Larry Leeds

There has been some talk about building some new softball fields here in Madison. One of the reasons for building new diamonds is so that the trailer homes don't get hit by home runs that go over the left-field and left-center fence at the Thue Complex.

However, there might be an easier solution to this problem. Change the size of the softball to make it harder to hit home runs.

Yes, go to a 16-inch softball. That would cut down on home runs and make the games fun again. The games wouldn't be a home run derby like some are now.

When I was playing 16-inch slowpitch, the only home runs I witnessed, for the most part, were inside the park.

Even when I played on these same diamonds many years ago, the league used a 14-inch softball and there were not many home runs over the fence.

Maybe instead of spending a whole lot of money, change a couple of things to make slowpitch softball fun again with a bigger ball. Going back to the 16-inch size would make the players learn how to play slowpitch softball.

It would be great to see the big ball come back into slowpitch. That is how it all got started.


Larry Leeds was born and raised in South Dakota, graduating from Colman High School in 1974. He continued his education at USD/Springfield and Dakota State University and received a bachelor's degree in physical education and history in 1979. He later obtained a journalism degree from South Dakota State University.

Before coming to Madison, Leeds worked at weekly papers in Flandreau, St. James, Minn., Redfield and Hayti (Hamlin County Publishing with Castlewood and Estelline).

He has a passion for all sports, especially high school sports and amateur baseball, because these teams are filled with players who want to be playing the game.

His favorite teams are the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Twins and Timberwolves, and New York Yankees.

Leeds is also a NASCAR fan whose favorite drivers are Dave Blaney and his son Ryan.