2006 USSSA Major World Series

Resmondo/KME Softball won this prestigious tournament, the Showcase of Softball, the USSSA World Series. Resmondo went 5-0 to win the championship. Brian Rainwater hit a walk-off 3 run homerun to give Resmondo a 21-20 win in the championship game. I believe this was one of the great championship games ever played, because it was a see-saw battle right down to the last pitch. This game was played the way “Bigtime Softball” should be played. I can tell you there were no arguments with the umpires. The players just played the game. This was truly a great job done by the umpires. These two giants just gave the fans a great game to watch. I definitely can say there is not much of a difference in these two great softball teams. I believe the difference is that Resmondo has five players who have won more USSSA championships than any other player in the history of the USSSA, Wallace, Bumgardner, Martin, Kendrick & Purcell. Travis Resmondo, the sponsor has now won 20 world championships in Class C, B, A, AA & Super.

This USSSA Worlds came down to the finish with the top 6 teams in the Old Scout’s rankings, Resmondo, Bell, Specialty Tank, Benfield, Northwest Pipe & Jean Shoppe. I could not have written the script any better. I will tell you this, it doesn’t get any better than those 6 teams. I want to tell you all that missed seeing this tournament, there were some great games played when the two big boys were not playing against the other 14 teams. The games played with A teams against each other were very competitive. When the A teams played against the two big boys, no contest. I know that the only way to get parity in bigtime softball would be to not have the two big boys play or only allow a couple of players on A teams. I also know that the A & B teams over the years have liked to play against the best teams a few times in a season. I know this, it has now come down to the A teams and B teams would like to play against each other more and not always have to play the two big boys.

I do believe that there should not be just one game in town. I know this, it is time for a big change. The biggest issue in the game today is the cheater bats being used in softball in all divisions. I know that there were a few players caught this week with cheater bats and also one woman in the women’s division. These cheater bats are in Class E, D, C, B, A, Super and even women’s. This cheater bat situation has come to epidemic proportions and something needs to be done. This weekend there were balls hit further than anytime in the history of the game. The buzz around the park all weekend was what the hell is going on? I heard a player say to one of the bigtime homerun hitters in the game, remember when a ball would be hit off the scoreboard a couple of times during the tournament or one might go over the scoreboard in centerfield. I can’t believe now they’re hitting balls over the scoreboard and over the flag poles in left field consistently and it’s not just the best homerun hitters, it’s guys who never hit it that far in their life. I know the ball used was very good and that contributed with balls going that far there’s something else helping, I guarantee you.

I asked one of the game’s greatest homerun hitters, Mike Macenko what he thought about the long homeruns and he told me he could not believe how far some of them were going. I know that it’s time for something to be done and I will be releasing some news soon on a new system, that not only will stop the cheater bats, but get parity in the game and bring integrity and honesty to bigtime softball once and for all. I really enjoyed the tournament other than the unbelievable homeruns hit. I liked the 75′ bases and there were a whole lot of double plays turned. I didn’t think the ball was all that bad when the A teams played each other. I do know it was way too much ball when the big boys played the A teams. They had no chance to play a full game. The USSSA will have to take a serious look at these problems.

Resmondo played extremely well all weekend. Bell Corp also played very good. The winner’s bracket games and the championship game could of gone either way. Congratulations to all the players and especially to MVP, Rusty Bumgardner on winning another USSSA Championship. The Bell Corp team deserves a lot of credit on playing a great tournament. This team can stand tall as they left nothing on the field. Congratulations to all the Bell Teams on a great USSSA World Series and good luck in 2007.

I have seen them all play for years. I want to tell you the top 30 players playing today on baseball fields are the best players to ever play the game bar none. I will not take anything away from the great players from the past eras, but very few can play the game the way it’s played today. The 60’s & the 70’s had players who were big and slow, players trained on beer and whiskey. The 80’s & 90’s players found supplements to get even bigger, infielders and outfielders were 250-280 lbs. The players played on 300′ fields using aluminum bats and good balls. The scores of the games were ridiculous 70-68, 85-79 & higher, it made no sense, but they let it go on. The late 90’s came and the athletes started to come into the game, one after another. Very good baseball players from high school, college and pro baseball started to make up bigtime softball and take it to a different level. The bats started to get better, the balls got better, the players got better. Then in 2000 the game took it’s biggest turn. The NSA, the ASA started to play more on big baseball fields using 80′ bases and even 90′ bases. The bats became plastic, the balls got even better and the game became better. The game no longer could use 250 or 280 lb. outfielders and infielders. The game started to get players that could flat-out pick it at every position. The only 250 to 280 lb. players left were the catchers and AH’s. The rest of the players had to be great athletes and great players.

Today we have got the best players in the world playing. We have the best bats that technology makes, the best balls ever made. Today we now play world tournaments in the biggest and best facilities in the history of the game. The game has reached the pinnacle, but the game is in serious trouble. The players use the best equipment ever made, but some have decided to make it even better. Today you can’t tell how good the new players are, because some choose to use cheater bats. I believe that today players are saying “hey he’s using one, I’m going to”. I know there are people out there who are trying like hell to stop this serious problem. Hopefully something will be done in all associations. I know this, I seen some of the best defense played in this year’s tournament. Today’s game is so much more about defense than in the past. The teams play on the biggest playing fields that softball has ever played, 335′, 385′, 400′. I can tell you this, you better have 3 outfielders that can go get them or you can’t win. I loved that Don moved the bases to 75′. It certainly helped to turn more double plays than ever at Disney. I still believe it would benefit the A teams with 80′ bases. I honestly believe that there were enough homeruns hit, but I question the distance they were going by some questionable people hitting them.

I want to tell everyone that I questioned the ball the young man hit Sat. night, the farthest ball ever hit at Cracker Jack Stadium. The player I’m talking about was Scott Kirby. I talked to one of his coaches, Tom Delaney about the ball he hit Sat. night. I also asked Mike Macenko about what he thought. Mike said he would of questioned that ball hit whether he was using a legit bat or not. Mike did not say he did and I did not say he did. I questioned his coach who told me the kid did not use a doctored bat. Tom told me that he and Gary Jost talked to Scott in his room after Saturday night’s game and he told them he did not use a doctored bat. Scott told Tom & Gary that he uses protein and works out very hard in the gym. Sunday after the game Scott came to talk to me about the homerun he hit and about the bat he uses. He told me from the bottom of his heart he did not use a doctored bat when he hit the furthest ball ever hit at Disney. He told me he would not ever use an illegal bat knowingly. I want you all to know that Scott is one very talented young player who is headed to stardom in bigtime softball, I guarantee you. I also want to say this young man is a First Class man along with his father. I am honored to have met Scott and his dad in my lifetime. This is one terrific kid. I apologize to Scott if he thought that I thought he used a cheater bat. The only thing I said to Tom Delaney was that I had to question the ball he hit. I also know there were a lot of other people, including some of his peers, who questioned that homerun.

Let’s get back to the tournament. Third place went to Specialty Tank who just played a very good tournament, after getting run-ruled by Resmondo. “The Tank Boys” played with 10 players all weekend and one who could not throw the ball 10 ft. due to injury. I have to tell you that this team left nothing on the field in the loser’s bracket final against Bell Corp. This bunch gave a great effort. Congratulations to John, Doug, Carl and all the players on a great season. You guys have nothing to hang your head about, Great Job! Fourth place went to Benfield. I think this team was hurt by rumors about players leaving, sponsors leaving and that did not help. This did not look like the Benfield team who’ve I’ve seen all season. Congratulations on a great season and good luck next year.

I have written a lot about the biggest issues in softball today, that being the cheater bats. I know this, I will bet that I have seen more bigtime softball games played in the last 20 years than anybody in softball. The reason that is true, because I see the first game to the last game at every tournament I go too. I have been going to tournaments from 1962-2006. I was at tournaments when nobody knew who I was. I’ve seen just about every player who played bigtime softball since 1962-2006. I have seen this great game change a lot over the years. I played against big Jim Galloway in NY when he was young and so was I. I saw Jim hit many homeruns in his day with wood bats and Harwood softballs, which became socks after 3 innings. We played on 250′ and 275′ fields in them days. I remember back a few years ago somebody posted on my board that Jim hit 400′ balls with a wood bat. I’m here to tell you Jim Galloway never hit Harwood 100 balls with a wood bat, I guarantee you. I seen him hit balls 300′ a lot of times, but none 400′. I saw Howard’s play, I saw Nelson’s Painting play, I saw Campbell’s Carpet’s. I saw all the best teams play in USSSA from 1971-2006. I saw teams in ASA from 1962-2006.

What I have seen this year, is the worst case of cheater bats being used that I have seen in my 45 years in softball. I’ve seen guys play with bats for years, but no way like they have this year. It must be changed. I want you to know there’s no way that anybody can detect a cheater bat without confiscating the bat and cutting it open to see what has been done, period. I don’t care about machines, tools, doctors, scientists, engineers and testing. I know when balls are being hit by players who can not hit it out of a 300′ field with any consistency, hit it out at 385′, which means it has to go 400′ to get out, we have a serious problem. I also know when players who hit balls as far as Bumgardner, Helmer, Wallace, JC Phelps and Hall we have a problem. These guys have been the longest homerun hitters in the game the last 10 years. I can say there were some legit homeruns hit this weekend down both lines. I believe that most players who play on the Top 15-15 teams can hit it out down the lines at Disney. I don’t believe that some of these players should hit it out at 385′ or bust it 400′ off the 40′ scoreboard at centerfield at Disney. I wrote earlier that I heard a bigtime homerun hitter say, there used to be one or two hit off the scoreboard. There were balls hit in this year’s tournament further than ever before. I have my opinions why. I would like to hear some comments from players who played in this tournament and softball fans who were there. I did not think there were too many hit, but I think there were too many hit too far by people who I know can not hit that far with a legit bat period.

Let me hear your comments and thoughts. I have heard for years that certain teams and players have gotten stickers put on their bats, and I hope that it’s not true. I know this the bat check is not working. I can tell that by the balls being hit. I know the bat manufacturers are being embarrassed by players using their products and doctoring their bats. I cannot believe any player who gets bats from a manufacturer can alter a bat. I am sure that any manufacturer who has a player using his product and gets caught doctoring their bats will be suspended for life. I know that players who play on some of the best teams in the world know that some of their teammates are using doctored bats. I don’t like rats, but I do know that if I were getting bats from manufacturers supporting me and my team, I would have to do something about it. Teams and players are very fortunate to have bat manufacturers give them bats, gloves etc. and then have the nerve to go doctor their product. I may have got out of control in this report, but I love Bigtime Softball and I do care about the game. I know there’s not much integrity or honesty left in the game today. I say it’s time to do something about it. I will release a news release in about two weeks to tell our softball family about a new system to get integrity, honesty and parity back into Bigtime Softball for people who care about the great game of softball, stay tuned!

Congratulations to Don and his whole USSSA staff on another great USSSA World Series. I can’t tell you how much I love the Showcase of Softball. To all the people in the game of softball, what I wrote in this report is because I DO CARE about “Bigtime Softball” I know we need to fix the biggest issue the game has ever seen. I know bat cheating has been going on for 45 years. I believe we are very lucky to have not gotten a pitcher killed in Bigtime Softball. I hope that this does not happen. I guarantee you, if the cheater bats are allowed to continue in the game we will have someone killed, no doubt about it. Thanks for a great World Series and good luck in 2007.