Maxwell, Keith Badger, Mic Thorpe, and Brian Mercer have taught me a lot about the physical and mental aspects of this game.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Take bp, don't be afraid to play teams better then yours, and when people are trying to help you take in what they are saying because they are only trying to help.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Drop my pinky with traditional baseball grip. 27 enload
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Hit as much as I can and work out a little bit.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Red Sox are my favorite team. Baseball and football are my favorite sports.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Metallica Ride The Lightning or what ever my favorite rap song is at that moment.
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Pitchers should have to wear a mask.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
The Mad Dog all nighter or the unlimited home run tournaments at the end of the season.
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
i really like playing at Mid America in Cincy or at Lincoln Park in Columbus, Indiana.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Anytime I get to play with my best friend Sparky I can pretty much count on him making me laugh.