Slow Pitch Softball Parallels

Partly to get some exercise, and partly to understand and empathize with what my guys are going through, I have joined a slow pitch softball team at work and am pitching for them. We had our first game Monday night, and a number of parallels struck me.

Thanks to tons of hours fending off batting practice balls, I was able to make 4 outs. 2 outs came on 2 easy one-hop come-backers but 2 outs came on 1 screaming line drive to my left that I caught (pure reflex) and then threw to 1B to double off the runner and end the game (horrible throw due to my surprise but 1B made a great dig). I know this is harder to do in baseball, but if you finish with your glove at your glove-side pec (rather than behind your back) and in a fairly upright position (rather than leaning all the way forward), then you are much better able to make plays like these. His finishing position helps explains all of Greg Maddux’s gold gloves (and his wins).

Several times I found myself down on a guy 3-1 or 3-2. When that happened, I reminded myself to focus on the target and let it rip (which happened to be the catcher’s crotch). Invariably, the next pitch would be a strike. That’s why my main (and only) advice to my guys is to focus on the glove and let it rip. It really works.

In many cases I would throw a terrible pitch (way outside) that the batters on the other team would then hit for a foul or out. If I had expressed my true feelings about the pitch at the moment I released it (oh cr@p), then I would have missed out on those strikes and outs. Thank God, I kept quiet. That taught me to maintain a stone face (and tight lips) regardless of what kind of pitch I had thrown. I think the same idea sometimes applies in the world of baseball.

hahahaha, i was just about to make a thread about slow pitch softball. I have a question, I got invited to play with these old guys this morning, and i really liked it, but should i be playing? I dont want to mess myself up with baseball.

Nice job Chris. Slow pitch softball pitchers are a special breed. Last year our pitcher almost got decapitated by a screaming line drive (Slow pitch bats are insanely juiced. Pretty scary to be 40 feet away from one). One other thing- where is the strike zone in your league? You said you were aiming at the catcher’s crotch. When I played, it was a strike if it hit the plate or plate extention rubber (basically a rectangle from the front of the plate to 6 inches past the back). Umps would call if the pitch was too flat or too high.

Probably not bad for a once in a while thing. If you play alot your swing gets messed up. It took me forever to adjust to the way the ball came in, and the fact that the ball is huge. After a while you get a bit of an uppercut, your timing slows way down, and the lower body moves when you hit. I wouldn’t do it if you are continuing with baseball.