Thursday March 21st, 2019
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An interview with Dan Smith outfielder Ben Dunn!

 

Ben Dunn

USSSA Playing History

Major Players List

Interview from 1/7/2019

Who are you playing with in 2019, and who have you played with in the past?
19': Dan Smith
18': Dan Smith
17': Nightmare
16': Xtreme
All off season: Playoff Performance and #snowballthread

What positions do you play and what is your best position?
CF. I think EH but apparently you have to hit really good and hit the ball 6 miles. So CF it is.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Brian Wegman and Andy Purcell. It makes you so mad when you don't win an AB against Andy. Thats how you know… I am way to afraid to get on the mound in a league night, much less what he has been doing for so long.

Billy Maggard (team/savage), LC Watson (team/heart), Whaley (team/heart) Shannon Smith (team/loyalty), Kyle Pearson (team/drive), Potts (team/loyalty), AC03 (savage/competitor), Reyna (heart), Flip (hitter), Argen Dodds (team/hitter)

There are obviously so many to list. The people I feel are the best are the ones that impact the game in a positive influence, for that one up and comer, for that one kid watching, the ones that don't cuss out the umpire for a bad call, the ones that don't point the finger and have their teams back no matter what: Baker (team/hitter), Lloyd (team/unicorn), Spaulding (team/versatile), Cory Briggs (team/hitter/hustle), Buddy Wolf (team/hitter/hustle), Tommy Melton (Mr. Positive), Brett Helmer (everything), Dale Brungardt, Ryan Stovall.

Why do you like the game of softball?
Carries the same principles of baseball (for those that respect the game). I played baseball my whole life, for the most part, my team-mates were my closest family. But it's softball people say. For a real competitor, it does not matter what it is, you try to win, it is hard to go through failures in anything, it makes it better when you have a team to share the failures and success with. Softball has opened up many friendships (as well as many enemies) that I would not trade for.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I do not get to get out that much around The H. However, I know Logan Turner has some of the best hands as an IF. I have great BP partners Schoppe and Dolan that are great team guys as well.

Anyone that swings an Easton has the best chance… #eastonplug

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Dunner: Lyf Nimmo
Weird: Kanaby (might be one of the best teammates I have ever had)

What is your height and weight?
6'2 190 lb… unless this is for scouting purposes then I am 6'5' 210 lb

Where do you call home?
League City, TX

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
What is an off weekend? Oh, you mean not playing softball, type of off weekend… Enjoying life with my beautiful daughter and GF, hanging out with my 2 dogs. I am a Father, Boyfriend, Dog Owner, Employee, Business Owner, and Softball player, no real 'lay around' off weekends exist.

What do you do for a living?
Procurement Manager in the energy business: 11 years
Owner/CEO of DunnRight Athletics, LLC and Playoff Performance: almost two years

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
High School: Baseball.Football
College: Baseball

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
My buddies Ryan Davis and Mark Cooper asked me to come out and play when we were in college with the #PIKES. I did, first ball I hit felt like it went a mile back side.

When I moved back from college, I was more concerned about playing with friends. Billy Ray Maggard Jr told me numerous times I need to come play with FBI. Walker let me join  the team. Getting to the upper level was not easy though. For those of you that think you have to know someone, take it from me, or Whaley, or Maggard… Meaning you do not have to politic to get on a good team. Just play the game right, don't be a crappy teammate or player to your sponsors. There is hope for #teamnoterds out there. People like Tim Barnes and Lyf Nimmo are someone that had all the faith in me to keep giving me chances when I was terrible at hitting.

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Defense
Umpires
Real hitters

Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
No. Bc no one will ever out hustle me. Besides maybe Jr. But he is retired now.

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Matt Kainer (aka Meat) pegged a guy in the back with a ball after show boating blowing up our pitcher.

Winning The Space City Major: Not bc of how competitive the tourney was. But bc we were a C team and what it meant to Coach Tim Barnes and Lyf Nimmo, if it meant a lot to them, it meant a lot to me.

Putting on Team USA jerseys. Being nominated was a great feeling. Putting on those colors was even better. Thank you again Rich, Tim, Brett.

Easton putting My name on a Texas Strong Bat (in stores now baseball monkey.com). Thanks Don Cooper and Brett Helmer. Thank you LC Watson and Argen. Or is it Argen and LC Watson??

In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Tim Barnes: it is an even playing field. No names exist with him. Just heart.
Lyf Nimmo: I took for granted everything he did for us at ASP. thank you for teaching me in's and out's.
Brett: I have been lucky enough to have someone like him give me personal advice on multiple occasions.
Billy Ray Maggard Jr: would not get off my butt about how I need to learn how to hit BP.

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Do it right man, or woman. You don't have to back stab, you don't have to put together a video collaboration of yourself hitting homers. Just respect the game, your team mates, your coaches, your sponsors. Set an example you would want your kid(s) to follow to be a good human.

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
Pinky over the knob. 28oz. Well with the Texas Strong now maybe 28.5.

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Relax. Work out accordingly. Hit. Try to capitalize on fixing recognizable failures. Try to catch more in the gaps.

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Astros: baseball
Rugby
Any Houston Team

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
Don't be a nerd. I know it is hard for most to understand.

What would be your at bat music selection?
Any Johnny Cash probably.

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Stop wearing out DW on the feeds.
Better SOP's (standard operating procedures) of cancelling a tourney.

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
#snowballthread

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
ESPN. Space Coast complex is amazing, but hot.

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Texas Roadhouse

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Billy Ray Maggard Jr. and Buck running into each other for ASP to win Space City Major. MK pegging a guy with a ball. Getting yelled at by Andy in Chattanooga.

Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I have an obsession to Western movies or shows. Legit Westerns, not the ones that are remade in 2000's.

What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
Signed Nolan Ryan bat when I was 12. He stands for everything I stand for in the game and at Playoff Performance. Shut mouth, work hard, play hard. (Pretty much my grandpas mentality)
 



 





 

Old interview from 2014

Who are you playing with in 2016?

Xtreme/Miken

Was with Red's Astros and Compound Athletics in 2015

Why do you like the game of softball?
The principles are the same as baseball. Being a team player, not making excuses, never giving up, play smart/analyze your mistakes,  plan for the next play or next game you can't change the past.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Interesting question. I do not watch a lot of softball besides when some friends are playing. I would say based on pure duration in this game, and the toll the position takes with maintaining the average he does is Brian Wegman. Respect to Purcell for pitching as long as he has (with no mask) and never having reconstructive surgery. That shows what type of pitcher he is.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I again do not pay a terrible amount of attention to other players. However, the people I see and or hear about.
Billy Ray Maggard Jr- dude works his tail off.
Stuart Snell- kid mashes the ball and has not even fully matured as a player.
Corey Large- great hitter and I have to stick with my OF crew.

What is your nickname in softball?
Ninja
Dunner
Jew-Bag (meat calls me this)

What is your height and weight?
6'2" and 184.

Where do you call home?
League City, TX

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
With my wife and future daughter in 2014. It does not matter where.

What do you do for a living?
Purchasing Manager for a Safety Contractor. Majority is in the Oil Business (Refineries)

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
High School: Football, Baseball
College: Baseball, 7 on 7 Flag
Pro: I chased tryouts for a year.

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I was at TX State after my final year in ball. A friend asked me to play, I thought it was a joke… I went and had a great time.
I moved back home and LC and a couple friends asked if I wanted to play a couple local tourneys. Apparently I can play some defense in the grass. Walker and Billy Ray Maggard Jr asked me to play with FBI, So I bit, and here I am I guess…

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
It sounds funny saying this about Slow Pitch still, but there is a difference. The tourneys are ran cleaner. I know there are favorites out there, but still, the umpire crew, the organization, this stuff etc.. The biggest thing is the competition. This is what some people live by so its serious. The rest of us have this competitive blood, with a mixture of these players you create some great match ups.

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Am I officially an 'older player' DW?  (DW says no 🙂 )
My advice would be Remember… it's a game.

What positions do you play and what is your best position?
OF and I would guess CF since that seems where every team puts me. Either way, if you understand the game, you can adjust to any spot with time.

What batting grip do you use?
Loose Lined up Door Knocking Knuckles

What ounce bat do you use?
28

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Take corrective criticism and filter it. Increase strength/endurance without increasing mass. That is a combination of some gym and softball time.

What is your favorite sports team?
Houston Astros… I know I know.. Hey!! We are 'rebuilding'

What is your favorite sport other than softball?
Baseball is my Favorite Sport. Then it is Football.

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I do believe in 'The Baseball Gods'  as the protectors of the game. However, I do not believe in spelling your name out on home plate when you get up every time or any of that…

What is your most memorable softball moment?
Space City Major: We won this with ASPNation. I know I know, all the 'big boys' were not there. But seeing the excitement on our Sponsors face was enough for me.

What would be your "at bat" music selection?
JayZ: Crown

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
This is always going to be easier for a spectator to say instead of the people that are in the actual shoes. I think it would be having alternate locations for tournaments. Just in case that 20% chance turns into a hail storm.

What is your favorite non-World tournament?
The Dual: Filters out the weak minded.

What is the best softball field you have played at and why?
Probably the ESPN complex. OK was pretty solid, but still think Wide World of Sports walks away with this one.

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Texas Roadhouse

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Space City 13' when Billy Ray Maggard Jr and Buck ran into each other at 2B. We pretty much won after they did that.

 

 

 

6 responses to “An interview with Dan Smith outfielder Ben Dunn!”

  1. Nimmo says:

    AKA Dunner, AKA Crouching Tiger, AKA GITRDUNNER, this kid is a real talent to watch. Great team mate with one crazy sense of humor. Glad to have you on board brother! Look forward to seeing you run down those gaps and seeing players scratch their head wondering how the heck you did that…

  2. Matty says:

    Never seen a Jew boy run so fast!

  3. Nimmo says:

    Matty apparently pinching pennies make you run faster and jump higher. I’m gonna try it this year…

  4. Dunn says:

    My Chocolate Lab would be disappointed if I did not put her in here as well… Def the mans best friend.

  5. J wilk says:

    This guy is a top 3 defensive CF in the nation. He also hit .620+ for us.

  6. Chad Folsom 31 says:

    One of the good guys in the game!I had the oppurtunity to play with him and consider him a great team mate and friend. Way to go get what you deserve Dunner! All your hard work has been paying off for you brother. Congrats to you and good luck to you and Dan Smith in 2019

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