Saturday July 24th, 2021

Rusty Bumgardner


Rusty Bumgardner

USSSA Playing History

Major Players List Player Page

Free Agent – [email protected]

2011 Interview

Why do you like the game of softball?
I love the game & I love to compete.  Most of all, I love the friendships I have acquired & being able to travel all over our country to play this wonderful game.

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
I can't just list one!

COMPLETE PLAYERS: Britt Hightower, Doug Roberson, Todd Martin, Jason Kendrick, John Mello, Robin Higginbothum, Johnny McCraw, Don Dedonatis III, Rick Baker, Dal Beggs & Brian Wegman.  These guys could/can do it all………run, hit for average, hit for power, play defense & be a TOTAL TEAMMATE.

BEST HITTERS: Jimmy Powers, Dirk Androff, Hank Garris, Brett Helmer & Jeff Wallace.  These guys ALWAYS threw up unbelievable numbers & consistently led the country in the hitting categories. 

BEST PITCHERS: Rick Weiterman & Andy Purcell.

What position do you play?

Where do you call home?
Gastonia, NC

What do you do for a living?
I work for Combat Sports.  I LOVE it and don't even consider it a "job".  It is TRULY ENJOYMENT & a way I will be able to remain in the game when my playing days are over.

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
Football & Baseball in High School (Kings Mtn. HS) & in College (Wake Forest Univ.) & Minor League Baseball for the Florida Marlins.

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
While on summer break from college, I played for a local B-C competitive team.  The fall before I was drafted, I played in an A Fall State tournament for Converters Unlimited – Elvin Herring.  After being released from the Marlins on a Wednesday in July, Elvin called me on Thursday and said meet to him that weekend for the Smoky Mountain Classic with his A team (1992).  The following year we played AA (1993) & moved to the Major ranks in 1994.  I have been fortunate enough to remain on that level ever since & play for some unbelievable teams, for great bat companies & sponsors & to play with legendary teammates. 

What batting grip do you use?
Bottom hand-one finger off & Top hand-two finger overlap.

What is your favorite sports team?
NY Yankees

What is your favorite sport other than softball?

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I prepare myself the same way through practice each week. I also have the same routine before each at bat (on deck & getting into the box).

What is your most memorable softball moment?
Representing the USA in 2009 & 2010 in the Border Battle & the World/National titles I have won.

Is slowpitch softball a sport or a game?

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Having HR restrictions to make MORE teams competitive.

Was softball better in the 1990's?
It's hard to say.  The 90's had more major teams & the game was primarily an offensive game.  Don't get me wrong, there were still Great "2 way players".  Today's game has brought the "athlete" back into the game.  You must be able to do it all……run, hit for average, hit for power & play defense.

What is your favorite non-World tournament?
Smoky Mountain Classic

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
The way we all act sometimes.

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Bumgardner bomb at the 2010 Border Battle on ESPN

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Game winning homer, 'A' Worlds

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Walk off at the Indiana Major

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22 responses to “Rusty Bumgardner”

  1. dragon says:

    great teammate great leader

    • Rusty Bumgardner says:

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE COMPLIMENTS!!! I know I’m not what I once was, but still feel I can be an asset with my knowledge & leadership! If I’m fortunate enough to play, it will be my last year, it will be my farewell tour & swan song! THANK YOU AGAIN TO dragon, Zee#9 & Mike Hernandez for the Wonderful comments!!! Also, THANK YOU to all of my former sponsors, coaches, team mates & everyone I’ve met through my years of playing!! I Cherish & Appreciate All of You!!

  2. Zee#9 says:

    One of the best to ever play. Great guy and leader

  3. Mike Hernandez says:

    This guy will not be a free agent for long, what a great ball player and even better person, a true gentleman of the game, whoever picks him up will be getting a great addition to their ball club. Good luck Mr. Bumgardner

  4. Cal Ford says:

    Funny as hell, good ball player. Thats a damn GDB Rusty!!!

  5. Jeff porter says:

    Rusty you have played with some of the greatest and you are truely a legend in the sport. As a person that always wanted to play at the upper level, I admired you guys on how you guys could be so consistent. I wish you the best this year and after, hate to see you go. Take care.

  6. Smooth says:

    The sport will be losing a great player as well as person! Hopefully I will get to see you in Cincinnati at the Major one last time!

  7. Sandman says:

    Just went through the bio of this legend/monster of softball…..WOW!!! I speak from a person who has only been playing the sport for only 3 years, i can safely say that the sport is losing one of it’s true living legends of this sport. Thank you for all you’ve done Rusty!

  8. steve gilbert says:

    This guy has kept me lifted with the passing of Ryan Robbins… It is an honor to have met this man and meeting his family at the bash last march… Rusty you sir are a great man to this sport and have done LOTS of great things for people in need… Once again THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  9. Canuck says:

    To Canada?

  10. Eddie White says:

    I wanted to be Rusty Bumgardner and Rick Anderson when I was little.

  11. Demarini says:

    Someone give rusty his final year. He is a true legend of softball and an ambassador of a game we all love

  12. Gary L says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Rusty this past weekend in Durham for a Wounded Warrior event. I can say that he is an ambassador to the game of softball and carries himself in a professional manner. I ennjoyed coaching him, listening to the stories and would love to see him at future events. It was a blast Rusty, way to hit it and I am sure we will have you back.

    Coach Gary

  13. Ron Harris says:

    What a excellent ball player I truly learn my open
    Stance from you actually … Also the over lap grip
    It plays a big factor for most of the ball players.
    Rusty you are great player, leader , motivator ,
    Clutch player.. Never to less people wanna see
    The long ball and they will need you to impress
    Fans so you won’t be a free agent for long

  14. Kyle says:

    Rusty, you can always come home and play in NC. I wouldn’t mind you playing on the Seymour Johnson Air Force base team.

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