John made himself into a top notch pitcher later in his softball life.
In 1991 John joined our Dan Smith AA team wanting to learn and earn a starting pitcher spot on our team. I do not believe John had ever tried being a starting pitcher at a high level before.
I can still remember John when we had our first practice at twin creeks in San Jose he was horrible..when we hit him found balls he swiped his glove towards them in a vilent jab...and missed almost every ball..his pitching was not much, but a little better.
John was already an established above average hitter/outfielder but he knew his future belonged on the mound.
About a third of the way into the season John talked to me and I can still remember his words.
"Tim, I want to become a top pitcher and I know I cannot learn/do it here because Gary (Adams) is so good. Can I get my release?
I released John and did not see him pitch for about two full seasons..when I did see him I couldn't believe It was the same guy..the had great command of his pitch location and had learned a great curve ball..his fielding abilities were three times better then just two years before...
So in his early 30s KEGS made himself through what must have been hundreds of hours of practice into a pitcher capable
of winning the A World and competing at the World Series level.
In 1991 no one would have thought that was possible..John proved that a dedication and love of softball has almost unending playing potential when a very good athlete is driven.
Many great players waltz into being very good softball players..John toiled his way with hard work into the USSSA HALL OF FAME..
Well earned John.
One more thing...I have "close" to the exact same story about Billy Softball man Messina..