Player Spotlight: Fogle's Slowpitch Journey to the Men's Major World Series
By Alex Powers
Viera, FL- October 2, 2017- Nolan Fogle wears many hats in the sport of slowpitch softball—sponsor, player, and mentor. He wears as many hats off the field as the President of Fogle Enterprises, in which he owns several restaurants in the Branson Missouri area, including Branson food services. Fogle and Fogle Enterprises sponsor Nightmare/Miken, a USSSA sanctioned Men’s slowpitch team, and he stars on the team as the starting second basemen and leadoff hitter. The same hard work he puts in off the field has led him to become one of the most successful businessmen in Branson and has helped catapult his slowpitch career, playing in the Men’s Major Division, which houses the best slowpitch players in the game.
Fogle has been playing slowpitch for 30 years and has been sponsoring teams for almost just as long. He started playing softball when he was just 19 years old because it most resembled his time playing baseball. He chose to play in the USSSA conference because the ball came in at a lower arch height than the other leagues. Interestingly, he only participated in unlimited homerun tournaments because he enjoyed the hitting aspect of the game. Early in his career he was playing and traveling about three weekends a month and playing several league games throughout the week. Slowpitch was his hobby and a platform for teaching life values through the game. An example of how impactful his teams were in the community can be portrayed by his previously sponsored ‘TEAM (Together Evangelize in All Men)America.’ The team folded after approximately seven years because the players followed their passions to become youth ministers and spent their Sundays devoting themselves to church.
The 2017 season was Fogle’s first year competing in the Men’s Majors Division. Last week Fogle was at Disney’s Wide World of Sports playing in his first ever USSSA Men’s Major World Series. Though Nightmare/Miken finished their first Men’s Major World Series in 9th place, Fogle said he cherishes every moment he gets on the field. “Enjoy and appreciate every moment you have. Life happens. Cherish your opportunities and never take them for granted,” said Fogle. He went on to talk about his passion for the concept of team and explain how some of his favorite teams throughout his career were the ones where the guys supported one another. Fogle stated “The best teams are the ones where the guys hold each other accountable but pick each other up on the field. Good attitudes and strong work ethics are contagious.
When asked what advice he would give younger players wanting to make their way up through the ranks his answer was simple, he said “have a good attitude, be a team player, and believe in your teammates.” In referencing his own climb through the slowpitch divisions, Fogle gave insight on how young players can make their way up through the different levels as well. Throughout the long season, players get the opportunity to play with other teams in order to fulfill rosters. Fogle said if you get an opportunity to play with another team that you should do it and “take advantage of the opportunities you might be given to be seen.” A lot of players get asked to move up by having good reputations amongst their teammates and by meeting people who can attest to their different talents and level of play.
Nolan Fogle has quite an impressive resume when considering all that he has accomplished both in his career and on the softball field. He is doing a lot of things right seeing as his career has lasted upward towards 30 years and he is still having a blast. The 2017 season will be one to remember as it was Fogles first year playing in the Men’s Major’s World Series and we can only imagine all that 2018 will have in store for him and his team. Fogle’s perspective in life is an admirable one. He emphasizes the importance of enjoying every moment and living day by day. In his closing statement, Nolan Fogle ended with a long- lasting thought. “I will enjoy every pitch, every at bat, every hit, every inning, everything about the game.” He confirms the idea that there’s not only a lot to be learned through life, but through a game’s perspective as well.
USSSA is headquartered in Brevard County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com.