Monday April 8th, 2024

An interview with Xtreme shortstop Toby Letak




Toby Letak

USSSA Playing History

Major Watch List Player

Interview conducted on 12/14/2018

Who are you playing with in 2019, and who have you played with in the past?

What positions do you play and what is your best position?

Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
The best? There are a few: Purcell, Baker, Wegman, Connell, Shannon…so many

Why do you like the game of softball?
The competitiveness and the lifelong friendships created through this game. I'm extremely competitive in everything I do, I hate losing more than I love winning. I've met some incredible people through this game that I'll take with me forever

Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
I still feel like Briggs and Argen have yet to peak in this game. Damn good athletes and even better friends. Another one is Nino, great guy and only getting better

What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Tobes – childhood nickname and most people know me by that

What is your height and weight?
6' 1'' / 200lbs

Where do you call home?
Overland Park, Kansas

What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Watching the kid play soccer. He's incredibly talented, has a heart of gold and is the most humble human being I know

What do you do for a living?
IT – Solutions Architect | Director of Client Services

Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I only played baseball in HS and 1 year in college

How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I was a late bloomer in softball. I started playing in 2009 and played in a few D/C tournaments in 2010/2011. I was picked up by Midwest Hearing (C) in 2012 and 2013 playing a few conference tourneys along the way. In 2014 Nolan gave me a shot with Nightmare and the rest is history. Nolan is an incredible sponsor and an incredible philanthropic person. Anyone who gets the chance to play for him will understand this

What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
Pitching and pace of play. Pitching was by far the largest difference from non-conference to conference play. Having a guy who can change the speed, mix different pitches in, moving around on the mound and filling his hole defensively is a huge advantage

What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Winning AA World Series, without a doubt!!! I thought a 2nd place finish at B World Series in 2016 would be it…boy was i wrong!

The way our team [Xtreme] accomplished it, coming through the loser's bracket on Sunday playing 8 hrs straight in the Florida heat to double dip a very very good Precision team in the final. I'll never forget that day! 

In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
My Dad. From the time I was a little leaguer to now, he still likes to tell me how to approach each weekend. The guy has a great baseball/softball mind as he used to play the game in the 80's & 90's when we lived in Omaha, where unofficially the sport started. He'll watch the live stream each weekend and text me in-game updates or opinions. I'll have 20+ texts when I check my phone after games. He's the best!

What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
If you want it bad enough, you'll have work your tail off to achieve that goal. Weekend warriors sometimes fail to make it because they don't want to put the work in during the week and in between tournaments or don't have great attitudes. Some young players expect to be given a chance and that expectation doesn't fit today's game. Be a GREAT teammate no matter your role, winning or losing, period. Afterall, you never know who's watching

What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I drop one finger and overlap one finger on top. 26oz EL

What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I hit BP when weather permits or at a local indoor facility. I hit the gym and the treadmill and I play indoor volleyball twice a week to keep me active

What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Nebraska Football
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Royals
Sporting Kansas City
If I couldn't play softball anymore, I'd be on a volleyball court somewhere

Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
Don't step on the foul lines and hustling on/off the field 

What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Taste – TYGA, was my walk-up music at the major this past season

What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Adding a safety bag at first base and figuring out the player point system

What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
I played Toys 4 Tots with 4TheFallen for the first time this year and I cannot tell you how fun that tournament is. Incredible "open-air" airport, beautiful city, mountain views for days, California weather and some of the best teammates outside of Xtreme I've ever played with.
Haybale Classic in Kansas City: We use actual hay bales in front of the pitcher (as screens), hitting girls balls, unlimited HR's and it is a draft style tourney. It's a great tourney to meet new guys and get a chance to play with guys you don't normally get a chance to. Oh and if you ever play in this event, bring a stocked cooler, you're guaranteed to be picked in the first 3 rounds haha. Proceeds from this tournament always go towards supporting a member in the local softball community that may have fallen on hard times with health or other issues

What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
The Smoky main fields are special and the Dudley main fields. Both are well taken care of during the tournament and the atmosphere's are awesome

Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Any place that has BBQ 

What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Have you ever seen a guy trip over absolutely nothing and face plant into the ground as he's rounding first base? Insert: Dustin Palm. There is a great GIF image of it, hilarious! 

What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
Quite possibly the coolest gift I’ve ever received. At Toys 4 Tots, a teammate (Matt Lorenz, servicemen) on our 4 The Fallen team gifted a few of us civilians these Arming Loops. He takes immense pride in his job and it was an incredible gesture that took me by complete surprise. Thank you, Matty.

These arming loops are attached to arming wire. The arming wire is attached the the main fuse of a MK-82 bomb body. When the pilot releases the bomb, the arming loop is retained with the jet therefor pulling the arming wire and activating the fuse to the bomb. The next object that bomb hits goes boom. Every single arming loop I’ve gathered were from my deployment and were used in efforts to fight the constant war on terrorism.





5 responses to “An interview with Xtreme shortstop Toby Letak”

  1. DH26 says:

    Toby is a great player and better teammate. Bring a positive attitude to any team.

  2. Drew says:

    Tobes is a great ball player, with great hands and hits the ball all over the field. Great teammate and will make any team better without a doubt.

  3. Todd Newton says:

    Great guy and even better SS/MI infielder. Would have him on my team all day everyday!!

  4. Argen Dodds says:

    Great Guy and Teammate . He will definitely be a great pick up for any team needing a SS or Mi.. Good luck next year Tobes… I’m still upset about what you Royals did to my Astros lol

  5. Woody34 says:

    Great dude. Great teammate. And super talented player. Enjoyed playing with you at Toys brotha. Good luck this year!

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