Thank you for accessing our newsletter. This informal newsletter will be available approximately every two weeks to discuss different topics in USSSA fast pitch softball and address questions and concerns from its readers. If you have questions, ideas, or concerns, please e-mail Don at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEBBIE MORRISON AWARD
Every year a special individual is chosen to receive the Debbie Morrison Award. This is the fifth year a special person has been chosen to be honored because of how they displayed Debbie’s characteristics. “Debbie Morrison influenced softball in this area with her constant smile, caring heart, positive attitude, strong will, and determination.” Below are the previous four recipients of this very special award:
The winner of the 2012 Debbie Morrison award is for the first time a fast pitch player. I met the young lady umpiring a high school game between Odessa and Holden and she attitude and demeanor was impressive from the first moment she took the field. Between games I asked the administrator, who was supervising, about Leah and what kind of student she was. He raved about her personality, leadership, and attitude. As everyone else who has had the experience of meeting Leah, he was nothing so impressed. . In today’s world, most of us think of respect as something given to an older individual because of their leadership, ability to be a role model, and their influence on life. I respect Leah for everything she stands for. Leah Madsen, who is presently a junior at Odessa High School, coached by Kerry Shaw, and a catcher for their program, as well as a catcher for the Original’s ’95 18A team coached by Jeff Jeffries was presented this award on Sunday, February 17. Leah is graduating from Odessa in 2014 and is currently carrying a 4.047 GPA, including 20 college credits already received. Her activities include being the baseball manager at Odessa, a student council representative, a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, member of Spanish Club, a columnist for the high school newspaper, member of Acteens Youth Group, member of Odessa Church of Christ Youth Group, has participated in leadership training for Christ, helped with the Ronald McDonald House, project Linus Quilting, St. Vincent Operation Breakthrough Daycare, and the Back Snack Program.
Leah began her playing softball career in the Parks and Recreation program in Odessa. Later she played with the Diamond Skilz and eventually attended an open tryout for Jeff Jeffries’ Originals team, and has been with them for the past 2 years. She gives her brother, Thad, much praise for her success as a catcher. He was a former high school and college catcher until he got injured and had to give up playing the position. Her mom and dad, Brent and Bessie, very proud parents, have always been involved inn sports and have supported their children in their pursuits.
Leah arrived for her presentation thinking she was going to give a little clinic to some young ladies (arranged by coach, Jeff Jeffries). Her entire team and their parents showed up to support Leah, without her knowledge, and her choice as the Debbie Morrison Award recipient. Their support indicated what youth softball is about. They showed off their matching team jackets, smiles, positive attitudes, and a willingness to support the good things in life and softball. You cannot help routing for a team that exhibits these attributes.
Odessa Head Coach Kerry Shaw said “I’ve had the great pleasure of coaching Leah for the past (3) years and she is not only deserving of such a prestigious honor of recognition, but is also the perfect role model of what a student-athlete should aspire to be. As the old saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…” As her parents and brother (Brent, Bessie, Thad) are such caring people themselves. I’m so lucky to have Leah back for one more year as she really is one of the Hearts and Souls of Odessa Softball.”
Originals ’95-Jeffries Head Coach Jeff Jeffries had this to say about Madsen. “These are the types of individual recognition that you can be most proud of. The kind that are demonstrated both on, and off the field. The kind that are recognized by others as you simply live your daily routine. In Debbie’s honor…I know this award is so heart-felt, by Kurt, Don, and all of the folks that umpire locally for USSSA, and by all the people who’ve associated with Debbie over the years. I think that’s very evident in the emotional presentation of the award. (The award is named after Kurt’s wife who died of cancer). It’s great stuff and our entire club family is so proud of Leah and her family. It was awesome to see Leah stand up there and receive something created from the heart…And, hear how the presenters were reminded of Debbie’s spirit through observing Leah…What a compliment. I also think it evident how our club family feels about Leah (and family), and each other, as every O‘s ‘95 teammate was in attendance. We have a very special group here…Pretty neat stuff…Pretty special stuff!”
Leah’s plan for the future is to go to UCM and become a Neo Natal Nurse with a double major in Spanish. Debbie would have loved Leah and Leah would have loved Debbie. Please share your congratulations and recognize Leah as she has “truly influenced softball in this area with her constant smile, caring heart, positive attitude, strong will, and determination.” She, like the other four winners of this award, have truly been so positive and influenced softball and life in a manner that many have been able to be more positive due to their influence.
If you have any recommendations for a 2013 winner, please e-mail Don at the above e-mail address.
DO NOT THROW AWAY RULE BOOKS
I wanted to drop you all a quick note to let you know our plans and where we are at with the printing of our 2013 13th Edition Playing Rules books. You may or may not know that we are the only sport within USSSA that continues to print a hard copy rulebook every year. The other sports have transitioned their people to using the online rules that are updated as changes are made and are frequently more current than the one time a year our books are printed. We are moving towards printing a hard copy rulebook every couple of years in full quantity or when significant changes in the playing rules are made. We are still working out what this will look like moving forward, as we know there is a limited reprint needed every year for umpires, leagues, new expansion/growth, etc.
I know many of you, like myself, always seem to have boxes of rulebooks left over every year and these are always used up, shipped to other states, or scrapped altogether. We have a large order prepared for printing our updated rulebooks and those will go into production immediately so that we can get them out to you as soon as they are ready. This order is for around 25,000 which exceeds our number of registered teams and umpires from 2012. Right now we expect this to be a 2 year rulebook with 2014 being a limited reprint of the same book if we do not have any significant rule changes. With this in mind, we would ask all of you to start referring your teams to the online rules as a source of reference. This will get them in the mindset of checking our most current set of rules.
Vice President of USSSA Fastpitch
Below is a Press Release from Louisville Slugger regarding their 2013 oneX Fastpitch bats.
These bats are being withdrawn from USSSA play for safety concerns. If you have one, you should contact Louisville Slugger for information on the recall and corrective options.
Louisville Slugger has enjoyed an incredible resurgence in Fastpitch these past few years, driven by the strong innovation in the bat lineup and the "Beautifully Powerful" campaign. Players like Jessica Mendoza, Ashley Charters and Andrea Duran have helped put the latest bat innovations on the map and some of the top college programs in the country are enjoying success on the field with the 2013 line as well.
With any truly innovative products come occasional obstacles and we're writing this to share some important developments isolated to the 2013 oneX. We have become aware of a manufacturing issue that has compromised the durability of the oneX bat (pictured below) which potentially shows up in the form of cracking between barrel and handle. In extreme cases, the manufacturing defect has resulted in a complete fracture between the handle and barrel. While we know this will only affect a sub-set of oneX bats in the market, to protect the players and to live up to our responsibility to give you the best product possible, we are voluntarily recalling the entire current line of the oneX bat (all lengths and weights) from the market. Model numbers affected by this recall are FP136, FP1369 and FP1368.
As Fastpitch softball players have learned over the years, Louisville Slugger prides itself on doing the right thing for its loyal customers. We are committed to resolving this quickly and efficiently so we can get the best product available back in your hands as quickly as possible. We will be providing a 2013 Xeno bat as a replacement as well as giving customers the additional choice of one of the following: A) a glove or bag with an $80 retail value. B) a $50 stored value gift card that's just like cash C) a 2014 oneX or equivalent bat to ship in August.
Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-282-2287 to discuss this further and allow us to address any questions you may have.
For those of you impacted by this situation, we apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate your patience. We are working diligently to correct the issue and we look forward to launching our new bat models this summer with the same industry-leading performance you have grown accustomed to from Louisville Slugger. We pledge to work tirelessly to maintain your trust, continue to bring you confidence at the plate, deliver you the best in class product you have come to expect from Louisville Slugger and continue to bring you the best products the sport has to offer.
Please see www.slugger.com/fastpitch/ for continual updates, including answers to anticipated questions from our customers.
Bill Clark Hillerich & Bradsby Co.
President - Louisville Slugger Division
NEXT ISSUE WILL COME OUT IN TWO WEEKS, AROUND APRIL 3.