Since the beginning of the invention of the home run by non other than Babe Ruth, it was always easier to walk around the bases than having to sprint around them. I don't think I met anyone that liked that part of the game more than I did but there was. I always felt that I was a very fortunate ball player to be able to play with who I thought was the greatest Home Run hitter of all time. His name is Craig Elliott and he is from Wadley, a small town in lower Alabama.

Now there have been so many great players that have played the game and were great home run hitters. Jim Galloway, Bruce Meade, Rick Scherr, Joe Young, Don Arndt, Stan Harvey, Herman Rathman, the list goes on. I just think that Craig enjoyed it more than the rest of them and he sure did enjoy trotting around the bases. He would say something to every person on the field. "Didn't get all of that one big man." I hit that one so far they going to have to call a cab to go get it." "What I didn't get I didn't need!" "Count It!"

I spoke with Craig the other day and the first thing he said to me was "Mike I know a boy that can hit it as far as anybody." I said "he must be your son John." He said "yep you got it." The question is can he out hit his daddy?




ype of reputation. Bruce Meade, Rick Scherr, Mighty Joe Young, Jim Galloway, Steve Loya could be considered franchise players.

Big Cat:    By looking at you in some of the pictures from over the years a person would guess football not basketball. But if they ever got a chance to see you play and see just how fast you were they would understand a whole lot better.

Cranker: Yes I could run for a big man. When I was a sophomore I was 5' 5" 125 lb.. When I graduated I was 6'3" and weighed 235 lb.. I was big enough then that I went to Southern Union Junior College to play baseball. You don't remember Mike but in 1977 at the nationals in Cleveland I tagged from second base on a fly ball and scored.

Big Cat:  No I don't remember you doing that because I kept watching you circle the bases.  I kept saying to myself back then who were these guys? Craig  in your opinion what are some of the key elements in a softball swing?

Cranker:  The most important element would be pitch selection.  Different hitters can hit certain pitches.  When I go to the plate I liked to use a boxed area that if the ball doesn't come through that boxed area or zone then I won't swing. A man has got to know his limitations.. I don't care how fluid your swing is if you hit bad  pitches you are going to have bad results in a hurry .



Big Cat:   Were there any other players that you looked up to or thought was the best?



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