Those who know me personally know that I enjoy to dabble in slow pitch softball. I got the itch about four-five years ago and have now been entwined in that […]
Those who know me personally know that I enjoy to dabble in slow pitch softball. I got the itch about four-five years ago and have now been entwined in that unique world for a bit.
I know that I am still a youngling in the world of slow-pitch softball, but in my time I have noticed a tendency for all teams to follow around a semi-traditional set-up. There are numerous types of players in slow-pitch softball, but I have conjectured here the 10 typical players that may appear in a line up.
I should also clarify that this is in a regular league, not a competitive tournament. They are two very different environments!
Also, this is by no means the end-all, be-all and there will be classic characters that I have omitted or forgotten. This list is continuously evolving.
- The player that teammates always ask: “Is he/she coming today?” This player plays seven times a week and manages to make the game look far too easy. There may be instances when the effort is lacking because he/she is sometimes struggling to find proper motivation…but if you make this player angry of if they come fired up…then watch out. Typically bats top four in the batting order and has a cannon for an arm wherever they are playing in the field.
The Super Try-Hard
- The hustler. The guy or gal that is running everywhere and always trying to take the extra base. He/She can go overboard sometimes when his own team isn’t feeling it…but they are also the spark plug for when the team needs it. This super try hard is usually a younger player, and his/her likability is dictated by how they handle themselves around others.
Do they talk too much? Do they need to be humbled? Or do they stay quiet and stick to their own persona, but do it in a way where they don’t show anyone up malevolently? Because these players sometimes know that they are more athletic, but players who have played the games for years will still know how to take advantage of their young spur.
The Energy Bug
- Bring the smile. Bring the levity. The energy bug softball player is not the most skilled, but they are the happiest to be there. They come in like a ball of electricity and give high fives to everyone before he/she even laces up their cleats. The energy bug typically bats at the bottom of the order and looks to turn it around so the top can get up with runners on base. The energy bug also is chaos on the bases; for better or for worse. If your team needs an adrenalin push, this is it.
The General Manager
- Arguably the most crucial player because their job begins before the game evens starts. The general manager is the coraller of talent; he/she sends out the schedule, the time of game, the field, the time to be there and any additional information that the team may need. This players phone is constantly ringing the day of game, trying to ensure that everyone is going to attend. Also in his/her notepad is the draft of the lineup for those who have confirmed coming. The typically share the lineup with a few to make sure that it is adequate.
Also, if there is bad weather in the area…yikes. The general manager has a dreadful time in that instance answering questions, trying to contact with the league and keeping everyone in the loop. The general manager tries to fit together the best team in all the right ways, both talent and personality wise. It’s not easy and often comes with an unkind stress
The Chronically Late Person
- This may be the player who is initially supposed to be at the top of the order but the bookkeeper has to do some cross-outs and then add him/her in at the bottom of the order. Or other examples of tardiness include running onto the field and putting their stuff right in foul territory and playing that first inning in sneakers, sandals or shoeless.
The chronically late person is always last in the head count with the conversation going like:
“Who are we missing?”
“So-and-so says he is 10 minutes away.”
“Okay so they’ll be here in 15.”
The Cagey Veteran
- This player just doesn’t get out. They don’t try too hard because they don’t need to. It seems effortless for them to slap a single to anywhere in the diamond. It’s the player the other team always groans when they can’t get out because it’d seem to be an easy out…but the cagey veteran manages to buck all expectations and maintain over an .500 on base percentage.
The Late Cancellation
- The bane of the general manager’s existence. He makes the late text or phone call two hours before the game saying they can’t make it. As a result, the messages begin to flow to see who can fill in the void…
- The person who comes to replace the late cancellation. Talent of this player can very, and depending on the league and performance, this substitute can earn a permanent spot on the team he is filling in for. This player needs to tread carefully and not step on any of the regular’s toes. Just play and hit where he/she is asked and don’t make any egregious mistakes. Pressure can’t be too high because they are a fill-in…but anxiety to not be a total negative adds some nerves.
- The most important actual-position is slow-pitch softball. Hands down. You have to have a pitcher that throws strikes and has control and what he/she wants to do. The determine the pace of the game and if you can grab one that really implies some strategy, that’s even better. The pitcher is even more important in one-pitch games where strikes are most pertinent. These players also typically know the hitters the best, and they will be the guide for the fielders as to where to play specific hitters.
The “Who’s got the beer/food?” guy
- This guy or gal is there for a good time. Typically, very talkative to anyone who will listen (or pretend to). The ending of the game is most important to this competitor, but if this is an all-day long tournament, this player will either be sitting on the beer cooler and acting as the bartender offering drinks whenever there is a dull moment.