Mike's First Baseball Card
Mike Snyder is very well known in police softball. If you do not know who he is, look for the 6'5 250 pound player that runs like a gazelle and hits like a machine. He has won three World Series titles, a World Series MVP, and a Player of the Year with the SoCal Alliance. Mike is now on his first year with the newly reformed LAPD Blue team and he hopes to help bring them their first title at World Series XIII. Here is Mike's 20 for 20 with our comments in parenthesis: :
Name: Mike Snyder
Team: Currently LAPD Blue / Formerly of the So Cal Alliance
Position: 1B/OF (His first baseball card called him a "Hulking Slugger". We would have to agree)
Nickname: None that are appropriate for this interview.
What is your baseball history?
Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays 70th overall in the second round of the 1999 MLB amateur draft. Played from 1999 to 2005. Made it to Double A in 2004 where our team won the Eastern League Championship (So many people truly do not understand that our sport is filled with athletes who have played high level prof and college athletics)
Your number and why you picked it?
Favorite number is 5. As a sophomore playing football, the player I backed up I really looked up to and wanted to learn from. He wore number 5 and when he graduated, I took the number and have had it since.
Something about you your teammates do not know?
I tried out for the new American Gladiators as a contestant back in 2008, prior to applying for my law enforcement position the same year. I was advised that I was too big to be a contestant and I didn’t have a six pack, so I couldn’t be a gladiator. (We have a feeling he would have done pretty well)
What do you enjoy most about being a LEO and least?
As cliché as it sounds, just being able to help people and being interjected into scenarios that the average human being doesn’t want any part of or is unsure of how to handle it. What I like least is the cell phone society and trial by social media before any of the facts come out.
What team do you want to play most at the WS and why?
I’m not one to provide bulletin board material for motivating other teams, but if I had to choose one, I would say Battle Born. Everyone has already crowned them and labeled them the champs. On paper, they are unbeatable, but like former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green said, “If you want to crown them, then crown their a**es, but they are who we thought they were. And we let them off the hook.” There may be some teams in the series that say that last sentence because I don’t see anyone beating them. They are loaded. (One of our fav football quotes...right up there with, "You play to win he game")
What team gives your team the most problems and why?
I’m going to agree with JB and say Sin City from a few years ago. Those games were always battles with Coe and Habig on the bump. (Sin City was absolutely on a course to be be one of the best in the west before they took a detour)
Besides you, best player in police softball who is not a teammate?
Walter Sevilla from Battle Born. He’s a line to line hitter who can hit the homerun when needed and also is phenomenal with the glove. I thought I had an easy base hit going backside, and he threw me out by two steps. Very impressive player to watch and play against. (We know ho to pick our players of the year)
Hardest pitcher to hit in police softball and why?
Keith Habig on the west coast. That’s why I paid for his new pool in his backyard just to get him to sign with the Alliance and LAPD Blue. On the east coast, I would say for me is Butch Crozier. There are plenty of tough pitchers to face, but with Butchy, there’s a lot going on. Very animated, hides the ball and jukes well. Throws a heavy ball. Feels like he’s on top of you. He intimidates the umpires. Punches people in the face. Throws chairs and bats….pretty much wants to brawl with everyone (Just kidding butchy).
You are known as someone who enjoys a laugh, what is your funniest moment in police softball?
There are way too many to list. Just know this…walking or driving anywhere with Ryan Coe, whether it be into a restaurant, the airport, the drive thru etc., makes for a good time. I’ve had some seriously painful laughs where I couldn’t breathe with Coe and Chad Bankston. (If you want to hear how he owned a teammate, ask Mike about the transient burrito story)
Besides your team, the best team in police softball right now?
Battle Born. Hands down. They are playing perfect softball and are unbeatable when everyone is there.
What do you enjoy doing the most in Vegas? Favorite spot?
Obviously seeing all the guys and their families from up north and other states. If I had a spot, it’s Gold Diggers with Chad Bankston, having a tasty bourbon and people watching while, overlooking Fremont St. We’ve made it a tradition over the past few years since we’ve played on the Alliance together. (We have spent some time with Mike att his perch and we agree it is a hidden gem on Fremont)
What PS player does your game resemble the most?
I really don’t know this answer. If I had to pick one, I would say Kris Ulibari because we both are left handed, both are underwear models, both can run, both can hit for power, and both pride ourselves on being able to hit line to line. (As someone who has photographed a lot of PS players, I will say there are a lot of similarities between the two)
You have won three Major Division World Series Titles, which one meant the most and why?
Going to dodge this question like a ninja because all three of them were special. In 2012, that was my first series win and WE played all day on Sunday. WE were pretty beat up but WE came back and double dipped a great Hardcore team. 2013 WE rolled through the series and didn’t lose a game. That one is special because of who WE were playing for that year as a law enforcement family. I was with the Alliance, in 2011 where WE lost to the Great Lakes Lawmen in the world series finals in 2011 and Patrick “PH1LL” Hill was on that team. 2013’s world series was dedicated to PH1LL and it was an emotional win. WE had the honor to take the team picture holding his jersey at the end of the world series. 2016 is one I won’t forget due to the circus that surrounded it and the statement manager, friend, and mentor Mick Hardenbrook made. To be down 10 runs in the 7th inning, to the best team in the country that year, and pull off the win, forcing the “If” game was amazing. Then, to win the “if” game in an absolute “See-saw” battle against a great team, full of great players in the NYPD Blue was unreal. The Alliance weathered the storm full of controversy and pulled off a fete that will be talked about for a long time. (That 7th inning comeback in a title game has to be the best comeback in WS History)
What makes your team unique?
Our team has a mix of veterans that have won the series, and new, hungry players that want that first taste of a championship.
Besides talent, what is the most important aspect of a championship team and why?
I’ve had this conversation with Danny Wells and Mick Hardenbrook many times. It’s tough to manage a bunch of alpha males that all think they should be starting. The most talented teams don’t always win. Often times it’s the teams that have role players who accept those roles and don’t become cancerous on the bench. I’m not dismissing the talent always wins theory, but when you get down to the top four or so teams in the country, your bench can often separate you from the rest of the pack.
You have done both, would you rather roll through a world series or win by a double dip?
If you asked my body, obviously rolling through unblemished without a loss is preferred. For memories and establishing yourself as a team and player that refuses to quit, no matter the score, double dipping a team is pretty special and memorable. The beer and bourbon is a little tastier after a double dip.
Game on the line, do you want to make the game winning play or the game winning hit?
Game winning hit.
Any superstitions related to softball?
I don’t really have any except my first world series title against Hardcore, Mick Hardenbrook was a spectator at the time and when we went on our run, Mick was keeping me sane in right field, talking to me on the right field foul line of Angel Stadium. I wouldn’t let him leave until it was all said and done. So basically, Mick won it for us that year…per my superstition. Tell me I’m wrong haha! Also, when I see Del has his video camera out and I try to get in front of that thing as much as possible….not really. (Mike gets a lot of camera time for two reasons, 1) He is damn good. 2) He has fun with the camera and knows not to take this game too seriously)
Leave us with a thought.
I am finishing this on the day of the shooting in Vegas at the country concert and many of us have been affected by it as we had friends or family there. Many of us know some of the law enforcement that responded that night. Some of our friends were off duty at the time, enjoying themselves as well. I had a huge comment ready to go about the years with the So Cal Alliance, and thanking Del and JB. I can do that in person. At this time, I think I want to tip my hat to the men and women that responded to that active shooter and eliminated the threat. To first responders that chose to take A KNEE, but did so because they were performing CPR, applying makeshift tourniquets, taking cover in trying to assess where the threat was coming from, or lifting the helpless and loading them into trucks and cars to be transported to overcrowded hospitals. In a world where everyone is kneeling, over a false narrative, we continue to do our jobs and be the last line of defense between civilized and anarchy. Even though we won’t see it on mainstream media, we have far more supporters than people that dislike us. Keep fighting the good fight brothers and sisters, and can’t wait to see you guys soon.