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THIS WEEK ALL ROADS LEAD TO ST. LOUIS        Men's- Eastside Players          QUEEN CITY CLASSIC CHAMPIONS             Women's - St. Louis HeatCongratulations to ATX Express for winning the Texas Classic this weekend.


Player Profile

Al Hunter


BASA STAFF:  What's Up Al?

Al: What's up BASA?


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 again?

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 Illinois.

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.


 BASA 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 tournament?

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 me in.

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 Midwest.

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.

Al:  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 dangerous job.


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 you!

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