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2009 Easton SCN12 Stealth Plus IMX

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Old 05-28-2005, 07:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Max Johnson

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Default What day did the major level start to decline?

Taken from the Old Scout...the first post is the guy asking the question and the subsequent ones are answers. Some good stuff if you care to wade through it. A lot of the problems are the same ones that I see applying to 'lower level ball'.

What day did the major level start to decline?

Off and on theres been alot of talk about how Major ball is died or dying. Just for the heck of it...What day would you say this started?

I think it could have been the day the olympic committee walked away after watching a major tourney in 1992? and said "How can we put these guys on TV, as a participatory sport?"

Antone else have a day?


The day Ray Demarini put his double wall bat into production and jumpstarted the technology explosion. The equipment blurred the lines between classifications and the answer(though misguided) was to create more(classifications). More classifications created more opportunities to make money and we all know where that leads...


The Sherriff is right. Miken finished it off.

The titanium bats before that that were outlawed, that was the start

Too many different sanctions now a days and too many different classes.
Everyone wants to win all the time so they play down as much as they can.
Go to D worlds and play B/C teams from other states.
There shouldn't be E NITs, Regionals and Worlds, it should be for start up teams only.

Picked up with some friends last night for some league games. Played same team twice. They were all swinging old Freak's. Fields were 300ft, with 5-10 mph wind blowing out. These guys were hitting 310 foot homers and chest bumping....high fiveing...even heard the old "need another ball blue" while one ball was still in flight! I've been playing ball for along time and trust me these guys were Very low D. As I was driving home I started thinking of the thousands of balls I'v hit off T's, the thousands of BP swings, the hundreds of hours in the gym(drug free), beating up basketballs and tires with A heavy custom bat made of an iron rod @ some fittings to improve speed after contact. Then I see these young chest bumping brokies, weighing A buck 60 going nuts when the most work they have put in has been getting online to order the next wonder stick! Even Ray has to be rolling around in his grave A little.
I am trying to stay in love with this game......but it's getting harder all the time.


I agree with the Sheriff, the first Demarini was the begining of the end. It has spiraled out of control ever since.


I agree with Sheriff and can relate to uniballer. I think an option to bring things back to acceptable levels would be the following. Lets keep the equipment standards we have now and make one of them (the 98 mph test) standard for all associations, lets use a .47 cor 525 compression ball in that test to establish the 98 mph. Then we should all use the Worth .40 cor gray dot (or similar ball) for all leagues and tournaments, (same ball used in Euless a couple of weeks ago) and then the HR hitters will hit them and the want to be's, even with composite bats will not.


I agree with you to some extent. Do you think using a 40 cor ball will lead to more shots up the middle (even though they will not be coving as fast) and do you think it will lead to more steroid use. I would say that 90% of my homerruns are technology related, but I would rather see the hit and run game than the long ball game. HR"s should be rare and something to celebrate when hit. My wife hit one out in BP over a 230 fence with a Miken Freak Plus. I had to laugh to myself and say "You're not as good as you think now are you?" Very humbling experience.


I see women hitting the 11 inch ball over 300 ft. fences! You want to make these chest bumpers move up ban all composites in C class and lower. Make the sandbaggers use C-405 bats wth 44-.375 balls and see how many move up to B class to swing their wonder sticks again!


You know, I think that was one of the best posts I've seen in some time. I commend it.
One thing that I cannot seem to understand, is the fact that NOONE is happy with softball. I play the lower levels of the game, D and C, I don't have enough talent for the Major level. At one time I thought I did. Why is it that when a bat comes out, if that bat is not the hottest thing right out of the wrapper, people bash it. The Ultra is responsible for this. i certainly dont mind the composite technology, and I am not an ignorant man. I may not totally agree with it, but I'd be at a disadvantage if I chose to use aluminum.

It amazes me the fact that like the post said, you have guys 160 lbs hitting bombs with the latest wonder stick, and acting like they did something. Hell in the area I live in there isn't even a damn C class division in tournament ball! All the guys want to do is play D!

I guess the truth about this post is that whats happening at the major level, is happening at the lower level too....


If you want to bring back the old days, Eliminate everything that is not aluminum. People will still cheat, but it will cut down on alot of homeruns being hit by the 160LB composite queens!! Just my opinion!! People have lost site of the fact that everyone is not supposed to be a homerun hitter. Again this is just my opinion.


I don't agree with the demarini theory. The highest level a demarini team played was AA, and they did not win because of equipment. The old player bats direct from the factories where as good as any bat made at the time. The decline of major ball was due to the expenses that it took to have a team. When steeles was the king the other teams had to find more money to compete. When ritches was the king the others did the same and so on. Now all of the big sponsors are with two teams.
When you had border restrictions there was plenty of A teams regionally to play against. Now with no border restrictions there are just a couple of handfuls. The players locally that should be playing A are now playing C ball.
If all four major associations would institute 1 set of border restrictions and 1 set of player eligibility rules and then make all the teams move up a division you would have the start of a class B and Class A program again. Just the fact that it takes 100,000$ to be a competitive A team in this game is B.S. and should have been stopped many years ago.
Here's my idea of what would work, But I'm nobody so my opinion doesn't matter.
Move all e's and d's to Class C. move all C's to b. move all B to A.
Now any new D teams must have all it's players from the same county or parish.
Class C teams must have all players but 2 from the same county.
Class B all players must live in the same state.
Class A all players but 2 from the same state.
Any team with more than 2 players from out of state must play in the open division.
Open division:
players can come from anywhere.
Two lists to classify major like the ones we have today.
Super major or elite players are 2 points.
major players are 1 point.
No open team can have a combination of more than 6 points. This would give many teams the opportunity to compete and not get killed every time they played. You would see teams with no major players competing in some of these games. Now you did notice that I said competing, most of the games played with these rules would be competitive.


KAS, Nobody would expect you to agree with the manufacturers theory. You work for one of them. Ray just opened the door for the rest of them to walk through. No, Demarini was never a big name bat on the Major Circuit with a couple of exceptions. Ray sponsored a couple of teams himself. The decline of Major Softball is just a symptom, a glaring one to most of us, of what is wrong the game. The disease begins at the lower levels and the result is that the upper levels will die first.
Let's face it. The game is about money now and there just ain't no money on the upper levels for park and program directors. When these guys put on a Major NIT, with the exception of the very best events (Dudley, Smokey), they usually break even or in most cases, lose money. There are very few people in the real decision making positions in the associations that give two shits about the Major program. For most, it is a thorn in their side unless, of course, your son just happens to be one of the best shortstops in the game or, in the case of the Cantrells(NSA) the Association VP and part owner used to play on that level and still loves it.

The equipment allows everyone to be heros and makes it easier to justify moving down, especially when there is no real class enforcement. How can there be with a dozen levels and ALL of them too restrictive with either 1) the home run restrictions or 2) the $$$ it takes to play. No wonder the younger guys are playing paintball and the older ones are playing golf. They're a lot more fun and a lot less complicated.

It's over boys. Somebody call the undertaker and start digging the grave cause it ain't coming back. NOBODY will tone the equipment down to where it needs to be and NOBODY is going to get a grip on classification because EVERYBODY involved is afraid that they might lose a nickle. Now where did I put those golf clubs.....


I couldn't agree more Red. Somebody needs to make a stand on this. We have over 200 teams in leagues in our area that will never play a tourny. Now clear out the D's and let them play against each other and maybe they would.


In 1997 when the AA teams were not allowed to play in the A/AA NIT's and could only play in the Majors. That was the end of the AA program where there was 30+ teams. If you wanted to have a competitive AA team after 1997 it your cost went from $50k a year to $250,000 a year. That was the start of all the mergers and pooling money together to stay alive. They also changed the home run rule from hitters to total home runs hit. Which also had an effect on the game.
I think everyone knew what would happen....except the people who made the decision.


I think it is all a joke. I would not know what lever to call my playing ability, but I would say I am above average in skill. I play in local league just to be able to get out 2-3 times a week. In the end I play to hang with friends who I grew up with. We are all athletic. When these composite bats were introduced it has become all the rage. From majors all the way down to where I play. How can you play in a game where composite bats are legal and you are using an aluminum bat? Itís like going to a gunfight with a knife. Ití terrible that 160lbs guys beat their chests when they hit a homer with a composite bat. Guess whatÖ. The ball is lobbed in you should smack the ball 300ft every time. I can smack a ball 300ft with a 99 double wall distance that I still have in my bag. People need to get a grip, from both perspectives donít speak out of both sides of your mouth. If a major guy swings a composite bat and hits homers great, if a guy 160lbs uses a composite bat in his local league what is wrong with that. Is it because HR are only designated for A level players. Its called evolution, Every sport goes through it. Just like you cannot compare eraís in sports because the game has changed is the same principal that should apply here because the technology has advanced to make an average Joe hit a homer. Hate the maker not the player. There is a bigger marketing demographic then just the A players itís the average Joe playing in a local league who want to be like Babe Ruth.


Posted by problem with that logic...the equipment has evolved but the playing field dimensions have not. the fields evolved from 275' to 300' due largely to equipment improvment and better athletes.


So if the fields were bigger, it would solve the problem ? I think not. I say use a very good ball like a core 52 575 comp, and use single wall bats. That would make a difference. It would make for a fair game. It would send the 160lber packing. Allowing softball to be played by those who are athletic enough to continue to play in a competitave enviorment, as well as not having the guy who was picked last in gym class to beat his chest beause he hit a lobbed ball 300ft. This is the opinion of a person who uses softball as an outlet to escape the daily grind.


going back to single walls is like going back to horses after inventing automobiles. you cant stop progress, so you adjust. composites are here to stay unfortunately, so i would suggest new fields be built with 320'-325' fences.


Like every town / municapality would spring for new fields, that is outlandish to think like that. Marketing my friend Marketing is the operative word. If you build it they will come.


In all honesty, what does it matter if some guys who are 160 hit a ball out with a composite bat? What does it really matter? There are homerun limits, so why the big deal?
I don't understand why we want to limit "who should be able to hit a homerun". The guys who can hit them will still hit them with much greater frequency and chances are that they are A) playing on a better team and B) will win MANY more games that those 160 lb team guys because they probably know how to base hit also.

As far as league ball, I see nothing wrong with little dudes having the equipment that allows them to hit HR's. It excites them, makes them tell their buddies to come play and then grows the sport.

I'm 6'4 235 and I think am considered one of the top "hr hitters" where I play. It doesn't bother or offend me when a little dude hits one out. Why should it? They're having fun and I'm glad that they are. They'll want to keep playing and hopefully bring friends out to better our league.

Plus, I've seen small guys who have incredibly quick hands. Griffey isn't the biggest guy in the majors by any means, but that dude's hips were incredible.


i said when "new" fields are built. never suggested everyone go build new fields. i realize this would be impossible. however, as new complexs are built or old one renovated i suggest bigger fields to offset the equipment and protect pitchers.


Don't blame DeMarini or Miken...hot bats did not cause the sanctioning bodies to set HR limits on the big boys,hot bats did make the "so-called" experts on softball to play on 330' fences and 80-90 foot bases. No doubt the bats are hot but what good do they do some guy playing D & E ball where there are 0 Hrs allowed? Remember back when the balls were 52cor and 750 compression? The balls came off those thinwalled "singlewalls" like BBs. Only difference was there was NO HR limits. Now you've got meatheads zinging the middle because the HRs are gone by the 3rd or 4th inning. Put the blame where it belongs,ASA and USSSA and espescially the people who came up with this "lets play on baseball fields",set HR limits and see how many pitchers we can get killed.


The bottome line is that the current composite queens are no different than the people chasing rocks or meth. Once they have experienced the buzz of a homerun, they are never the same. The bat makers win, because they feed the dragon. The queens talk about old timers living inthe past. What they do not know is that in the old days, it took a good swing tohit one out. Now, jsut hit the bat anywhere there are letters or graphics, and you have serious pop. When you hear about guys in C and D having "good pop", there is a problem in the game.


I don't think it is the equipment either 44. It use to be pretty easy to hit a ball out with the demo or the est when it first came out. Even before that if you got a good powercell you could hit it out when you wanted too. The problem with B and up is that it is not played locally anymore. Not many teams can afford to play at the higher levels. I hear alot of sponsors discussing who to pick up and who not to because that don't want to be bumped up to the next level because of their budgets... I think the decline has alot to do with money and the down fall of the small business world who almost always sponsors teams.


The thing I dont understand is that it has become easier to hit homeruns over the years yet everyone seems to want to play where they can only hit 2 or none.
I would like to see softball played on softball fields with .44 cor 375 balls and single wall all aluminum construction bats with a minimum wall thickness.


Let em swing the composites, use three new sb12 balls 44 375 per game that's all. then go three divisions 1)open (all the big boys) but regionalize the players 6hr hitters or unlimited hr's, 2)competetive (c/b) players from sponsor home state and two neighboring states only on each team, 8hr's per game or 3hr hitters 3) rec no hr's at all and all players must be from same state
only open and competitive teams can attend nationals and limit the numbers of NIT's and state tourneys there is far to many as of now make it worth something to get there again. not just show up and you get your bid to go. first place gets paid berth second and third get unpaid berth.

not sure where to start but it definitly needs an overhaul because it is really really bad. who wants to drive an hr or more to play in a 6 team tourney. let alone fly there.


I have played slow pitch softball since 1964. I have followed Major softball since 1973. The game changes over the years, equipment gets better, players get better. The associations need to do more for softball then just collect money. ASA never liked hrs. I went to the open worlds in 1973, fences were at 275, a team scored 51 runs and hit 28 hrs. The next year the fences were moved to 300. Oddly enough the same team won both tourneys. ASA then totally ruined slow pitch softball by making a ball hit over the fence an out. Then they ejected players after they hit the ball over the fence, after the hr limit was used up. The worst thing that can be done in softball at any level is to make a ball hit over a fence an out. My suggestion would be to make fences 330', bats the $199 composites, balls 47 core 500 comp, bases 70', plate 6 inches wider, use a mat behind the plate and a ball hitting the plate and the mat be a strike, use the USSSA pitching rule except 6' to 12' arc. Let associations rate players, Major, A, B, C, a player could play up but not down, let them earn their money. NO LIMIT ON HRS. I think this could save class softball.


Day One-Early 1980'S? When ASA could not devise a rule to keep major sponsors from moving players into their metro without penalty. They could use the elite list now.
Day Two, three and four all came in the same year, I think?. 1992.

Day Two, Us Olympic committee came to watch a major nit thinking MAYBE they'd make softball an Olympic sport. After one day I was told they walked away in disgust.

Day Three, Ray Demarrini double wall went into production.

Day Four, After IOC enhancement tested two players for the top teams at the ASA Super in Maryville, they walked away from slow pitch with the US Olympic committee and roid rage has been allowed to ravage the major level to the point that roiding is not really an option, but a modern day requirement.

Day Five, USSSA convention 2001? after a deadlock vote, a revote turned down a regional rule at the upper levels.

Day Six, USSSA convention 2004, Directors vote to up major limit for A teams, Thereby making the 2005 A division actually the old AA program, and killing one of the last vestiges of major ball. We can call it a two for one deal. Or better yet...Kill twp birds with one stone.

Day Seven. As I drove to churh I pass a guy holding up a sign that says. The End is Near!, on the back it said....Will the last guy leaving the stadium please turn the light off.


Posted by Wrong date for DeMarini...Double wall came out middle of 2003 to preferred players at first and a small production run was made late 2003 on the silver with black stencil letters bat. Full production for the double wall was late 2003 and early 2004 until ASA went after him and then a slightly toned back version middle to end of 2004.
What i dont understand though is exactly how many DeMarini double walls bats did you see being used at the major level???
What else i dont understand is why the smaller men is softball have ruined it for the bigger men????

The roids are a personal issue that you blast on every board you frequent so but that is a valid point as to give an unfair advantage to who?? the bigger men or wanna be bigger men.

The topic is What day did the major level start to decline?"

The answer in my opinion would be/

The day that all assocaiations took away unlimited home runs and tried to classify teams with lazy local tournament directors like the one you have in cali, John M.

Classify the player with these new bats and you can once again fill the upper ranks of softball with quality players.


I think? Ray was making SOME/perfecting double wall bats in 1992, and I KNOW he was making them in 1993. I used Rays date as the start of technologically advanced bats hurting the game.
In the end the only way upper softball will return is if the associations can figure out a way to lower the cost to compete for a national title.

The bats, balls and steroids are only part of the problem. I believe the cost to run an upper team is the 1000 pound gorilla. Limiting teams to some regional rule could be the answer to rising costs , but dont hold your breath for any solutions. With four, five, six associations everyone is afraid to stand out from the croud.


Also i believe that I forgot to make mention that if you rank the player and then DO NOT let him play down at all, not even 1 player allowed to play down then there is only 1 way to go which is up.
Maybe you hit one of the biggest problems which is cost. How can you keep the cost down when you pay the players and give incentives and a bonus for performance as well. Travel is an accepted cost but the rest???

My version of major ball would be Manufactures only sponsered teams, maybe 8 of them. No outside sponsership money allowed at all. Afterall they are the ones promoting there products through the elite and major players to begin with, they should support them, they could pay off in product which cost them very little to make but carries a high resale value. Let the Bat manufactures use these guys and pay them along the lines of bomb squads and home run exibitions as well. I think that would be good for all of softball

Upper division of ranked players which can not play down but could play up ifthey choose to. 3 hr equalizer

lower divsion which could only play up if they choose to. 1 hr equalizer.

I defer to Tim M. in regards to the history of major softball as he was there and i was not.

I speak on my feelings on what i think might be good for all of softball as a whole but again it is JMO.


Here's the solution...simple to state, hard to execute. All associations MUST work together as one on this (that in itself is impossible).
One Elite / Major list recognized across all associations. 3 divisions plus a rec division.

Super Division: Unlimited HR's, max 3 players from the list.

A Division: 6 HR Limit, max 1 player from the list. HR's over the limit are outs.

B Division: 2 HR Limit, 0 list players allowed. HR's after the limit result in end of inning penalty (ISA style).

Rec Division - 1 HR allowed, excess HR's end inning and result in offensive ejection (out in that spot for the remainder of the game). In addition - No Regional or National play allowed in REC - state tournament ends the year.

Rules common to all divisions: You are classified at the highest level you play in any assocation - i.e. if you play A in NSA you play A across the board. Standard pitching distance of '53 and standard base distance of '70. Ball used in Super and A is 44 cor 400 compression, ball used in B / Rec is 40/375. Teams are allowed 2 named sponsors at the Super level, 1 named sponsor A and below. They can get money from anywhere but only 1 sponsor name can be represented (or 2 at Super) - not including bat sponsors.

Key to this - associations must work together on classification and putting out a good and legitimate elite list which must be reviewed and changed on a yearly basis....

Like I said - easy to state - hard to execute. But this would stop the current dilution of tournaments with the current alphabet soup and also make the super level easier to compete at - both talent wise and money wise - and it would funnel down form there.


Interesting exchange of idea's here, but I'll bet not one person who posted does his part by saying "I don't need my composite on these 300' fields so I'll use my old Redline". Or how about not showing up Saturday because you know in your heart you and your team could compete at a higher level? All the talk in the world won't change a thing if everyone just continues to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Talk on boards all over the country is about teams playing down and hot bats. Yet every weekend I see the people complaining show up at the local D tourny or Sunday am league, pull out the Synergy+ or the Freak and take the field.


Dont' be that guy...... Tell me honestly If a team is swinging a Freak/Synergy you are playing, will you use your redline ?? LEt me answer that.... Nooooooooooo way so if you want to be the noble man go ahead. The game has evolved and so has the equipment. Why don't we go back to the Horse and buggy so we can have cleaner air ......
Please I said it before and I will say it again MArketing it's all about marketing. Society is Fickle when the next great bat comes out we will allforget about the Miken's Synergy's and talk about how it was better back in the day of Mikens. Want to save softball don't buy the bats anymore and stick to your old stuff..


Problem with A and Majors is money and attitude. These divisions aren't worth the headache, the associations don't care. Whinning, poor sportsmanship, etc. The Major worlds have to be packaged with other divisions so the associations won't lose money.
The "elite" player gives himself to much credit. Sponsors don't get a good return being involved with this division thats why there's only two Major teams left. Demarini and Miken didn't need a major team to sell equipment. Easton was way behind in bat sales until they caught up with the technology.

The dollars are in C and below and that's were the associations and manufactures are focussed. For the above post saying C and below shouldn't be sponsored "be real" you put your money/product where the masses are, it ain't the Major division.


I'm just illustrating the point that while everyone seem's to recognize the problems, nobody will do anything.

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Old 05-29-2005, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)

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get rid of major ball ...spread the wealth!!!all that money tied up into a coupla teams...lol
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
Max Johnson

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Default Softball: 1987 vs 2005

off another board

1987 vs 2005
Posted by Sam Beckett on 9/22/2005, 10:51 am

Its 1987 and I'm playing softball. Our manager walks into the dugout and asks everyone for $10 to cover our entry fee and the three cases of beer thats on ice when were done. As usual were sitting there with nine guys wondering how late Joe is going to be? Our manager has an extra t-shirt in his hand looking into the stands for a possible 10th guy. Right on cue, the umpire yells "Managers" and we see Joe walking towards the dugout with his bat and glove (no batbag). After giving Joe some good natured razzing we take the field. Each team has one big fat guy who can actually hit the ball over the 285ft fence. This is the biggest tournament of the year for us since the winner gets to play Districts in two weeks. Its 7-7 going into the bottom of the 9th. We get a two-out walk and Joe comes up. The guy on first looks like a banker wearing a knee brace. Joe swings at the first pitch and hits a blooper fair down the rightfield line. We all run out of the dugout and wait for the play at the plate? Our skinny banker looking teammate with the knee brace grabs his hammy coming around 3rd which adds to the suspense. The throw late and we win 8-7. Everyone is jumping up and down except Joe who is asking one of the wives if he can bum a cigarette. Within 20 minutes both teams are sitting together in the parking lot drinking beer and sharing softball stories.
Lets fast forward to 2005, were playing in our 4th D qualifier. We haven't finished above 9th yet, but we've already qualified for Worlds since you get points just for showing up and paying your $250. Were not playing that well and losing 22-17 late in the game. Each team has hit at least five homeruns for outs. Well the opposing manager recognizes a former C player who we added half way thur the season and protests. The game is delayed 25 minutes while the Tournament director is filing thur his paperwork and trying to call someone on his cell phone. Finally the director says "play on" and he'll try to get an answer for us before our next game. We lost the game and the opposing manager says "I only protested just in case you guys came back on us". The 18 guys on our roster all went all separate ways after the game and met up again 7 hours later for our second game.

It's just meant to show the change in softball over the years and the way it went from meaningful tourneys to nothing..from having to win a big tourney to qualify to everyone qualifies...from one or two on a team that can hit hrs to a 5'9 145lb shrimp hitting bombs....just stating how softball has taken a turn for the worse...
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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