Sunday April 7th, 2024

An interview with Dan Smith pitcher Mike Nino




Mike Nino

USSSA Playing History

Interview conducted on 11/24/2017

Who are you playing with in 2017?
Dan Smith/ Menosse / Easton

What positions do you play and what is your best position?
I'm a pitcher also can play some middle infield

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
there is a lot of amazing talent to just name one, but If i named a hand full just off the top of my head from the players ive faced over the years ,I would say
Andy Purcell , Luis Rayna and the SIS team , Dale Brungart , Flip Washington , Chris Larson ,Mooch , Chente Granados , Jordan Spaulding , Mike Brambilla, Eli Aguilar ,Argen Dodds , Timmy Martinez, Josh Moore , Stewie , A.J Montano , Lex Ramirez, Kirkwood, breezy, and much more for sure . this game wouldn't be were its at if it wasn't for athletes like these who are the best in the game

Why do you like the game of softball?
this game is more then a game it is a reality to some of us were I'm from, it takes people off the streets and introduces them to a humble lifestyle , were I come from a lot of my friends aren't around anymore, and because of this game i've been pretty lucky to be were I'm at today. I love this game because of the people i've been blessed to meet across the country and the challenge of winning against the best in the game.

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
a lot to choose from but I would have to say couple are Timmy Martinez, Frank Ponch Mesa, Ron Fryer, Vince Gillies ,Ruben Rivas are some for the conference to look at , all humble and play the game well on both sides 

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Nino is what I go by , mijo , Conyo ,

What is your height and weight?
I'm 5'11 195LB

Where do you call home?
South West Phoenix, Arizona

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I spend a lot of time with my little family, also I work on my pitching improvements and hitting. I love to watch the seniors play on my off time. And my favorite spot is Apple Bees

What do you do for a living?
I am a remolding Tech

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
baseball at South Mountain High school / South Mountain CC/ Mexico Nogales Sonora

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
Joey Perez introduced me to usssa from being a ASA player in town to playing my first tournament at Papago Park in Scottsdale Arizona with RMS who won worlds later that year with my favorite Pitcher Carl Blank

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
There  is no room for error , the hitting , and the heart these guys have. the power some of the guys have with the control of the bat

Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
every one in my opinion is unique in there own special way , but if there is a person or persons id compare my game to , it would be the Goat Andy Purcell, The energy he brings , the heart he plays with and the things he does for his team to win . he plays with emotion on the field as a leader and is one of the most humble people i've met

Mooch , another great leader who loves to move you off balance , always down to let it all on the field ,a straight Lion .

happy to choose these 2 gentlemen who I grew up watching playing as a young man

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
never a highlight in my opinion , I just love to go out , work hard and do my job for my teammates

In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
The biggest person that had an impact in my career is my God Father , My Coach and my father figure in life , Kwin Dueno aka Cholo Brown . this man has lead me to were I am today. the motivation, the Encouragement, the opportunity. not only on the field did he show me the way to being a better ball player but off the field he showed me how to be a loyal man and be humble to everyone around you. with out him I wouldn't have had the opportunity to enjoy this game the way he has presented it to many of us that have played for him the last few years . thank you and I love you for that Cho

Timmy Martinez another big remodel for me in this game with his leadership and positive conversations at the mound
My great friend Josh Moore who has Been my 5 Man strong the last 4 years and has taken some impacts behind me to make plays to win us ball games and a great friend off the field
to my BP partner Ceddy Johnson for showing up every time to put in work

they all mean more then they know

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
stay humble , consistent , respectful , and just make friend with everyone

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
26 end load with a full overlap

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I watch some senior softball and put in the work with the right people. work out a little and eat a lot

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
New York Yankees and the Arizona Cardinals

What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Latino Music Reaggeton or some hip hop

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
the organization is ran perfectly in my opinion

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Kearny Days ran by my good friend Johnathon Archuleda. its a 3 day tournament an hour East of Phoenix AZ but its all about raising money for the kids , at night everyone gets together and hangs at the local hotel bar and just a good O time. definitely look forward every year to play that 1

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
Pioneer sports complex in Glendale Arizona.  325 all the way around, beautiful infield and out.

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Fire house subs is my fav

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
my cousin Georgie hit a backside triple, he was running to 3rd base and slipped, it was funny because he laughed at the guy he burned in right field and then slipped and got thrown out at 3rd … great memories

Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
I grew up in a neighborhood were a lot of my friends choose the wrong path in life, and if it wasn't for my great father, mother, and my brothers keeping me in the right path as a youngster I wouldn't have played this game we love to play today.  I got shot in my eye when I was 4 and stand here blessed to share the field for 2018 with the best in the country, that's good enough for me.

What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
The knowledge from Eddie Soto teaching me how to pitch



8 responses to “An interview with Dan Smith pitcher Mike Nino”

  1. Mi Mike. Congrats sir, you have worked hard to get here. Wish you the best sir. Hay estamos !!

  2. Gillyshaw03 says:

    Great guy and a great teammate. He puts in a lot of work and wants to be great!!! Proud of you little bro!!

  3. Oscar Ramirez says:

    Congrats Mikey. He has always loved the game the same, like the very first time I met him 8 yrs ago at Desert West. He was tearing it up as a young pup back then and he put in the work to become where he is now. He earned it, by being guided by people like ‘Cholo’ and some of the other guys he mentioned in the article. His life is being molded before our eyes. Good job ‘Nino’.

  4. George says:

    I’ve only meet Mike on a few occasions playing tourneys out here in AZ but from what I know Dan Smith couldn’t have picked up a better guy. Mike’s advice was to stay humble and make as many friends as possible well he’s a man that leads by example. Hit him up for some BP and he’s there. Mich respect Mike CONGRATS and God Bless Bro!!!!

  5. Eddie Soto says:

    Eddie Soto.
    Congrats Mike. I am proud of your accomplishment, You always work hard and have the ambition to become a great player. Always showing respect for the game and others. I am glad our paths cross. Keep up the good work. Good luck brother.

  6. Josh Moore says:

    Congrats my man. All the hard work has paid off. It’s been alot of fun playing with you the last 4 plus years. You guys are for sure getting a gamer that will give it his all. Not only were we teammates but we have been close friends for along time keep doing you buddy. Congrats again you deserve it.

  7. Kwin dueno says:

    Proud off you Mikey keep putting the work in take your game to another level now love you kid

  8. Edward says:

    Atta Boy Conyo!!!! #LATINOZOG

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