The fastpitch player mentioned at Maddy’s blog is Steve Miner, a longtime friend and teammate of mine, player-manager from my Vista Bomber days, as well as my Masters team, Long Beach Deadwood. Steve was a member of the original Vista Bombers founded by Carl “Slick” Davis in the 1970′s. That squad finished as high as 4th in the 1977 ISC World Tournament, when Slick’s son, Cory was one of the younger players in the Western Softball Congress. Steve went on to play for the Long Beach Nitehawks, including their runner-up ISC World Tournament finish in 1979, then back to the Vista Bombers again during the 1980′s when Cory ran the team, and a third tour when I had the team in the 1990′s. Steve was one of the pioneers of “slap hitting”, a skill that he is passing on to the girls that he now coaches. And for one final bit of trivia, you can spot him briefly in the Jeremy Spears feature film, “Fastpitch”, coaching third base for the opposing team, the LB Painters.
Maddy’s photos of the San Diego State women’s team, taken on March 20, 2009 are linked at her blog post, but also here.. With a win over Fullerton that day, the team improved to 21-13 with the victory, and has now won 10 of its last 12 games, 12 of its last 15 and 16 of its last 21 contests.
(Steve Miner, photo from San Diego State website)
Steve’s bio from the SDSU website:
Entering his second season at San Diego State, Steve Miner brings 25 years of coaching experience to The Mesa.
“We’re very excited to have the experience that Steve brings to the program,” Van Wyk said. “He’ll have an immediate impact by helping out with the infield and working with our slap-hitters.”
Miner has been a head coach at the collegiate level for four years and has two decades worth of experience in the high school ranks. He coached Alliant International (then U.S. International) in 1983 and was a three-year coach at Southwestern College (1998-2000), where he led the squad to two state regional berths.
Miner’s success at the high school level has been even more impressive. Over his 20 seasons as a head coach, Miner’s teams have gone 206-84 (.710). During that span, he guided his teams to 11 league championships, three CIF championships and three CIF runner-ups.
Miner, a 1970 San Diego State graduate who played freshman basketball (1965-66) and volleyball (1967-69) for the Aztecs, played fast-pitch softball at the national level for 23 years and has been a part of three national runner-up teams (1979, 1991-92), as well as two third-place squads (1991 and 1994).
At the national level, Miner was a four-time All-American (1979, 1988-90), a seven-time Western Softball Congress all-league selection (1975-81) and the 1975 AAA San Diego Player of the Year. In addition, he set the WSC batting average record in 1979 and hit a national tournament record .793 in 1988.
Miner may be best known in the softball world as the first player to try crossover slap-hitting at the men’s national fast-pitch level, a technique that is widely used in the women’s game today. In fact, last year’s Aztecs had six slap-hitters on the team.
Miner has also had success as a high school football coach with various schools in San Diego County. He led Clairemont High School to five consecutive CIF playoffs and a 1981 CIF championship. As an offensive coordinator at Kearny High School, Miner helped the team win four league championships, five CIF playoff berths and a runner-up finish in the CIF championship game in 1990. Since 2004, Miner has been an assistant coach with Madison High, after leading the school to a 2002 league championship as a head coach.
Miner, who earned his master’s at Azusa Pacific in 1978, retired in June 2007 after teaching high school math for 35 years.
Miner and his wife, Maureen, have been married for 40 years. They have one daughter, Amy, who was a former Aztec assistant coach for two years and San Diego CIF Player of the Year.