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RTR

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Reply with quote  #1 
She doesn't have to be a national team member or former one, but I think that would be the best selection. I like players like: Stacy Nuveman, Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, lisa Fernandez. Any other suggestions?

LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR
She doesn't have to be a national team member or former one, but I think that would be the best selection. I like players like: Stacy Nuveman, Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, Julie Fernandez. Any other suggestions?



Lisa Fernandez was pretty good too.
mindajane

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Reply with quote  #3 
Crystl Bustos has to be considered! I don't think I could pick one that was "the" best but they all were great in their own ways! 
RTR

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Reply with quote  #4 
@LMUfan 
   Lisa is what I meant, I don't know why I put Julie. Lol . I'll fix it
RTR

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
 #3 
Crystl Bustos has to be considered! I don't think I could pick one that was "the" best but they all were great in their own ways!  


Yes she was very good! She definitely could be considered.


Crazy888

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Reply with quote  #6 
Lisa Fernandez!
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #7 
I think this is another "era" question.  My favorite player in the 1996 Olympics (I was there) was Dot Richardson, and for three innings my favorite pitcher was Michelle Granger, the big Lefty whose injury hurt her longevity.  I also admired, as a player-pitcher only, Lisa Fernandez who was a remarkable talent and a fierce competitor.  From each Olympics we can pick our favorites and those whose play we admired then, but to pick the "best of the best" is too formidable a  task for me. For example, Michele Smith, Stacey Nuveman, Laura Berg, Natasha Watley, Jessica Mendoza, Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, Jennie Finch, and Chrystal Bustos et al would have to be considered.  There just might even be another candidate for greatness on today's International Team. Before there was Olympic Softball, there were numerous  stars who played for the USA internationally.  Karen (nee Sanchelli) Johns won a gold medal as both a player and a coach for USA and did not play in the Olympics. How about Kathy Arenson, "the Big A", or Sheila (Clutch) Doughty, another of my favorites, or Pat Dufficy?  Several such outstanding players were "locks" for the 1996 Olympic team and were amazingly not selected.  This led to a revamping of the selection process.  Just too much for my 80 year old brain to encompass. In many ways they all should be honored.      Frank
PS - Unfortunately for "our game", most people would simply ask "Who?" if any of these names were mentioned in passing.  Old adage - "How quick we forget the great ones!".  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #8 
to me the greatest player and leader in  teams i have seen was Stacey Newman. believe me i have seen many players in all the years my DD played softball.
RTR

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Reply with quote  #9 
JoiseyGuy, you definitely out smart me. I started getting into sports around 12, but it wasnt until I was 13 that it became the only thing I thought about. Now , at 15 years of age, I want to start doing something with sports. I want to go to college and major in something with SPORTS! This was the year I got TOTALLY into softball. A few days ago I had the world cup of softball on TV, one NPF game on my PC, and another NPF game on my iPad . Being a MALE at 15 liking women's softball has brought challenges, especially since I have become that stat man for my schools team. I wish there was a boys fastpitch team in my area, but the closest is 5hours away. So really, I wouldn't know who is BEST, since I haven't been involved in it as much as you have. 

JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #10 
RTR - Wow, how great.  At 15 (how cool is that?) I was trying to make the football, basketball, and baseball team at my high school and trying to figure out those creatures called females.  At 32 I put away my baseball career (shortstop) and began a career in fastpitch (pitched nationally and internationally at the men's elite level) and put away my glove and spikes finally at 52.  I ran softball schools for females for 25 years in New Jersey (hence Joisey Guy despite that I now live with my wife and doggie in Florida).  I applaud your early interest in a great game.  If I can be of any help to you either with a softball connection or to answer any questions you might have, I would be glad to do so.  By the way, I'm 80 years old soon so I have had some experience in the game at various levels.   Frank Bolton
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
RTR

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks Frank. It's ironic that I livein Florida as well. It's sad to see the sport so looked down upon. I just wish there were more boys teams.
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #12 
Sam - I assume you meant Stacey Nuveman???   Your daughter was a terrific hitter and was one of several big time players on the roster when Fullerton was a power.  I'm glad that you had the opportunity to enjoy watching her play.  Her recent book about hitting is a good introductory level book for young players.  Isn't she coaching somewhere now??   Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #13 
RTR - I'm in a retirement park just east of Tampa and see quite a few South Florida games as the coach is a friend and the beautiful stadium is 30 minutes from my house.  What part of Florida is your home?    Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
RTR

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Reply with quote  #14 
Escambia county. ;(
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR
Thanks Frank. It's ironic that I livein Florida as well. It's sad to see the sport so looked down upon. I just wish there were more boys teams.


You have an opportunity to be an evangelist.  Take it and run with it!

Get in contact with USC14.  He's a few years older than you, also from Florida and excited about fastpitch. 
RTR

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Reply with quote  #16 
Thanks LMUfan. One question, what does he do??? Coach, player, etc.
Robocoach

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Reply with quote  #17 
I would always defer to Jersey Guy.  I have had the privilege of meeting him after hearing about the Ernie Parker of the east coast when my daughter's team played out there.  It just so happened that an amazing lady (rest her soul) named Kathy Lemire got me in contact with Frank.  I had the privilege and the honor to spend a couple hours with Frank in Las Vegas.  He's a walking legend. Who better to judge the talent than someone that has seen it all.  My choice from what I've witnessed is Lisa Fernandez.  But I missed some legends and Frank has me covered on that so I'll go with his picks.
uclart47

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Reply with quote  #18 
Lisa Fernandez!
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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #19 
This question gets asked in every sport--who is best NFL AB ever, who is best runningback, who is best pitcher ever, who is greatest baseball player ever, best NBA player etc. etc.

I always approach it 2 ways.
1. Who is the best player stats, numbers, championships and awards
OR
2. Who was so great that they impacted the way the game was played...rules were changed...they dominated and teams had to specifically account for them. They may not have had the best stats or championships because of the other "teams" out there or because they were on a mediocre or bad team (like barry sanders).

That is why I dislike comparing players from different times.
A player's greatness is directly related to their teammates, competition, other top players at the time, technology and advancements in equiptment/training/fitness &health and instruction, field they play on, etc.

It is also why I dislike more than 5 teams from a conference in softball playoffs. If a conference wants to go out and get tons of teams to be a super conference then teams in that conference need to woman-up and finish at the top and not get a participation prize slot in tourney because they have SEC or Pac12 as their conference. Why do I say this??
Because we don't know for sure that the 7th place SEC or pac12 is better than the champion of the colonial. We assume it based on what we see....and we see the conferences with espn contracts like the SEC. We don't see the mid majors on espn or tv hardly if ever. So we take stats and over value top conferences for strength of schedule and rate teams......same way we rate players for who is best. Yet how do we rate players we never saw play? All we can go on is stats. Watching highlights of jim brown doesn't give you the sense of his impact on the game while he was playing unless you were around for it and experienced it. Same with who is best in softball. 15 years from now cat osterman and monica abbott will be the old timers and lisa fernandez will be the person they hear about but never saw play.

Lisa Fernandez was great. She dominated as a pitcher and hitter.
She has the stats and awards bling and championships and gold medals to back it up. But there are those before her that were great. Like ask someone 25 or younger who best female basketball player is. They will say current players on olympic team (like sue bird, taurasi, maya moore, candace parker) or just retired wnba players like rebecca lobo, lisa leslie, cynthia cooper, etc....few remember cheryl miller, ann myers, nera white and anne donovan.

So to answer I would say Lisa Fernandez was the best player in USA history that I got to see play and saw her impact on the game and her dominance.




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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #20 
Robocoach - SoftballJunkie - R.I.P.  Thank you for the kind words.  Frank
PS - I see that Lizzie is still with the Irish.  To be mentioned in the same breath with Ernie Parker is quite an honor.  

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTR
Thanks LMUfan. One question, what does he do??? Coach, player, etc.


He's a student at USC. 
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #22 
It appears that the general consensus for most outstanding softball player to represent the USA is Lisa Fernandez, and seeing her as a player-pitcher I certainly can't dispute that.  Perhaps the most telling remark that I've heard about her came from one of her catchers who told me that two other pitchers on their staff might have better "stuff", but Lisa willed the ball to do what she wanted it to. #16 could also swing a mean bat and could field with the best at third.  She always brought her "A" game to the field.  In my experience, her on field energy is surpassed only by Dot Richardson.  To the best of my knowledge no one ever nicknamed her "bulldog", but someone should have. In my few and limited conversations with her, I found her not to be an engaging personality, but one of her teammates who is a close friend of mine told me that "Everybody wants a piece of Lisa, and she is not sure just how to handle that".  I can understand that. She reached super star status when she was 19. If she is not the best ever, she certainly is among the very limited top group.    Frank


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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
whocares

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Reply with quote  #23 
The greatest player in softball history was Joan Joyce. She dominated the game for 24 years.
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Whocares
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #24 
Who cares - Did Joan (obviously a super-super star athlete and softball player in her era and a nice person) ever have the opportunity to represent the USA in international competition?    Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #25 
If you read "Best of the Best Women's Fast Pitch by Bill Plummer and Dr Stephen Clarfield, you will realize that Lisa Fernandez is the total package and was the greatest player of her era. Joan Joyce was the greatest player of her era. Lisa led the nation in batting and ERA her senior year. Has been done only once and by her and I doubt another pitcher will do that. Lisa played in an era when the National Teams of other countries were competitive and could and would give the USA a game. It's not that way now with the USA still good, but the other nations not getting better because of a lack of money. Fernandez batted .545 in her last Olympics. Is there any player today close to her ability? No. If you want to get a copy of the above mentioned book, go to wwww.Plummersoftball.com
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #26 
Veteran - Stevie Clarfield is a dear friend and former foe when we both were pitching men's fastpitch.  I do not know Bill Plummer but I do recognize his name from Fastpitch.  Steve is one of the good guys, superior musician (jazz piano), psychiatrist, and a real gentleman with a nature given intellect and a love for fastpitch softball  He wrote to me about the book, we discussed it,and I agree with your assessment of the Lisa Fernandez contents.  Frank

PS - I recommended the book to softball folks on UCS when it first came out.  It is basically a compilation of sections devoted to the icons of women's fastpitch softball.  Steve's concept was to create a role model menu for girls in fastpitch who have had to look to baseball men as role models but now have softball icons of their own gender to emulate and use as role models - a worthwhile endeavor.

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
whocares

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Reply with quote  #27 
Frank:  Joan Joyce won the first World Tournament for the US.  In 1974 the Brakettes represented the USA in the Tournament. It was held in Stratford Connecticut. Back then, The team that won the previous years National Tournament represented the USA. They could pick up a few players from other teams for the tournament. It was completely sanctioned by the ASA.
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Whocares
RTR

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Reply with quote  #28 
 
Debbie Doom. Definitely not the best player, but with a height over 6'4. . . She was a physical threat!
RTR

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Reply with quote  #29 




Lisa Fernandez
RTR

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Reply with quote  #30 



Stacy Nuveman
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