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Slow pitch softball thread

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I play 12" softball. This is my 4th year. I am the manager this year, and I think I assembled a darn good team. We beat one of the best teams last season tonight, in extra innings. I went 4 for 5, 3 RBI I believe. I am a singles-machine. I'm slow, but I got that sweet opposite field line-drive approach. Gordon Beckham 2009 type shizzz.

 

A dude who was probably at least 50, maybe 60, made some incredible diving plays tonight. Started at 3B, the death position in slow pitch, and made 2 incredible diving stops on 1-hop rockets that he somehow picked as he dove, and then they moved him to SS, and he made another diving stop. It was nuts.

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Yup, we play in Arlington Heights, i have also managed them for 4 years. We got moved up to the top division(A/B) this season after finishing 2nd and 3rd in the park the past two years, so we have our work cut out for us. We won our first game last night 25-10, slaughter rule called in the 5th. Good start :)

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I play both co-ed 16 and men's 12. Also play in a charity tourney that is 14 inch.

 

Softball is great. I'm like you, singles/speed player and I track down everything in LC.

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Out this year because of surgery. It sucks. Love getting out of the house on thurs nights.

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Played for a long time, both 12 and 16, until age/weight/injuries ended it for me a couple years ago.

I was a speed guy with some power at first, then became a power guy with good speed ("runs well for a fat guy"), then a power guy with some speed, then with no speed, then a spectator.

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QUOTE (The Critic @ May 12, 2012 -> 07:27 AM)
Played for a long time, both 12 and 16, until age/weight/injuries ended it for me a couple years ago.

I was a speed guy with some power at first, then became a power guy with good speed ("runs well for a fat guy"), then a power guy with some speed, then with no speed, then a spectator.

 

The natural progression for "softball guy", lol.

 

I don't know if any of you watch Softball360 on comcast, but some of those guys are absolutely ridiculous. They were hitting upper deck 500 foot bombs effortlessly during a MLB field tour. Nothing but upper body hatchet swings

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12" mens' B-level team in Northbrook. Not a great team, but a fun one, good guys, and we win some here and there. Out of 8 teams in this B division (This is an A-B-C situation), we're probably around the 6th best team. Still fun anyway.

 

I've played on some team every summer since about 1999. Coached two companies' 16" co-ed teams over the years.

 

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Many years ago they had a 16" home run hitting contest at old Comiskey Park before a game. They had 3 or 4 guys hitting from second base and they were having no problem jacking them on the roof. It was impressive.

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QUOTE (Dick Allen @ May 12, 2012 -> 09:18 AM)
Many years ago they had a 16" home run hitting contest at old Comiskey Park before a game. They had 3 or 4 guys hitting from second base and they were having no problem jacking them on the roof. It was impressive.

 

Even from second base that is extremely impressive. Putting a charge into a 16" ball is no small feat

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I greatly prefer 12 inch, as it's closer to baseball, the problem is when you play teams that just jack HR after HR. I know some leagues limit this. But it's not fun playing those sorts of teams, it's not even a game at that point, it's just HR derby. When you have two evenly matched teams and neither has a ton of power, much more fun.

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QUOTE (IlliniKrush @ May 12, 2012 -> 12:56 PM)
I greatly prefer 12 inch, as it's closer to baseball, the problem is when you play teams that just jack HR after HR. I know some leagues limit this. But it's not fun playing those sorts of teams, it's not even a game at that point, it's just HR derby. When you have two evenly matched teams and neither has a ton of power, much more fun.

Yeah, my team has zero power so when we play those teams its just stupid. I still have yet to figure out the trick to hitting for power in 12 in softball. Right now im a right center line drive hitter or I put one right at the pitchers head up the middle. I'm almost always 2/3 with a walk.

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QUOTE (RockRaines @ May 12, 2012 -> 12:30 PM)
Yeah, my team has zero power so when we play those teams its just stupid. I still have yet to figure out the trick to hitting for power in 12 in softball. Right now im a right center line drive hitter or I put one right at the pitchers head up the middle. I'm almost always 2/3 with a walk.

 

You sound like me. I think I am rather strong but I swing as hard as I can and I can never clear the fence. Line drives is my thing as well.

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QUOTE (Brian @ May 12, 2012 -> 01:34 PM)
You sound like me. I think I am rather strong but I swing as hard as I can and I can never clear the fence. Line drives is my thing as well.

Whenever I really try to juice it I pop it up so I give it a solid swing for good contact and its a rope but never that deep drive. There has to be some trick that those super fat guys do to crush the ball.

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QUOTE (RockRaines @ May 12, 2012 -> 01:35 PM)
Whenever I really try to juice it I pop it up so I give it a solid swing for good contact and its a rope but never that deep drive. There has to be some trick that those super fat guys do to crush the ball.

 

The trick is top hand strength. If you watch the guys that hit home runs, it looks like they are swinging an axe, but they never dip their shoulders. It is all upper body, chest and arms for those guys.

 

Illinikrush, you play in a no limit homerun league? I play in a 3 homer limit, 1 and 1 league. That means we each get three homeruns, but when each team ties at 3, home team gets a homerun, away team gets a homerun, back and forth. However, if my team hits all three and the other team has none, the next homerun is an out. I have played in a league where they are singles instead of outs.

 

The largest limit I have played in is 5.

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QUOTE (IlliniKrush @ May 12, 2012 -> 02:14 PM)
I don't currently play, but I have been in some leagues that didn't have limits. It was really stupid.

 

Yea the big boys tend to ruin those leagues. The only thing that is worse than a no homerun limit league, is a no fence league.

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QUOTE (KyYlE23 @ May 12, 2012 -> 02:24 PM)
Yea the big boys tend to ruin those leagues. The only thing that is worse than a no homerun limit league, is a no fence league.

Yeah, thats pretty much what we have in the city though unfortunately.

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What size field do you guys play on? My Thursday night league plays on 300ft fences, but my Chili's softball tourney that we do annually is usually on 275ft fields. I can definitely put it out of 275, I can probably put it out on 300, but I don't even try to do it. I figure if I hit a HR every other game, I will end up making a ton of flyouts, so I don't even waste my time. I just drop my back foot and line it to RF. I'm a big, slow guy, so most people play me kind of deep, but like a smart Paul Konerko, I just take my singles to RF and then have a speedster pinch run for me. Haha, the life of a DH who doesn't run the bases! (I'm actually a pretty solid OF, one of the best on the team, but my lack of speed greatly reduces my range, and the other guys are real fast.)

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QUOTE (JoeCoolMan24 @ May 12, 2012 -> 11:13 PM)
What size field do you guys play on? My Thursday night league plays on 300ft fences, but my Chili's softball tourney that we do annually is usually on 275ft fields. I can definitely put it out of 275, I can probably put it out on 300, but I don't even try to do it. I figure if I hit a HR every other game, I will end up making a ton of flyouts, so I don't even waste my time. I just drop my back foot and line it to RF. I'm a big, slow guy, so most people play me kind of deep, but like a smart Paul Konerko, I just take my singles to RF and then have a speedster pinch run for me. Haha, the life of a DH who doesn't run the bases! (I'm actually a pretty solid OF, one of the best on the team, but my lack of speed greatly reduces my range, and the other guys are real fast.)

I used to pound the ball in warmups, just crush it as hard as I could, dead pull to RF all the way. Then in the game guys would play me really deep with a huge shift to RF and I would slap the ball down the LF line for doubles and triples. Then when they thought they had me figured out I would pop one over the right fielder's head and trot.

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We play at Melas park in Arlington Heights, 3 fields are at 300, and one is 285. We only play on one field though, and that is a 300 field. We only rotate to other fields during a tournament or playoffs

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QUOTE (The Critic @ May 13, 2012 -> 05:10 PM)
I used to pound the ball in warmups, just crush it as hard as I could, dead pull to RF all the way. Then in the game guys would play me really deep with a huge shift to RF and I would slap the ball down the LF line for doubles and triples. Then when they thought they had me figured out I would pop one over the right fielder's head and trot.

 

Hah, I always laugh at teams that try to employ a shift. It's slow pitch softball, most skilled hitters can place the ball anywhere they want to. The shift only works on the bad hitters who can't aim the ball, or the hitters who swing for a HR every time, so it's going to end up being a pulled ball either way.

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QUOTE (JoeCoolMan24 @ May 13, 2012 -> 06:54 PM)
Hah, I always laugh at teams that try to employ a shift. It's slow pitch softball, most skilled hitters can place the ball anywhere they want to. The shift only works on the bad hitters who can't aim the ball, or the hitters who swing for a HR every time, so it's going to end up being a pulled ball either way.

When I played, the shift did seem to work on most lefties, though. Not a lot of LH hitters could, or would, go the other way. I always did, because pitchers would take the jump-step to my right and then float the ball away from me (which was stupid when their guys were shifting me to right), so it made sense to drop my back shoulder a bit and drive the ball to left.

Edited by The Critic

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QUOTE (The Critic @ May 13, 2012 -> 07:09 PM)
When I played, the shift did seem to work on most lefties, though. Not a lot of LH hitters could, or would, go the other way. I always did, because pitchers would take the jump-step to my right and then float the ball away from me (which was stupid when their guys were shifting me to right), so it made sense to drop my back shoulder a bit and drive the ball to left.

Yeah we shift lefties all the time and almost none of them can point it to me even in LC.

 

I really wish I played on a field with fences, that would be awesome.

Edited by RockRaines

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QUOTE (The Critic @ May 13, 2012 -> 08:09 PM)
When I played, the shift did seem to work on most lefties, though. Not a lot of LH hitters could, or would, go the other way. I always did, because pitchers would take the jump-step to my right and then float the ball away from me (which was stupid when their guys were shifting me to right), so it made sense to drop my back shoulder a bit and drive the ball to left.

 

Well, yeah, I guess we do shift our OF about 10 feet when a lefty is up, but I was more of less thinking of infield shifts or when teams would bring in a 5th IF.

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I've started the season off 10 for 12 with 7 RBI's. 1 of my 2 outs was a homerun but we were passed our limit. Otherwise I've only had a lazy fly to Right Center for my only other out.

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