Thursday August 5th, 2021

An interview with free agent Mark Dennis

Mark Dennis Player Page

 USSSA Playing History

Note: 2011 Season Interview 

Who are you playing with in 2013?
Free Agent –

Why do you like the game of softball?
Softball has given me the opportunity to see places that I never would have seen and meet friends that I never would have met.   It also gives me an outlet for my competitive nature.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Eddie "The King" Feigner from "The King and His Court".

What position do you play?

Where do you call home?
Home is Springfield, Oregon but I live in Houston, Texas

What do you do for a living?
I'm a Chiropractor.   I'm currently in the process of opening my own practice, The Texas Spine Institute.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Played Baseball in High School and at Western Oregon University

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
Got my start during the summer after High School.   I was playing American Legion Baseball and I was over at a teammate's house watching TV one Friday night.   His Dad came in the room and told us he was short a couple of players for a tournament the next day and asked if we wanted to play.   After about 15 minutes of making fun of him for not only playing a girl's game but a dumbed-down slow pitch version of it, we agreed to play.   I was absolutely hooked after that weekend and found a tournament to play in every weekend that summer.

As for the upper level, I had played on a "B" team out of Oregon for several years but the sponsor was considering getting out of the game to coach his kids.   I wanted to keep playing competitively but there aren't a lot of options coming out of Oregon.   A friend of mine in Southern Oregon told me he was doing some work on a house and the owner told him he sponsored an "A" team and that they traveled around the country.   He gave me his number and said I should get in touch with him.   The guy turned out to be Jeff Dorricott who ran Sunnyvale Easton.   I called and asked for a tryout and he took me to a tourney in Northern California.   I had a great tournament and he asked me to play for him full-time.

What batting grip do you use?
I drop my bottom two fingers off the handle.

What is your favorite sports team?
Oregon Ducks

What is your favorite sport other than softball?
College Football

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I don't know if it's considered a superstition but I'm pretty fanatical about taking batting practice and working on my game.   If I could find someone to hit with me twice a day every day, I'd do it.   If I haven't been able to hit 2-3 times in the week before a tournament I feel like I'm not doing what it takes to play at this level.   I know everyone has their quirks or superstitions that work for them but I have always believed that my success or failure has to do with my preparation and not some batters box ritual or which sock I put on first in the morning.

What is your most memorable softball moment?
The easy answer would be winning the NSA 'A' world with Tacoma Dodge/Easton but I think beating Dan Smith's squad with a thrown together team of Texas players last year at the ASA Nationals might be more memorable.   Going into the game nobody gave us a chance of making it 7 innings much less knocking them off.   After the first inning they were up 21-4.   It was 34-12 after the third.   We had to score a significant amount of runs in 3 straight innings just to avoid being run-ruled.   We ended up beating them in the bottom of the 7th 41-40. What was so cool for me though is seeing some of the young guys–guys who have never had the chance to play a team of that caliber and how excited they were.   The Dan Smith guys were very gracious in defeat and showed nothing but class and in the interest of fair reporting I have to admit they flat-out took us behind the woodshed and eliminated us the next day, but for one night, a ragtag bunch of no-names from Texas shocked the softball world.

Is slowpitch softball a sport or a game?
Depends on your approach. I can go out in my shorts and tennis shoes on a Wednesday night league, drink some beers and hang out with my buddies and I'm playing a game.  That approach in the Conference however will humble you quickly.  I believe Conference-level softball is a sport.

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Go back to aluminum.  The huge sweet spot on the composites along with the ease in which they can be altered has taken much of the skill out of hitting in my opinion.

What is your favorite non-World tournament?
Conference tourney: The Dudley
Non-Conference festival-type tourney: Goosetown in Anaconda, Montana

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
I can't really think of anything on the field but an off the field softball-related story comes to mind.   I will do my best to keep it within the PG-13 parameters of this website.

We had just finished playing a tournament in Vegas and most of us didn't fly home until Monday morning.  It was getting late and one of the guys on our team who had been drinking since the tournament was finished had found himself some company for the night so he told us he would see us in the morning and left.  The next morning just as they started boarding he came stumbling up to the gate and somehow convinced the boarding agent to let him pre-board.  He got to his seat and quickly passed out.  What we didn't know at the time but found out later is that he had some help the previous night in the form of a little blue pill.  While he might have been passed out, there was a part of him that was still very much awake and the loose fitting nylon basketball shorts he was wearing were doing nothing to conceal that fact. The look on many of the passenger's faces as they passed by still to this day makes me laugh out loud.


One response to “An interview with free agent Mark Dennis”

  1. Brad josh says:

    Hey Mark this is Brad Josh from Mom Springfield Oregon second base remember glad you’re doing well I was hoping you’d say my name in that interview but whatever anyways so I just wanted to say hi

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