I am going to show you where some of my softball travels have taken me. As I said in my opening statement on my front page I have played in every state in the United States except for Alaska. The ASA held one of their conventions there one year but that's as close as I have come to playing any softball in Alaska. Dave Neale and Andy O went to the convention.. If I had to pick one city or pick one place that I passed by more often than any other place it would have to be St. Louis. The Arch stands out in my mind the most because of all the times I've passed it in my career. It is the center of the U.S. and it is the Gateway to the West..
The St. Louis Gateway Classic softball tournament has been going on since the early 70's and is still one of the top tournaments each year. The tournament was founded by the late John Massud and he ran it until 1985 when he passed away the winter before. Since that time his daughter Jeanette and his wife have kept the tournament going strong. At one time in 1978 the two biggest tournaments were the Gateway Classic and the Smokey Mountain Classic.. If you won those two tourneys during the season you were one heck of a team.
This is a photo of me humming down the road. This photo was in Sports Illustrated in June 1986. I remember something about a unique experience that day that I would like to share with you. We were coming from Savanah, Georgia and were headed for Atlanta, Ga. to play in the Coke Classic in Marrietta. The writers and photographers were riding in the vehicles with us. We were half way there when we dicided to stop and get gas. We pulled into a gas station that was a house front type of place. My good friend Rick Weiterman says "hey Mike, look across the street. You better get your rod". I looked over to see a little 1/2 acre farm pond. I proceeded to take my rod and a super hotdog spinner bait and walked over to the pond. The photograpers were right there with me and on my second cast I hooked into a 2 or 3 lb. Black Crappie. It took me a little bit to bring the fish in but I did. I was so excited about this. I tell the photographer I don't care what he does with the story, just put this picture of me fishing in there. Guess what? He never did put that photo in but that's ok because I will never forget what I did that day. What a great moment. It all happened because of what I was doing. Playing softball with the Men of Steele What A GReat Ride......
During my softball career I have played just about everywhere in North America. From the very tip of Vancouver British Columbia to Miami, Florida. From San Diego to the great state of Maine. Below I will list some of the cities that I have played in.
Alabama- Alabaster - Birmingham - Decatur - Dothan - Elba - Eufaula - Fort Payne - Gadsden - Hoover - Huntsville - Mobile - Montgomery - Opelika - Tuscaloosa ..
Arizona- Bullhead City - Fountain Hills - Glendale - Kingman - Mesa - Phoenix - Tempe - Tucson-Scottsdale
Arkansas - Conway - Hope - Little Rock
California - Anaheim - Azusa - Bakersfield - Burbank - Burligame - Camp Pendelton -Cerritos - Colton - Concord - Elk Grove - Fresno -Imperial Beach - Long Beach -Los Angeles - Martinez - Merced - Modesto - Napa - Norwalk - Oceanside - Orange - Oxnard - Perris - Pinole - Placerville - Riverside - Rohnert Park -Sacramento - Salinas - San Bernadino - San Diego - San Fransisco -San Jacinto - San Jose -Santa Cruz - Stockton - Sunnyvale - Tracy - Tustin - Twentynine Palms - Venture - Visalia - Woodland
Colorado -Arvada - Aurora - Colorado Springs - Fort Collins - Littleton - Longmont
Conneticut - New Britain - New Haven - Stratford -
Delaware - Wilmington
Florida -Altamonte Springs - Belle Glade - Brooksville - Clearwater - Cocoa - Cross City - Coral Gables - Coral Springs - Daytona Beach - Fort Lauderdale - Fort Meyers - Fort Walton Beach - Gainesville - Jacksonville - Kissimmee - Madeira Beach - Marianna - Miami - Milton - Niceville - Ocala - Orlando - Panama City - Panama City Beach - Pensacola - Perry - Pompano Beach - Quincy - Sarasota - St. Cloud - St. Petersburg - Tampa - West Palm Beach
Georgia - Atlanta - Columbus - Dublin - Macon - Marietta - Pembrke -Savanah - Valdosta
Hawaii - Honolulu .....This is Rick Weiterman and myself...
Idaho - Boise - Coeur d' Alene - Idaho Falls - Rupert
Illinois - Alton - Belleville - Blue Island - Champaign - Chicago - Chillicothe - Danville - Grayslake -Peoria - Quincy - Rockford - Springfield - Waukegan.
In 1987 I set then what is still a National Record of 844 HR's in a single season. We completed a grueling schedule of 350 games that were played in 37 states all over the country. The most impressive thing to me about that season was that I never missed a game. I never missed a game in 1983, 1984, or 1985. It wasn't until 1986 when I finally missed a game and that was in Petersburg, Virginia. Here is a photo of me the night after I hit my 844th. It was on the front page of the Peoria Journal.
Indiana - Avon - Evansville - Fort Wayne - Hammond - Indianapolis - Muncie - Pendelton - Seymour - Terre Haute
Iowa - Burlington - Carroll - Cedar Rapids - Clinton - Davenport - Des Moines - Dubuque - Keokuk - Waterloo I have had the pleasure of playing in Waterloo not once but a couple of times. Everytime we played there they would pack the place. I played in the USSSA World Series there in 1987. We finished in second place to Smythe Sox out of Houston, Texas. I came back in 1994 to play in the ASA Super Nationals there with Ritch's Superior out of Conneticut. It's funny because we finished in second place there also. We lost to Lighthouse Worth for the championship. Even though we lost and I was mad as hell I was happy for the Lighthouse players. It was their first World title and they deserved it.
Kansas - Dodge City - Hutchinson - Junction City - Manhattan - Overland Park -Witchita
Kentucky - Bowling Green - Lexington - Louisville - Owensboro - Shively - Taylor Mill
Louisiana - Alexandria - Baton Rouge - Lafayette -Lake Charles - Monroe - New Iberia - Shreveport - Slidell
Maryland - Baltimore - Bowie - Fredrick - Glen Burnie - Green Belt - Hagerstown - Largo - Laurel - Ocean City - White Plains
Massachusetts - New Bedford - Pittsfield
Michigan -Battle Creek - Cannonsburg - Canton - Detroit - East Detroit - Grand Blanc -Grand Rapids - Jackson - Kalamazoo - Muskegon - Rochester - Southgate - St. Clair Shores -Sterling heights -Traverse City - Warren - Wyoming
Minnesota - Brooklyn Center - Minneapolis - Rochester
Mississippi - Byhalia - Greenville - Gulfport - Hattiesburg - Meridian - Jackson - Tupelo
.......Here is a photo of me in Los Angeles at the Universal Studios in 1984. I flew out to California to play in a benefit game for Muscular Dystrophy against the Oakland Raiders football team. The game was played at USC's baseball stadium (Ditto Field). They actually had a dinner on Saturday night and roasted Art Shell. At game time I gave the Raiders a dozen Steele's softball bats and commenced playing. This is where I hit a ball on top of a parking garage behind the right field wall. Estimated travel of the ball was well over 450 feet. I remember coming around third base and Howie Long just shook his head.
A funny thing happened after that at bat. The next time up I was standing in the box and the first baseman for the Raiders starts giving me some crap about "lets see if you can do that again". Needless to say I tried to hit this one further. You won't believe it but when I swung I hit a line drive that hit the first baseman right between the eyes. The ball ricocheted off of his forehead and landed in the stands. The players name was Rueben Vaughn and he stood 6'6" and weighed 280 lbs. of pure beef. I think I rattled his brain because two weeks later he was released from the squad. So I might of has something to do with his career. I hope not but you never know. The ball we were using was one of the original Rocket balls that was made out of surlyn. Tough break I say. Right!
Missouri - Blue Springs - Joplin - Kansas City - Pevely - Rolla - Springfield - St James - St. Louis
Montana - Anaconda - Billings - Great Falls - Helena - Missoula
Nebraska - Columbus - Grand Island - Lincoln - Omaha
Nevada - Las Vegas - Reno
New Hampshire - Keene
New Jersey -Trenton - Washington Township
New Mexico -Albuquerque - Las Cruces - Santa Fe
New York -Auburn -Brockport -Buffalo - Geneva - Liverpool - Niagra Falls - Oakfield - Oakfield - Olean - Pendelton - Port Washington - Rochester - Scottsville - Syracuse - Waverly
North Carolina - Asheville - Belmont - Burlington - Denver - Durham - Eden - Fayetteville - Garner - Gastonia - Greensboro - Kinston - Lincolnton - Raleigh - Wilmington - Wilson - Winston Salem
North Dakota -
Ohio -Alger - Akron - Athens - Bedford Heights - Bellville - Bellefontaine - Bluffton - Brooklyn - Brook Park - Buckland - Cairo - Canton - Celina - Chillicothe - Cinncinnat Circleville - Cleveland - Columbus - Dayton - Defiance - Delphos - East Cleveland - Eastlake - East Liberty -Eaton Township - Elida - Elyria - Euclid - Fairborn - Fairfield - Farmersville - Findlay - Fort Loramie - Fort Shawnee - Fostoria - Freemont - Grafton - Hamilton - Harrison - Hilliard - Ironton - Kent - Kenton - Kettering - Lakewood - Lebanon - Lima - London - Lorain - Mansfield - Marietta - Marion - Massillon - Maumee - Medina - Middle Point - Middletown - Milford - Newerk - New Bremen - North Ridgeville - Ottawa - Painesville - Parma - Paulding - Portsmouth - Reading - Red Lion -Salem - Sandusky - Seville - Sidney - Solon - Springfield - St Bernards - St Marys - St Paris - Tipp City - Toledo - Troy - Urbana - Vanlue - Van Wert - Vaughnsville - Versaillies - Wapakoneta - Warren - Washington Court House - Waverly - Waynesfield - - West Liberty - Wiilard - Willoughby
Oklahoma -Ardmore - Lawton - Moore Norman - Oklahoma City - Tulsa
Oregon - Bend - Eugene - Portland - Salem
Pennsylvania - Bensalem - Blawnox - Bristol - Butler - Drifton - Erie - New Castle - New Kensington - Norristown - Reading - Philidalphia - Pittsburg -Scranton - Turbotville - York
Rhode Island - Providence - Warwick
South Carolina - Belton -Boiling Springs - Charleston -Columbia - Florence - Greenville -Rock Hill - Spartansburg
South Dakota - Sioux Falls
Tennesse -Alcoa - Chattanooga - Clarskville -Cleveland - Crossville - East Ridge - Hendersonville - Johnson City - Knoxville Maryville - Memphis - Nashville -Shelbyville - Winchester
Texas -Abilene - Amarillo - Austin - Dallas - El Paso - Euless - Fort Worth - Garland - Houston - Irving - Katy - Kilgore - Lubbock - Midland - Pasadena - San Antonio - Wichita Falls
Utah - Clearfield - Richfield - Salt Lake City - St. George -
Vermont - Burlington
Virginia - Bristol - Colonial Heights - Danville - Lynchburg - Norfolk - Petersburg - Richmond - Roanoke - Salem - South Boston - Springfield Woodbridge
Washington - Bellingham - Kennewick - Kent - Longview - Richland - Seattle - Spokane - Tacoma - Tukwila
West Virginia - Barboursville - Charleston - Huntington - Parkersburg
Wisconsin - Beloit - Fond Du Lac - Jackson - Kenosha - Madison - Miwaukee - Oskosh -Racine - Sheboygan - Wasauau
Canada - Ontario - Barrie, .......Hamilton, .....Kitchner, ....New Market, .....
.....Niagra Falls - Windsor, Canada
......British Columbia - Vancouver.......Victoria
......Quebec - Sherbrooke
......Saskatchewan - Saskatoon
Major League Stadiums - These are some of the Stadiums that I have hit in.
- Cleveland's Municipal Stadium......Cleveland, Ohio......1992
- Seattle Kingdome............................Seattle, Washington....1987 & 1989
- Oakland County Stadium................Oakland, California...1989
- Mile High Stadium..........................Denver, Colorado.......1986
- Tiger Stadium..................................Detroit, Michigan.......1995
Minor League Stadiums - There are a number of Minor League ball parks that I have played in. I hope I have them all. If not e-mail me and let me know if I missed one.
Columbus Clippers - Denver Zephyrs - Iowa Cubs - Indianapolis Indians -Las Vegas Stars - Nashville Sounds - Oklahoma City 89ers - Portland Beavers - Rochester Red Wings - Scranton Red Wings -Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons - Syracuse Chiefs -Tacoma Tigers - Tidewater Tides -Toledo MudHens - Tucson Toros - Vancouver Canadians
Birmingham Barons - Charlotte Knights - Columbus Clippers -El Paso Diablos - Greenville Barons - Haegerstown Suns -Jackson Mets -Jacksonville Expos - Memphis Chicks - Midland Angels - Reading Phillies - San Antonio Missions - Shreveport Captains - Tulsa Drillers - Wichita Wranglers
Ashville Tourists -Bakersfield - Beloit Brewers -Bend Bucks -Billings Mustangs -Boise Hawks - Burlington -Cedar Rapids - Charleston Rainbows - Clinto Giants - Columbia Mets - Durham Bulls - Eirie Orioles - Fayetteville Generals - Fredrick - Keys - Geneva Cubs - Greensboro Hornets - Helena Brewers - Idaho Falls Braves - Johnson City Cardinals - Kenosha Twins - Kinston Indians - Lynchburg Red Sox - Madison Muskies - Modesto A's -Niagra Falls Tigers - Peoria Chiefs - Prince William Cannons - Quad City Angels Reno Silver Sox - Rockford Expos - Salem Buccaneers -Salinas Spurs -San Bernadino Spirit - San Jose Giants - Savannah Cardinals - Spartanburg Phillies - Spokane Indians - Springfield Cardinals -Stockton Ports - Visalia Oaks - Waterloo Diamonds - Wausau Timbers
I hope you have enjoyed my On The Road Again page as much as I did putting it together because I sure did enjoy going to all those places. There is nothing like driving up to a ballpark and a crowd of people wanting to watch you play ball. If playing in front of a crowd of people can't get you pumped up then I don't know what to tell you. I'll bet the Babe got excited when he saw a crowd of people waiting for him to perform too.