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Who plays softball or baseball?

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Tim and I have already blabbed about softball in the fantasy baseball thread, just because that seemed like an okay place to do it, but I wanted to start a thread for softball in general, too.

I have an inkling we might not have a lot of players of either on the forum, but I thought I'd asked: do you play softball or baseball? When did you last play? What position do you play? And so on. Stories, pictures of gloves or bats or fields, whatever strikes your fancy. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall, I play (and think about) softball a lot, so any excuse to do that more is pretty welcome.



In the Beginning...
I never played in any official capacity, but my friends and I played sandlot baseball every summer through high school, and for a few years after. (Some of them had played on grade school or high school teams.) I usually played left field and was pretty good at it. I was a decent hitter, too; most games I could drop one or two in the gaps. Never hit one out, though.

Softball never really interested me. My brother was big into it, though. I covered for his team's catcher for a game and was pretty bored. But hey, it was a local good ol' boys' slow-pitch team, so it was mostly jesting, beer drinking, and homer hitting. Strategy and athleticism really didn't have a place in that league.

I'm not sure I'm really in shape to play baseball these days, but I'd try it again. I still have my glove.



Yeah, catcher in softball is particularly boring, too. And some fields are too small for the level of power you'll find. If you can find one with a bigger outfield and/or less powerful hitters, and try another position, it can be pretty exciting. But there's a lot of variability from league to league, field to field, and team to team.

Do you have a picture of your glove? I love seeing old gloves.



I played Little League baseball when I was a kid Since then the only opportunities I have top go out on a ballfield is if Im working for a company that has a softball team, and of course, I'M the catcher My Dad was a catcher for a world champions softball team back in the 40s, but I wasnt groomed to be one at any time because I was simply too damn big.



In the Beginning...
Do you have a picture of your glove? I love seeing old gloves.
I actually have two; the one on the left is my primary. Both are first baseman's gloves (right-handed). I could never get used to the huge punch bowls that outfielders are supposed to use, but with a first baseman's mitt I could pretty much catch anything.




Nice looking gloves. Coincidentally, I was looking at some high-end gloves the other day and noticed the first baseman's version looked a lot cooler. But I think it'd take a lot to get used to, if you weren't already.

One thing I didn't anticipate when buying new gloves is how much the weight would matter. I mostly just assumed anything anyone sold would be around the same weight. Not so: I'm trying a high-end Nokona that's about 50% heavier than the cheap one I bought a few years ago (which busted, prompting a multi-month glove research and trial phase that I'm still in the middle of now).

I might just be projecting my own enthusiasm here, but you guys should give it another try! I didn't think I was particularly itching to play until I took the plunge, and now I can't get enough.



Softball leagues are no joke! People and players involved get heavily invested and excited in it. There are even teams that will hire someone for the sole purpose of being on their softball team Ive heard where there are private leagues where certain ringers are offered cash outright to play for their team. You go to a championship softball game, I guarantee the crowd and energy will be more electric than a MLB game.



It really depends, yeah. We've seen a ton of variation in our leagues. One thing that mitigates this a bit is that we play in a coed league, where you have to play four girls in the field at all times. But you still get some crazy teams that should be playing in a men's league, or at least not in a rec league. Most of the dudes have huge biceps and rope liners 4 out of 5 at bats, and if you add that to even just a few good female hitters, you're basically guaranteed 15 runs a game no matter what the defense does.

But some of our Sunday leagues are super chill, where we're one of the better teams, and almost every team in the league has a couple of very inexperienced or older players.

I did watch some professional softball stuff on YouTube. It doesn't feel like watching baseball at all. At the high-end it's like a different sport. But in coed rec leagues, there's still enough in the way of grounders and fielding and base running that it scratches that baseball itch pretty well.



It really depends, yeah. We've seen a ton of variation in our leagues. One thing that mitigates this a bit is that we play in a coed league, where you have to play four girls in the field at all times. But you still get some crazy teams that should be playing in a men's league, or at least not in a rec league. Most of the dudes have huge biceps and rope liners 4 out of 5 at bats, and if you add that to even just a few good female hitters, you're basically guaranteed 15 runs a game no matter what the defense does.

But some of our Sunday leagues are super chill, where we're one of the better teams, and almost every team in the league has a couple of very inexperienced or older players.
Actually that dynamic sounds like it can make for a great time. If you think abut it, any team could be mixed if theres an even balance of women to men on both sides.

I think I enjoy softball more, now. for the sole reason I could hit the ball more often I knew how to swing, used my whole body, and could get some scary distance....when I hit. Kinda tended to have a Sean Rodriguez like batting average. TONGOs obp no good , but thats more baseball. Kinda hard to walk in softball.

The weather up there has to be better than playing down here, I really envy yall with that one. Its miserable down here right now.



It depends. I mean, you guys can probably play year round, right? That sounds incredible (though I dunno if I would play as often if it were constant). I'm guessing the summer is pretty awful, though, yeah.

The main problem here is that we get a lot of rain outs and/or have to play on crappy fields. But when it doesn't rain, yeah, we probably have it just about the best in terms of temperature. Doesn't get too hot for too long, even in the peak of the summer, and in April/May and September/October we got a lot of crisp, comfortable days.

The flip side of that is that we actually played a game this spring in 29 degree weather. The field was rock hard, so we played in the grass. I wore track pants and long underwear, along with two shirts, a really thick hoodie, and a winter hat. Amazingly, it didn't impede my throwing much. Somehow.



The flip side of that is that we actually played a game this spring in 29 degree weather. The field was rock hard, so we played in the grass. I wore track pants and long underwear, along with two shirts, a really thick hoodie, and a winter hat. Amazingly, it didn't impede my throwing much. Somehow.
Oh Id rather play in that anyday I had a friend from Pittsburgh and he told me about the weather up there, and how there were a bunch of amateur football leagues where guys just went out there, and it could get brutal & intense. My friend wasnt allowed to go in it cause his Dad didnt want his sons leg broken from some drunk, cant blame him.

Yeah I dont...ever remember having to bundle up to go play ball down here. I think yall have more sports enthusiasts up there too which makes a huge difference. Have you read anything to help with your swing? My dad swears by Wade Boggs and Ted Williams books.



No books, but an article and video or two. I was hitting too many high fly balls, so I tried to figure out why. Learned a few good general rules that helped dramatically, and immediately (though I switched to another bat at the same time).

My swing is, by baseball standards, still a huge mess. Sometimes I stand up straight, sometimes I hunch over a lot, though in softball you can get away with a lot as long as you get a few basic things right. Mechanics definitely matter less when bat speed isn't really a consideration.



No books, but an article and video or two. I was hitting too many high fly balls, so I tried to figure out why. Learned a few good general rules that helped dramatically, and immediately (though I switched to another bat at the same time).

My swing is, by baseball standards, still a huge mess. Sometimes I stand up straight, sometimes I hunch over a lot, though in softball you can get away with a lot as long as you get a few basic things right. Mechanics definitely matter less when bat speed isn't really a consideration.
hrm. Too bad youre not independently wealthy and you could hire a batting coach. I had liked to bowl when I was a kid, and did ok at it. My Mom hired a bowling tutor just for one lesson. He told me to forget everything I knew about bowling, taught me the basic fundamentals, and that one lesson made all the difference in my bowling going forward.

I urge you to read Boggs & Williams' books or at least one of them. Theyd probably be great entertainment besides an education. I heard Ted Williams say once he could see the seams on the baseball and tell what the pitch was by how it was rotating. You wont get that good, but Im certain they have some body mechanic mind tricks to help with your stance. I did yoga from a book once, and it actually was easier to execute going by how the writer described it, rather than what I knew going in.



Just bumping this thread to remind myself to post some photos of the gloves I've gotten recently. Gone on a little bit of a spree, have a nice, varied collection. Some very high-end models, a couple in the middle, and some cheap ones, too. I'm pretty smitten with just about all of them.



Just bumping this thread to remind myself to post some photos of the gloves I've gotten recently. Gone on a little bit of a spree, have a nice, varied collection. Some very high-end models, a couple in the middle, and some cheap ones, too. I'm pretty smitten with just about all of them.
Glove"s"? How many gloves do you have? Theres the catchers mitt, the first base glove and the regular one. Are there more now?



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I wanted to make a joke about hardball, but then found out it's actually a thing!
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Played intramural softball a few years back in like 2006-2009

More recently than that, I played in a baseball city league in spring 2014. That was a lot tougher. Actual full speed pitching, and most of the players had either previously played at the varsity high school level, and you'd run into a couple players who had made it higher than that. Our player-coach pretty much played me for my glove and my defense in centerfield/leftfield. Hitting was pretty tough against those pitchers. Felt like a win when I could draw a walk or make contact and get on base.

I was the lead-off hitter on my intramural softball team and played centerfield/left field. In-game I was more a singles/doubles hitter, when we'd go mess around for fun I'd swing more for power

I grew up in Atlanta in the 90s as a kid so I got to see Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz play at their best. So I've always enjoyed well-played baseball

Here's the glove I bought a few years ago, I've posted about it before bc I have it around when I watch movies usually. I throw lefty, but mainly bat right-handed competitively. I can switch-hit when it's casual/for fun



Here's a wooden bat I bought a few years ago, I've carried it around but haven't actually hit with it yet. Saving it for a special occasion, but I'm not sure what that means really. Maybe I can use it like Woody Harrelson in Zombieland (2009) when the zombies arrive




Finally got around to taking a picture of the gloves, along with one that just arrived in the mail:



The Nokona Bloodline in the top left is the nicest, by far, but it's just getting broken in and I haven't gamed it yet. Ditto for the Wilson A2000 next to it. The Nokona on the right is an older Bloodline, and much heavier as a result (the newer Bloodline is kangaroo, which is much lighter). The older one's a freakin' tank. I bought it before deciding to get the new one, and because it was going too cheap on eBay, but now I'll probably just sell it.

Amusingly, the old Macgregor in the bottom right, which cost me $20, is the one I'm using in games at the moment. I bought it because I apparently threw out my old glove a few years back and this one reminded me of it. Very soft, lots of flexibility, but very ltitle padding. Hurts like heck when I catch a liner anywhere other than the webbing, but it doesn't bounce out. I've got another Macgregor that I've loaned out to a teammate for now. Old Macgregors are pretty great.

But yeah, next year I'll probably use the new Bloodline exclusively. But it's so nice part of me might be tempted to beat up the Wilson a lot, because this is a give-it-to-your-kids type of glove.



I didn't realize how much I loved baseball gloves until my cheap Louisville Slugger, which I'd been playing with the last two years, busted open a few months ago. Then I started researching replacements and discovered my weakness for them. Thankfully, I'm pretty frugal about everything else, because this is one area where I find it way too easy to splurge. I love the smell and the craftsmanship involved. Baseball gloves are just gorgeous.