Sunday October 24th, 2021

An interview with Magic/ National Gold/ S&S/ Tyja pitcher John Hickey

John Hickey

ASA Playing History

USSSA Playing History

Why do you like the game of softball?
I like softball because it has allowed me to meet so many good people from all over the country.  It has also given me the chance to explore numerous cities and States that I would have never seen.  Most of all, I like the competition and the close friendships I have developed over the years.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
It's impossible to name one guy.  Certainly I am biased to my friends from the Northeast Brett Helmer & Jeff Wallace.  The game has evolved so much in the twenty years I've been playing, that defense fits into the equation of best player.  Brian Wegman & Bryson Baker give you excellence in every phase of the game.  If I had to start a new team today, Andy Purcell is a game changer on the hill and a premier hitter.

What position do you play?
Catcher, Extra Hitter, Pitcher

Where do you call home?
Plymouth, Massachusetts

What do you do for a living?
Captain of Segregation Unit, Plymouth County Correctional Facility

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Baseball and Basketball in High School and then Basketball in College

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started playing Mens League Softball in 1991 with former baseball players from my High School and a couple of nearby High Schools.   In 1992 the League put an All Star team in a local tournament.   Dave Diegoli from Thermco Home Improvements was watching the tournament and approached me about meeting his coach Bill McCluskey and playing with them.   I met Bill McCluskey a week later and he handed me a trash bag full of uniforms and said " you're with us now kid ".   Thermco progressed from a "C" team moving up to "B" and then to "A" in 1997.

What batting grip do you use?
Bottom 2 fingers off the bat with the knob in the center of the palm and top hand is conventional. I learned the grip from Dave Wallace in 1997 and it had immediate results.

What is your favorite sports team?
New England Patriots

What is your favorite sport other than softball?

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I can't even list all the wacked out things that go through my head when I'm playing Softball.   I'll give you one simple one, never cross the bats.

What is your most memorable softball moment?
Winning the 1996 USSSA 'B" Worlds and being named MVP in Arizona was a great thrill.   I'm also proud of being World Champions in Law Enforcement Softball four times in five years during the 90's.   Winning USSSA 35 over Worlds this year with my good friends was very satisfying.

 Is slowpitch softball a sport or a game?
 Softball is a sport

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Eliminate the "E" division and bump every team in the country up one class, which is where they belong anyway.   There would be 15-20 Major Teams and 50 "A" teams.   This would enable upper level teams to play within their region instead of flying for every tournament.

What is your favorite non-World tournament?
Le Pif Classic in Sherbrooke Quebec Canada. 20-25 thousand people for the night games, Home Run Derby and Fireworks.

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Playing against Benfield/ AM Vegas/Reece/Easton team in the Pif Classic six or seven years ago and getting absolutely pounded by Fulk, O'Hara, Demars, Goins etc.. we decide to give first base coach Doc Leach an inning on the mound.   Doc had given his belt to picher Joe Starrett in the first inning because Joe forgot his.   Doc pitches a scoreless top of the fifth because Benfield was winning by plenty.   Bottom of the fifth Doc comes up to bat and hits a ground ball to 3rd baseman Jeff Lanning.   He gets halfway down the line (80 ft bases) and his pants fall to his ankles causing him to trip and fall.   Lanning throws to first ending the game in a run rule.   Our catcher Kirby Murphy is an intense guy and unhappy with the loss, starts yelling at Doc "How the f**k don't you have a belt on"?   Doc stands up wearing boxers covered in dirt and tries to plead his case to Kirby who yells "Get the f**k off the field".   Both teams line up for the post game handshake in hysterics.   Doc and Kirby weren't laughing.

Who are you playing with in 2011?
Magic/ National Gold/ S&S/ Tyja






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