What positions do you play and what is your best position?
Centerfield is my best position which I've played my whole career but i can also play the corners.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
There are so many good players but in my eyes the best all around player I've seen would be Brian Wegman.
Why do you like the game of softball?
I enjoy the competition and the speed of the game. Also spending weekends with good friends, traveling and meeting new people.
Who is the best up and coming player in softball and why?
Lots of good young talent it seems like each year the guys get better and better which is great for the sport. I've been away for a couple years fishing so I'm learning new faces and meeting new youngsters in AZ.
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
People call me Iowa since I moved to Arizona in 2010. I remember seeing lights in the distance and I knew that was a softball park so I went there and walked around each Dugout asking if anyone needed a player finally one guy said sure what's your name I said Mike, he then told me I have 5 mikes on my team so I'm just going to call you Iowa Mike so I agreed and I played pretty well and it just stuck ever since
What is your height and weight?
Where do you call home?
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
I have been fishing competitively for the last few years but decided I Miss softball so much that I want to try to get back into the conference. So off weekends for me would be spending time with my daughters, my girlfriend, are definitely On The Water Somewhere fishing
What do you do for a living?
I'm a superintendent for a Cabinet Company
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I started when I was 18 years old playing local leagues in Illinois then I move to Davenport Iowa and got into tournaments with an E team. I move to Arizona in 2010 and played tournament ball with a D team. Each year I moved up levels until Greg Zayas approached me and asked me if I would like to play center field for the team he was building called for the 4 the fallen in the conference.
What was the most surprising difference between Conference play and non-Conference play when you made the jump?
The defense for sure. Each position the guy had a great glove and was an awesome athlete. I also realized everyone hit the ball a lot harder and that I had to work twice as hard to keep my position because there was so many others working hard wanting a shot at my position so I always had to be on my game if I wanted to continue to play at this level
Is there a player that you would compare your game to?
Well I'm from Illinois I'm left-handed and I always really looked up to Brian Zirkle . I watched him play a lot I've played against him many times and I watched him very closely he's a great center fielder and he was a great role model for me
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Being a part of the 4 the fallen organization for a couple years was definitely amazing and mind-blowing. I was very thankful to travel around with those guys and be a part of what they do. Oklahoma City ASA Nationals would probably be the best moment for me when we did the flag ceremony it was kind of rainy out and there was so many people involved from the Air Force, from the Army, and just all around it was a moment I will never forget
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
Not so much a single person but pretty much my hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. All my friends playing softball never realized there was a level of softball like the conference. It was pretty cool I sent home gloves, batting gloves, jerseys, pants, ect so my friends could have. It made me feel good to give back to them because they were my support
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Stay humble and play your game to the best of your ability and whatever helps your team win.
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
27oz overlap grip
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
Well I enjoy family time, fishing, hunting, and living the normal life. I work out and I'll hit BP.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Chicago Cubs! Bass fishing tournaments is what I like to do other than play softball
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
No not really
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Hank williams Jr " Country Boy Can Survive"
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
More tournaments out west
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Toys for Tots in Palm Springs California
What is the best softball field/complex you have played at and why?
I love playing in the stadium in Florida
Where is the best place to eat on the road after a game?
Buffalo Wild Wings seems to be the easiest place to find and you can't go wrong with wings and beer
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
When guys run too fast to first base and end up nose-diving the bag that's always funny
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
My most prized award is E state tournament MVP in Iowa. It just helps me stay humble knowing that I started from the bottom and I worked hard to make it to where I am today.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
It's always a good feeling when you check the mail and see a new bat or another piece of equipment