BASA STAFF: What's Up Al?
BASA STAFF: I would never have guessed to be doing a profile from
Chicago, when the sight was first started. See, I have been to
Chicago several times and on occasion have witnessed some softball
being played. What is up with the giant size softballs everyone
seems to play with up there?
Al: Itís the 16 in. softball. Itís king here.
Personally, Iíve never played and probably never will. I
donít have time, play too much 12 in.
BASA STAFF: At the beginning of the season, there was a lot of
talk about the top Rec teams in BASA, and North Chicago Ballers
was hardly ever mentioned, yet when you look at the season stats
you guys have to be one of the favorites at this point.
Al: The early season accolades are nice, but itís a long, hard
season. We are just trying to play hard and stay consistent
right now. Weíre honored to be mentioned with some of the
other good teams out there. Hopefully, we will stay healthy
and be there at the end.
BASA STAFF: Another team that would have to be considered a
favorite right now is the Ga. Dawgs, and they beat you guys in
Aiken. Can we expect a different outcome, if the two of you meet
Al: No disrespect to the Dawgs, but yes. We owe them one.
BASA STAFF: Are most of your teammates from Chicago?
Al: Most of the guys are from North Chicago, the rest are spread
out over Chicago. Iíve got one Baller from southern
BASA STAFF: When did you start playing softball?
Al: I started playing softball in 1994 while I was still on active
duty serving in Germany.
STAFF: What was your first BASA experience?
Al: The Kickoff Classic was my first taste of the BASA.
Itís great seeing all the guys and girls doing their thing.
Iíve made so many friends and met so many people that I wouldíve
never encountered if not for BASA.
BASA STAFF: What were your thoughts after your first BASA
Al: My first thought was, I canít believe we didnít win it.
Seriously, I felt like I was home. Iíve played on the other
circuit and it doesnít come close. The love you get here and
the atmosphere is like no other place.
BASA STAFF: Chicago is a happening place, ever considered
hosting a BASA tournament there?
Al: Yes, we are working on something right now. Just trying
to get the right names involved so we can do it big. Stay tuned,
might have an announcement at the Worlds. If we build it,
think they will come?
BASA STAFF: No doubt,
and if it takes place during "The Taste of Chicago", you can count
BASA STAFF: Behind
all great teams are great sponsors and you guys have to travel as
far as anyone, is there anyone that you want to recognize?
Al: Iíd like to recognize my guys. We get a little money
here and there but most of the time, we pay for ourselves.
Big Love to Andrea Hughes and Tobyís Bar and Grill. You guys
and gals with big time sponsors are blessed. Anyone looking to
back an up and coming team, let's talk!
BASA STAFF: Not to put you on the spot, but the Ballers have
played in all regions of the BASA circuit this year, which region
seems to have the most competition?
Al: There are good teams all over, but Iím partial to the
BASA STAFF: Are their any other teams that you look forward to
playing against in 2006, that you have not played yet?
Al: I look forward to battling with everybody in rec.
BASA STAFF: You are a frequent visitor to the BASA website, give
us your thoughts on it.
Al: I think the board is great. Where else can you
talk about softball, money, politics, relationshipsÖ..etc. for
free? It definitely puts the word out on whatís happening on
the BASA. I know people that donít even play ball that are
visiting the board. Great job BASA.
BASA STAFF: Give us your thoughts on BASA as it stands today.
The BASA is good, but it can be great. Iíd like to see us go
National and have teams in every state. We definitely have
to work on more exposure and getting more big name people and
sponsors involved. Iíd love to see BASA on the tube.
BASA STAFF: As we always ask, if you could make one change in BASA,
what would it be?
Al: Iím not a pitcher, but Iíd definitely like to see the mound
pushed back. God bless the pitchers! Thatís a
BASA STAFF: That just about wraps it up, any shout outs?
Al: Iíd like to give a shout out to the man upstairs, the
Ballers, the JL, Ms. Dat, Val, Joyce, Ruthie, HC, Exodus, Carmen,
Davida, and all the BASA family. Special love goes to my
wife Anita who puts up with my softball addiction. Thank