Thursday August 5th, 2021

Another interview with Don Dedonatis Jr

Author’s note: instead of asking every question pertaining to softball, just wanted to present a different scenario,  so you get to know the person, instead of the softball player.

Interview by Bob…

Don Dedonatis Jr.


Scenario: You are putting a team together and without using Resmondo players, who do you pick to build the team around?
I think you need to be strong in the middle, so without any Resmondo players involved I would have Geno Buck pitching, Anthony Dress at shortstop, JD Genter in the middle, Brian Wegman at 2nd base, and Rick Baker in Centerfield.   I think that would be a good start to build around.

What is the best team you seen in your career not called Resmondo? 
Dan Smith 2004

If you are on defense with a one run lead, bottom of 7, two outs with the bases loaded—who do you NOT want to see at bat? 
Excluding any guys currently on my team Rusty Bumgardner if he comes up in that situation the game is over most likely and not in a good way for my team. 

I have friends who stopped golfing during softball season, simply because when they golfed the week of a tourney, they could not keep from hitting fly balls all day. How does/did golf affect you, if you played during the week of a tournament? 
I do not play golf a lot, but I feel they are 2 different swings and it could have a negative effect on the softball swing.  

Honest question, needing a brutally honest answer: If you are on a B team, why would you want to play the Smokey? Do you think a B team could benefit from playing the Smokey with unlimited home runs, and how?
If I had the budget to do it I would absolutely play in The Smokey as a B team.   It is one the best events and you cannot find a better atmosphere to play the game.   Will a B team ever win The Smokey most likely not, but it is a chance for those guys to free swing and have some fun.   For me playing in that event the 1st time it opened my eyes and made me even work that much harder to want to move up and play at a higher level.

What do you think of the Phiten necklaces, and Power Balance bracelets? 
I wear both of them, so I guess that says something.   Do they work and improve my performance I really do not know, but it is a mental thing and I definitely do not think it hurts.   The most important thing is they look good too!   Haha

If asked, will you play on Team USA this year? 
YES no doubt it would be an honor.


I have heard rumors that the USA/Canada game will be played in Canada this year…can you elaborate if these rumors are true? 
I have not heard that, but if that was the case I think that would be great.   The more places and markets we can get the game of slowpitch the better off everybody is in my opinion.   After the way last year went I hope we get another chance to play in that game.

You play behind arguably the best pitcher ever in Men’s Slowpitch softball… have any funny stories you would care to share about Mr. Purcell? 
The only thing I find funny is how crazy he goes after taking a bad swing.   I tell him all the time he can be 20-20 and this is no exaggeration if he takes 1 bad swing and pops up you would think he has not gotten a hit in a month!!   He is the only person I have ever met that is as competitive as me you should see how mad he gets when I beat him at Words with Friends on The I Phone!   On a serious note off the field you will never meet a nicer down to earth guy, but between the lines he is as mean and competitive person you will EVER see.   That is what separates him and makes him so great at what he does. 

Resmondo has always put some of the most competitive players on the field for years now; do you have any competitive bets between each other? Like who hits the highest or who will get the most hits off of Messina/Brownie/Cheese/Sena? 
No we really do not get caught up in all the individual stuff and that is what makes our team so great.   We care about WINNING and everybody is on the same page with that.  Any guys that worry about individual stats or awards do not last long on our team.

Who are some of the up and coming shortstops you have seen play?
I like Anthony Dress, Kevin Bazat, Luis Reyna, Chente Granados and Matt Pesso even though he is a middle infielder I am pretty sure he could pick it at short too.   Those guys can pick it and I like their games.

We’ve spoken before about the first time I saw you play… Mountain Top ‘2002 at the Hooters… who on that team is still playing? 
Vince Bisbee, Wade Casey, and Don Sikora are the only 3 that I believe are still playing in the conference.   What a great team and even better group of guys those Mountain Top days were phenomenal!

Can you name the player/person you would consider your mentor when you started playing softball? 
When I started playing softball I looked up to Chucky Maiorana who played shortstop on all the best Michigan teams from the mid 80's to about 2003.   He was a little guy that gave me hope that there was room for guys not 6'3 250 pounds.   He was a great defensive player and even a better leader and teammate.   I learned a lot watching him play and getting an opportunity to play with him for a few years on Mountain Top.

As of today, there will be 39 teams in Conference USA; every team dreams of beating Resmondo. What teams do you think are “Sunday Teams” not Major playing in the Major Division? 
Jean Shoppe, EWS, Suncoast Reebok, Taylormade to name a few.   I think the A division is going to be wide open and on 300 foot parks I think there are going to be a lot of upsets. 

Resmondo swings Worth bats; as of today, what model will Junior DeDonatis be swinging this year? 
I will be swinging the 454 Resmondo Titan end load series.


Last question: Who is not in the USSSA Hall of Fame currently that you think should be? 
Of the players not playing any longer I would say Dave Steffan and of the players still currently playing I would say Billy Messina.


Junior, I know you are a huge college football fan, so let’s start with college football; Michigan just signed Chris Barnett (6’4 240 TE) from Texas—what do you think of him?

That cat is a stud, and was an Arkansas commit…….Hayes and Countess are also studs. By this list, looks like you are steppin it up on defense.


Who would you say is the best recruit UM got? 

I would say Countess just because we need some defense that was painful to watch last year!  I do like Barnett though too it has been a few years since Michigan has had a stud TE.


I know for a fact that USC considered Hoke for head coach after Pete Carroll left; the search committee came to a conclusion that if they hired Hoke, when or if UM came calling, Hoke would have left USC for UM. What do you think of Hoke? 

I like he is a Michigan guy and understands the tradition and history of Michigan football.  I think he will do a great job and have Michigan back winning 10 games a year sooner than later


If you could have hand-picked a coach for UM prior to Hoke being hired, who would you have chosen?

Jim Harbaugh because he played and Michigan and has a swagger to him that young kids will buy into.  I wish him well in the NFL, but think he was better suited in college football.


Are you willing to make a prediction on UM’s record this year? 

I like their schedule this year with a bunch of the big games at home.  I will say 9-3 because I am an optimist.


Hoke says he wants “Michigan type” players… what is a “Michigan type” player? 

A hardnosed blue collar kid that is not scared to stick his nose in there and get dirty.  Michigan football used to be physical and smash mouth before Rich Rod changed the dynamic of the program.  I do not think Rich Rod is a bad coach it was just a bad fit from the beginning.


Do you think the streak vs. OSU ends this year? 

Yes I think they will beat Ohio St this year because Hoke knows how important that game is to the school.  Tressel when he took over made it clear that Michigan is the game circled on their schedule and I think the kids followed his thoughts.  Hoke will take that same approach and get a win this at home versus Ohio St.


Keep in mind the creator of this website is a HUGE Buckeye fan….with that in mind, what do you think of OSU’s recruiting class?

OSU always brings it the right kind of kids to fit Tressel's system.  He is a brilliant coach that wins year after year.  I obviously do not like Ohio St, but appreciate what he has done.  He wins 10 games a year with defense and good special teams.  His offense rarely makes mistakes and although he gets criticized for being conservative at times you cannot argue with the end result.


Do you attend or are you planning on attending any UM games this year? 

Yes I usually go back to Michigan once a year to catch a game.  I will probably hit the Michigan Notre Dame game because it is still warm up there at that time.  Haha


What do you think about “Tattoo Gate” at OSU? 

I think it was handled very poorly by the NCAA and I think Tressel had the opportunity to make a statement for his program by disciplining those kids.  I do not fault the kids as much because it was their belongings they sold.  The NCAA is about the almighty dollar and it very inconsistent which is disappointing.  AJ Green from Georgia was suspended 4 games earlier that year for similar violations.  If Ohio St was not in a BCS game those kids would have been suspended by the NCAA.


Do you think the NCAA messed up by letting these players play in a bowl game? 

Sorry I answered that in the above question I really do feel the NCAA made a poor decision and Ohio St made a poor decision as well letting them play.  I do not blame them, but just listening to former players at Ohio St talk they felt Tressel or the university should have stepped in after the NCAA dropped the ball.


Who do you predict will be the final two teams in the BCS games in ‘2012? 

Oklahoma vs. Alabama


What about pro football? Do you follow pro football? If so, which team? 

Detroit Lions as painful as it is to say, but they have hope!


Who do you think will win the Super Bowl? 

I did bet Green Bay in Vegas just for the record. (I can confirm this J )


Junior, you have any hobbies? 

I love all sports I enjoy playing basketball and working out.  I am a reality TV junkie and love watching movies as well. 


Do you golf? If so, what’s the best course you have played? 

I try and golf, but I am not very good at it.  When I am done playing ball that will be my next sport I take on.  I live on a golf course in Florida and may play once a year if I am lucky.  I am too competitive and cannot handle playing because I do not have the time to be good at it right now and usually end up throwing clubs!


Do you miss Michigan? How many times a year do you go back? 

I miss the seasons, but overall I love it in Florida and would never move back.  I go back a lot in the spring and summer because I run USSSA baseball events throughout Michigan.  It works out great because I get the chance to see my family and visit friends when the weather is still nice.


Do you have a “Bucket List”? If so, can you elaborate?

I really do not to be honest with you.



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