Thursday June 8th, 2023

An interview with Thunder/Smashit/’s Brian McBryde



Brian McBryde

USSSA Playing History

USSSA Major Watch List Player

Interview conducted on 12/1/2016

Who are you playing with in 2017?

What positions do you play and what is your best position?
I can play anywhere, last two years I think the only positions I haven't played was 3rd base and right field…I feel like my best position is LF, but others tell me they prefer me at 5 man for some reason.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
I would have to go with Kyle Pearson and Greg Connell. I enjoy watching those two play because they play the game right and do it quietly.

Why do you like the game of softball?
I like the competitiveness and it's just fun! I've played baseball since I was four and it was always there for me, so when my career was over softball was the next best thing.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Jake Runte I think is the best up and coming overall player. He has a great stick with some power and gloves it with the best of them. There is also Tyler Green who is starting to become pretty known, as rumor has it he will make the jump to Major next year.

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
BMac has always been my nickname…this year Troupe started calling me Burglar though, he had some good nicknames for the LineDrive team haha

What is your height and weight?
6' 190lbs

Where do you call home?
Humble, TX – northeast Houston

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I am usually relaxing at home catching up on some movies, or if my body still feels good, looking to pick up and get some extra games in locally.

What do you do for a living?
I am a Senior Document Control for an engineering company, been here for 3 1/2 years…it's ok I guess but they are very flexible on my hours and let me travel for ball which helps.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Played basketball one year and of course baseball in high school.
Then played 4 years of baseball at University of Central Missouri.
Started independent ball in St. Louis but my arm was too messed up and weak at the time, my arm caused me to fail a physical which ended my baseball career.

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
When I first got done with baseball I had some old high school buddies ask if I wanted to play in their league night and while I was out there some tournament players asked if I wanted to play on the weekend. I remember saying "they have tournaments for softball" lol…I never knew softball was this big and had so many divisions. I started playing tournaments and was hooked and been working my way up ever since.

Our local tournament team who I played with for a few seasons, Old School, gradually made our way to B division for half a season, we did pretty well but didn't last long in the upper division. The next year towards the end I received a phone call from Tim Barnes who was putting together a team to finish under the ASP name, we played in a few tournaments and did better than expected. After that Danny Evans gave my name to FBI, Chris Walker and that was my first year in conference.

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The depth each team had, how much harder the ball came off the bat, and the pitching/defense is much better.

Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
I don't know if I compare myself to anyone…I just try to play the game with respect and play the game right.

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
In baseball for me was the years we made it to the World Series, I remember my senior year like it was yesterday and the dog pile when we advanced to the World Series. Also, being inducted into my college Hall of Fame earlier this year was very special to me and my family.

For softball, winning the USSSA A Worlds in 2015 and getting defensive MVP. That team fought so hard for Walker to get him his first ring! Also winning the ASA A Worlds two years in a row with Tim Barnes and the same core was pretty special.

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 are so many, but to name a few…my Old School coach Mario Varela who was out there pitching me bp every week pushing me to be better. Then there was Danny Evans who was always in my ear about defense and positioning in certain situations (it was more yelling at me then anything haha). And the old dad type guy Mike Cervantes haha, who I am always learning from when it comes to the hitting side.

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Just keep playing the game right and hustle. There is someone always watching and if you continue to do the right things, someone will notice and take a chance on you…just slow yourself down when the time comes and keep pushing to better yourself.

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
regular baseball grip, 27 or 28oz during the season…30oz during the offseason.

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Usually rest up my arm so it can recover from the season lol…and I do crossfit, since my sister owns a gym I feel obligated to go and support her haha

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Houston Astros…I am obsessed with them. And just stick to baseball for the most part.

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
no superstitions really

What would be your "at bat" music selection?
I like to go with an upbeat country song or rock song. my last two years I went with "8 second ride" by Jake Owen and a song by Chevelle

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Besides the safety issue everyone is talking about…I think they should make some parks a little bigger, make it to where a mis-hit pop fly isn't a homerun. And being an infielder, I would like to see dirt infields dragged and watered a little better. Those hops are scary sometime lol

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
I really enjoyed the Tripp Roth tournament in Carencro, LA…great atmosphere and for a great cause.

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
I really like the fields at Fortune Road. I think it has good dimensions and the field plays great. Usually dirt fields have terrible hops but Fortune plays pretty true.

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Wherever the team chooses.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
One of our league night teams don't have set positions. So after our team makes the 3rd out of an inning it's a race to whatever position you want. Half the time we were already running out on the field before the actual out was made…makes us look pretty bad when they make an error and we all have to turn back around lol…plus, it's always a fight for the catchers position lol

Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
When I tore my rotator cuff and had to have surgery I taught myself how to throw left handed. I got to the point where I could throw batting practice when I was coaching college. Could go 2-3 rounds before my arm wore out and had to switch back to the right side lol. Also taught myself how to crow hop from the outfield while throwing left handed…try it, it's harder then you think lol








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