Beyond the Dugout Podcast
Episode 25 - Chris Steffensen

Episode 25 - Chris Steffensen

October 3, 2021

What do you get when you have a best mate who you get to pick his brain about the legends he got to share the diamond with before you get to interview that legend, over coffee in the kitchen?...

A surprise Episode 25 of Beyond the Dugout with very special guest Chris Steffensen.

Chrispy to most has won all but one club title in NZ Softball, a Two Time NFC Champion, One time Club National Champion (as he likes to say the last time PK won the Clubs) he has played the game at most levels with some of the best to ever play the game.

From early days in Totara Park to Hutt City United before getting tapped on the shoulder by the great one Mark Sorenson to play for Cardinals and then being part of a new era of PK Softball plus a couple of stints in the ISCs to be full circle back to Totara Park.

Should he have been mentioned in with some of the greats after a very promising young career, YES! But life gets in the way and Chris gets very honest about how a young talents attitude & mind can change in the game & what he has learned looking back.

Now a Deputy Principal, Chris has a gift to communicate with a teaching nature and that’s why Damian is so proud that he got him back into Softball after some time away from the game, going back to their junior club. Now he is combining his new love of softball with his skills of teaching & it truly is something special to see.

This week what it’s about, just mates talking some ball, sharing thoughts & journey’s, easy to do when you’re in each other’s bubble.  

So, sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, iTunes & Podbean

Episode 24 - Thomas Cameron

Episode 24 - Thomas Cameron

September 24, 2021

This episode is dedicated in the honour of the late great Jim Gerbes.

It’s the 2004 Softball New Golden Homes Black Sox WBSC World Champion Pitcher Thomas Cameron is this Friday’s Beyond the Dugout guest in Episode 24.

Former Black Sox pitcher Thomas Cameron's long and celebrated playing career is amazing, but his devotion to help others better themselves is a legacy we love and are fortunate to share.

Benny to most exploded onto the world scene early in his career, racking up championships Ramblers, Auckland, and others.

Thomas transformed himself and his direction in life going from an elite softballer to a elite Bodybuilder. Through this journey Benny has not only found himself, but he has also helped more legends find their new way in the world, a fitter stronger world and we tip the cap to his efforts.

During these crazy times Thomas shares his experiences and thoughts to help with the mental side and physical side of our wellbeing & sport.  Very important to talk about those issues during this time and be completely honest about it like Thomas does during this episode.

Thomas is not done with his career, far from it but with the early start and everything learned since he is one to listen to and follow for a better health and fitness lifestyle.

Episode 24 with Thomas Cameron will air this Friday 6pm NZT 24 September 2021

Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 23 - Tyron Bartorillo

Episode 23 - Tyron Bartorillo

September 19, 2021

It’s the Double-National, Multi-Time World Champion, All the way from Christchurch, New Zealand via Brisbane, Australia, The Golden Homes Black Sox Tyron Bartorillo is Beyond the Dugout’s 23rd Episode.

 

From the Hot Corner Barty has excelled in many sports and for a couple of nations but none more important now to Tyron than the Silver Fern of the New Zealand Black Sox.

 

But that transition wasn’t easy and Barty shares the story of going from winning a World Championship with Australia against New Zealand to winning a World Championship for the Black Sox and everything going on in between.

 

He talks where softball started for him and not the age most would think but one thing is clear is where the love of baseball started and how softball has taken him to some pretty special places for a baseball fan.

 

We learn how important hi one NZ Club Papanui is to him, how they have changed the game in Christchurch, what the Tigers Dynasty means and how he plans to give back to those coming up.

 

But it is not over for Barty, not by a long shot and he shares his motivations, drives and goals that he still has in the game and in the Black Sox Team!!!

 

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper and Damian Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.

 

Beyond The Dugout Podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes & Podbean

Episode 22 - Tyneesha Houkamau

Episode 22 - Tyneesha Houkamau

September 10, 2021

Its the 2021 Softball New Zealand - Softball of the Year Tyneesha Houkamau who feature’s on this Friday’s Beyond the Dugout Episode 22 all the way from Lockdown with the Gerbes in Auckland. 

 

The 2021 NFC MVP Pitcher and Slugger from the National Champions Otahuhu gives us a look behind the scenes of her upbringing, contributions from the Howick & Marist clubs before settling with Otahuhu. 

 

Ty has won all the age groups with Auckland including a battling title at the U19’s aged only 16!!

 

How influential Coach Bob Mitchell was in her development and showing her the dream of College Ball in USA 🇺🇸

 

History tells us she completed 6 years in the states with a Bachelor of Science Biology degree. But the College ball scholarship was not exactly the dream she imagined…….. actually far from it!

 

Houkamau opens up about it, that not many people know about……… her state of hating the game  & giving it all away…….

Tonight you will learn how after a 2 year break the next 2 years she has turned that all around…… ❤️🥎❤️

Gotta say Both Damian & Chopper really felt this one 🌹 Thanks Ty ❤️🥎

Episode 22 with Tyneesha Houkamau,10 September 2021.

Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen. 

 

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 21 - Marty Grant

Episode 21 - Marty Grant

September 3, 2021

It's the Softball New Golden Homes Black Sox Multiple World Champion Pitcher Marty Grant is this Friday’s Beyond the Dugout guest in Episode 21 all the way from Nelson.

Former Black Sox pitcher Marty Grant's long and celebrated playing career is was recognised at the highest level with his induction into the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame.

There's no question about Grant's credentials in a career stretching back to 1979, having won three WBSC world titles, including a starring role on the pitching mound in the Black Sox' 2-1 win over Japan in the 2000 final in East London, South Africa.

He also won world titles in Midland, Michigan in 1996 and in Christchurch in 2004. Grant attended five world championships, also winning two silver medals, and was part of the New Zealand team that won the Commonwealth Championship title in 2006.

He played 54 tests for New Zealand between 1990 and 2009, winning 53 of them. He holds the all-time Black Sox record for games pitched, innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.

Grant was named New Zealand Softball player of the year in 1991 and was pitcher of the year five times. He won eight provincial championships with Wellington, six of them consecutively, and also secured five national club titles with Poneke-Kilbirnie.

He also spent 18 years playing in the North American ISC & ASA leagues with a variety of teams winning 5 titles between them.

Episode 21 with Marty Grant will air this Friday 6pm NZT 2 September 2021 Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.   

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 20 - Donny Hale

Episode 20 - Donny Hale

August 28, 2021

Welcome everyone to Beyond The Dugout Episode 20 with Softball New Zealand’s legendary Slugger Donny Hale 28th August 2021. 

 

Tonight’s episode is an exclusive to first announce Donny’s Hales induction to the SNZ Hall of Fame!! This episode is more like a version of this is your life…. With a bunch of surprises for Donny as we go along. We hope you all enjoy Donny’s story as he has dazzled fans all over the world with his Massive home runs!!

For 20 years, the ‘Halestorm’ - three-time Black Sox world champion Donny Hale - was of the most feared and respected softball sluggers in the world.

Donny – who is still playing professionally in Japan today in his mid-40s - drifted into softball as a youngster in Auckland after being star-struck watching New Zealand power hitters Ian Stringer and Murray McLean blasting home runs in a television game in the 1980s.

Drawn to Mt Roskill’s Fearon Park, Donny set the scene for a career as a hitter by slamming three homes in his first game as a 10-year-old.

Like a lot of other talented Black Sox athletes, he first made his mark for Auckland, and was selected as such for his Black Sox tour to North America in 1994.

There was a logjam of pitching talent in New Zealand then, and it took a couple of years for Donny to resurface in a Black Sox jersey.

The 1.95m all-rounder reinvented himself as a long ball hitter after initially adding 15kg in the gym to give him more speed on the mound.

“I decided that hitting the ball was more fun,’’ Donny said in Relentless, the book devoted to the Black Sox’s 2004 world championship title victory. “I wanted to be the guy who hit the home runs.’’

For the next 15 or so years, he was just that – a regular in the middle of a power-packed New Zealand batting unit collectively acclaimed as the best the game has seen.

Donny – who earned 110 Black Sox caps - went on to dominate pitchers in elite competitions in New Zealand, North America and Japan, winning titles everywhere he went.

For all his innate physical gifts, Donny was also renowned for being a student of the game, particularly the art of hitting a ball long and far.  He talked at length with Mark Sorenson about the mental aspects of hitting and gleaned a lot of insights too from playing and coaching overseas.

At one point, Donny was even writing a regular column about batting for a Japanese softball magazine.

While power was Donny’s most obvious asset, former Black Sox coach Don Tricker once said it was his bat speed that set him apart. “I think he has the potential to be the best batter we have ever produced,’’ Tricker said in 2004. “Every time he hits the ball, he’s a legitimate home run threat.’’

Hale hammered two home runs in his first world title winning tournament with the Black Sox in 2000 and was also in the heart of the line-up for the 2004 triumph in Christchurch, where he batted .444.

Donny’s final gold medal came at home in Auckland in 2013 and he won his final cap a season later, 20 years after his first.

In his prime, he won the New Zealand Player of the Year award four times – including three years in a row from 2001 to 2003.

A regular visitor to the International Softball Congress tournament – North America’s prestige club competition – Donny’s name still features prominently on the honours board. He is tied for the most home runs at a tournament (7, shared with Jarrad Martin and Patrick Shannon) and for most RBIs (17, shared with Wayne Laulu). He is also in a three-way tie at the top of the charts for most home runs in a game (3).

Donny’s dominance was underlined in 2012 when he was named MVP after 17 RBIs and a .529 average in leading Ontario’s Broken Bow Travelers to a third consecutive title.

Back home, Donny won countless national interclub titles with Ramblers and national provincial crowns with Auckland, serving as player-coach in some successful campaigns.

Japan has long been the base for Donny and his long-time partner, former White Sox outfielder Sina Hunkin, but he has recently returned to give back some of his vast knowledge of the game as assistant-coach for the NZ White Sox.

It’s a completion of a circle as Donny and White Sox head coach Roman Gabriel were teammates from junior level right through to the Black Sox.

 

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen. 

 

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 19 - Jim Wana

Episode 19 - Jim Wana

August 20, 2021

Seems only fitting during this year’s ISC’s, Beyond The Dugout Episode 19 features the 4 time winner & 2019 ISC Hall of Famer Jim Wana.

 

Jim Wana is in my mind one of the under rated, under celebrated & under recognised elite pitchers the world has seen or in this case not seen.

 

His career achievements are simply amazing!! 3 x WBSC World Cup Golds (Jnr, Senior, Coach), 4 x ISC Titles, 3 ASA Titles, 7 NZ National Titles with PK & a ton of MVP & Top Pitcher awards.

 

Well tonight we look to change that the recognition of Jimmy Wana at Beyond the Dugout! We celebrate Jimmy Wana’s career in it entirety, from where he grew up as a military family in Palmerston North, to almost not choosing softball over a rugby future. His debut in premier softball at the age of 14, which lead to his development in the hot bed of Softball that was Hutt Valley and taking on the world at 18. Then at only 19 Years old won the ISC MVP Pitcher Award, must be the youngest….???

 

Jim’s SNZ Black Sox Career spanned over 16 years playing & 14 years Coaching, sure some time taken off in amongst those times, but you would agree a phenomenal athlete/person/coach in our great game of softball.

 

So if you would like to learn about one of NZ’s great athletes & what it feels like to throw the winning pitch in a WBSC World Cup on home soil for the first time ever in 2004……!! Then this episode is for you.

 

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen. 

 

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 18 - Kaleigh Rafter

Episode 18 - Kaleigh Rafter

August 14, 2021

What does the of Olympic glory taste like? Well Beyond the Dugout’s episode 18 with Tokyo 2020 Bronze Medalist 🥉 Kaleigh Rafter will tell you.

The successful Softball Canada 🇨🇦 Vetter an catcher, takes the time straight after returning to share her story.

And what a starry it is!!!

One of the longest tenured players on the women’s national team, Kaleigh Rafter has been part of Team Canada since 2007. Since competing at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, she  has amassed an impressive international resume.

At the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship she has competed for Canada in every event since 2010 and was part of bronze medal-winning teams in 2010, 2016 and 2018. She has also competed in the last four Pan American Games, taking home silver medals in 2007, 2011 and 2019 to go with a gold medal at the 2015 competition in Toronto.

At the 2019 WBSC Americas Olympic Qualifier, Rafter hit for a .462 average while swatting three home runs, including the one that walked off the win for Canada to clinch its spot at Tokyo 2020. Rafter’s collegiate career was split between the University of Detroit (2005-07) and Florida State University (2009) where she transferred after the 2008 Olympics to join Coach Lonni Alameda who had worked with Team Canada for the Games.

She set a Detroit single season homerun record in 2007 while earning Horizon League Player of the Year honours. Rafter played professionally in Japan for Team Honda for two seasons.

Getting into the Sport: Started playing t-ball at age 4… Her mother lied about her age so that she could join the 5-year-old league… Her older brother played baseball and she wanted to do what he did …

She's the Assistant Coach at the University of Virginia since 2016… Graduated from Florida State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology… Earned a Masters in Criminology from FSU in 2011 and a Masters in Sports Management from FSU in 2012…

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.   

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 17 - Blair Setford & Kyle Smith

Episode 17 - Blair Setford & Kyle Smith

August 8, 2021

On the eve of the USA Softball Season ISC’s, Beyond The Dugout Episode 17 features veteran broadcasters Blair Setford and Kyle Smith & a preview of the 2021 ISC World Tournament.

 

Blair & Kyle have been a big part of the ISC as broadcasts over the years. But they do so so much more for the game. Both are involved at a local level in various roles as administrators, umpiring, coaching, managing, to international recondition with Ballpark Broadcasting and important roles within the ISC as  Blair’s VP Operations & Communications & Kyles Canada East Commissioner.

 

Tonight you will learn from their beginnings and passion for the game. Their start in broadcasting and all of the inside info on this year’s 2021 ISC World Tournament @ Sheridan Meadows Sports Complex, Eldridge, Iowa USA from 14-21 August.

 

Kyle Smith, 32 years old and a graduate of the Radio Broadcasting program at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, is in his 10th season with Ballpark Radio. A student of the game of fastball, Kyle can easily be found in any ballpark in Southwestern Ontario, whether it be while he is umpiring or just watching Kyle spends more time in the park then he does at home.

 

Kyle’s interests include Fastball, Hockey and anything outside. While watching sporting events on television he listens to the various play-by-play personalities to hone his craft after them. Kyle and his wife Candice currently reside in the metropolis with one flashing light, Hickson Ontario.

 

Blair Setford began playing fastball at the age of 7 in Jordan, Ontario and, ever since then, the game has been a big part of his life. Since joining what is now the Golden Horseshoe Fastball League in 1994, he’s been a team rep, player/manager and league executive member.

 

Blair first partnered on air with Jim Flanagan in 2004 and has helped to grow the audience for the men’s game along with the rest of the Ballpark Broadcasting crew. In addition to his administration duties in the game, Blair is on the coaching staff of one of the top-ranked club teams in men’s open level fastball.

 

Audience members enjoy Blair’s extensive knowledge of the players and the game, along with polished performances behind the mic. Blair and his wife Monique and their two children, Benjamin and Natasha, live in Mississauga, Ontario.

 

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen. 

 

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Episode 16 - Joel Evans

Episode 16 - Joel Evans

July 30, 2021

Imagine hitting the game winning grand slam to win a WBSC World Championship for Softball NZ Golden Homes Black Sox…..

Joel Evans is the special guest for Episode 16 of Beyond the Dugout tonight and also the legend from 2017 who hit that winning fairy tail home run!!

You will learn about what drives Joel to be one of the worlds best, his humble beginnings rich with Softball folk law thru his dad Trevor.

His up bringing in Wainuiomata, Representative Honors with Hutt Valley & his current journey with the Black Sox.

And Joel will give you an insight into how he hit the rise ball off Adam Folkard send the whole of NZ into celebration and Chopper into letting the puppies out of the yard….. 🐶 🐶

So sit back and enjoy Beyond The Dugout with hosts Jason Gerbes aka Chopper & Damian Michael Patrick Collins bringing weekly guests from the best that Fastpitch Softball has ever seen.   

Beyond The Dugout podcast available everywhere possible like Spotify Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts iHeartRadio iTunes Podbean

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App