The House Of Swing Updated - March 6th, 2018
September 13th, 2018

The Big Cat will be going out to Vegas for the 50 Major Plus program. That starts the final week of ball for this great event. 625 teams will square off in a three week period. Las Vegas will be using 9 diferent complexes to hold all of the games. The Big League Dreams complex will be used. There will be a number of vendors at the BLD selling their respective products. I will be going form ball park to different ball parks so I can sell the new 2019 line of Miken's Senior Softball Program. Below is a picture of the latest and greatest technology they offer. See you there. You can pre-order the new line of bats from the Big Cat as he is taking preo-orders now. Call 330-419-0205 for Mighty Mike!

September 10th, 2018

This past summer has been one of the hottest summers n recent years.  It also had some of the best competition in the senior division. The senior softball program continues to keep growing and gets better and better. You basically have your three main senior associations the SSUSA, SPA, and RB Thomas’s ISSA… The USSSA has started a Senior Program and are busy working to get a number of tournaments started.  I myself have been working with these associations for over the last 12 years. During that time I have seen a lot of players that I played against and with, that when they reached the age of 50 they were ready to play some senior softball. Some of us softball players don’t ever get that taste out of our mouths of playing softball all the time. I myself have not really played a whole lot of senior softball since I reached 50 years old. …  I will admit that I did lose the desire to play ball like I used to.  Back in the day when I was playing softball all over the country, I was hooked on it so bad that you had to get that fix every time you got on the field.. Senior softball is a great game and I enjoy working with all the directors and players. It has been a fantastic summer as I held a number of  Home Run Derby’s at some of the best Senior events in the country. This is something I really enjoy bringing to the softball players.  As long as I can remember home run derby’s are a big part of softballs history! I myself got my first break in big time softball at a young age after a friend of mine (Thomas Coyne) entered me into the city of Cleveland’s premiere home run derby.  I believe I was 17 going to be 18 when I entered this home run Derby and surprisingly took an early lead in the home run derby. It was a 2 day event and I did not make it back to it because I decided to play with my team (The Brook Park Merchants) in a tournament instead. So because I played with my team and I arrived late at the derby I was disqualified.   So I was aggravated after that so I made my mind up then that I would be back if they ever did that again.  Well after that showing at the derby I was immediately approached by Dave and Johnny Neale about going to Pittsburgh that weekend to play a softball tournament.  The next year while playing for Dave Neale I entered the home run derby again and won the derby as Mr. Neale pitched to me and I was crowned the home run king of Cleveland at 19 years old…..  So like I said if it was not for the home run derby in 1975 and 1976 I am not sure if softball would have been in my blood like it was.  

This year was a lot of fun in the softball arena. I was allowed to hold some home run derby’s in some of the senior associations tournaments. First off this year I had a demo day and we had a home run derby in Marysville Tennessee at the Senior ISSA softball tournament. This is the second year for the event (home run derby) and with the help of the Marysville parks and rec I was able to have the home run derby on a Thursday night with 33 hitters participating. It was an outstanding field of senior bombers that gathered at Sandy Springs Park to square off in a home run barrage and see who was the best man standing when the smoke cleared. As we had the home run derby there was quite a crowd that gathered around to watch these senior softball players hit some long home runs. Joe Huff and Chris Clark who work for the city of Marysville’s parks and rec gave me the diamond for the entire evening which was a blessing. I know that the players really appreciated it. One of the things that I do when I have the home run derby’s is I do the sign-ups actually on Facebook. It has turned out to be a very good place to recruit the hitters from all over the country to participate in the derby. The Senior Smoky Mountain home run derby contest, was sponsored by Miken and Worth Sports Company, Swing Nation Softball Network and RB Thomas. Some of the hitters were Dave Velasquez and Bobby Gilbert both from Texas. We had Miken Pro’s Bob Woldyk, Mike Dill, Billy Hudson as part of the bomber patrol… In the first round there were some long home runs hit on a beautiful evening in the Tennessee countryside.

Because of the time it takes to hold one of these events I usually just take the top 4 or 5 hitters with the best numbers out of the 33 hitters and have another round of hitting.  After the first round there were  4 hitters with the top numbers so I had them hit off to determine the champion. Those top four hitters were Bob Woldyk, Mike Dill, Vern Hensley and Reggie Patterson. Mike Dill had the best numbers in the first round as he hit 7 out of the 10 pitches thrown to him.  What people have a tendency to forget is you have to have a good pitcher, hopefully someone you know. It can make a difference when trying to compete in the derby.    So after the second round we decided a winner and that would be Reggie Patterson. Second was Vern Hensley, third was Bob Woldyk and 4th was Mike Dill. All 4 hitters were hitting some absolute bombs in that last round.

The crowd of spectators gave the hitters a great round of applause as it was a perfect softball experience not only for the spectators but the players as well..   For the winners Reggie Patterson received a brand new Miken 20th Anniversary Jason Kendrick model senior softball bat. For Vernon Hensley who finished second he recived a brand new Miken Bat Bag and Bob Woldyk who came in their received a Miken Fielding Glove.  You know all the awards will be used for sure in their softball endeavors.  RB likes to go first class so he also gave Reggie a 2 foot by 2 i/2 foot plaque. A very, very nice award.  So all in all it was a very nice evening of Senior Big Time Softball….
This was the first home run derby I had for this year. I was able to have a few more for the players at different location. I had one in Dalton, Georgia for the SPA World Championships. In this Mike Macenko Home Run Challenge sponsored by Miken/Worth Sports Company and Swing Nation  Miken Pro Mike Dill won the event on a 9 out of 10 performance. Needless to say he was hot that night as he missed only one ball from hitting all 10 out.   Second was Art Piefer, and third place was Reynaldo Gutierrez Jr… All three participants received some beautiful awards once again from Miken/Worth Sports.  Now on to the SSUSA Men’s Masters Championship.
Until next issue everybody get geared up for the 2018 SSUSA Men’s Master Championship going to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada again. At this years event there is an estimated 625 teams that are going to participate for the men’s Master championship from all across this beautiful country of ours.. I believe this is the most teams that are registered with the SSUSA and it should be quite an event. The SSUSA is going to use nine fields to get these 624 teams at their perspective diamond. They are going to try and do this from September 19th, through October 7th….. It is going to be 19 days from start to finish for this tournament and there will be a number of championships East and West different age groups decided at this tournament.

So there you have the senior report from the Big Cat for so far this 2018 season….









Nike Video I made in Phoenix, Arizona 1998
Steele's Silver Bullets Softball in Tuscon, Arizona

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