A guide to flipping your bat and making no excuses, with softball superstar Samantha Show
There may not be a better practitioner of the bat flip right now than softball superstar Samantha Show.
We're HERE for the Samantha Show bat flip 😤 pic.twitter.com/Mf0a6zpRhN— espnW (@espnW) May 17, 2019
Show, 22, took the internet by storm this spring -- knocking dingers out of the park and flipping her bat with wild abandon. She helped her Oklahoma State Cowboys to a 45-17 record and College World Series bid.
But, back to her bat flips, we wanted to know more about those. How does she do it? What goes through her head? How does she deal with the backlash from opposing teams and social media? Read her guide below, and please do try your own bat flip at home.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Samantha. We love bat flips at Cut4 and loved seeing yours this year. Can you kind of take us through your mindset of hitting a home run and bat flipping and how that all comes together?
Typically, the ball has to be way out. When it's happened in the past, the ball clears [the fence] by about 50-75 feet. I don't really know what happens next? I don't practice it, I don't plan it. Whatever emotions are going on inside me, that's kinda what the bat does. It tumbles a lot, or I flip it, or I toss it in the air. None of the bat flips have actually been the same, which I think is pretty cool. It's just the emotion that's coming out in me. I don't really know what else to do with the emotion. It just kind comes out through my bat.
So, it's not really planned at all. It's just all reaction?
Oh, absolutely. Can't plan that stuff.
Farther it goes, the bigger the bat flip?
Yeah, depends on the situation as well. Like, that second [home run] against Florida that put us up. The huddle before that, we were just talking about how we needed one run, and we're gonna win the game. The emotion there -- basically just tomahawking my bat into my dugout.
The bat flip can depend on when and where it's hit.
Is there an art to it?
I mean, a little bit. I don't think any of mine have really been artistic? If you watch some of the MLB players, I mean, they'll finish with one hand. That's one thing I haven't done yet that I would love to do. I've gotten some inspiration from watching Major League players.
Who are they? Any role models in the softball or baseball world?
Marcus Stroman for the Toronto Blue Jays. That's someone I follow on Twitter. He's someone that's worked really hard and overcome a lot of obstacles and negative things said about him. My friend Jacob Barfield (an independent league player) was a big influence. I always tried to be like him in the box -- unapologetic. Recently, he said he's now trying to be like me.
Obviously, Tim Anderson. [Critics] don't like him and he still continues to do what he does.
Along those lines, what do you say to a team who might be upset about your bat flips? Or a pitcher who might be upset?
Everybody has a right to their own opinion. I'm not gonna change who I am to please the people who don't like it. If they don't like it, they don't have to watch it. My team supports me 100 percent. I don't need approval from anybody else. I have my team, my fans and my family and that's all I need.
What about any backlash on social media?
I just have to stay away from it. Honestly, I use Twitter for laughs and entertainment. If people wanna go on there and talk trash about a 22-year-old girl who's going out there and living her dreams, those people have bigger problems. I just take it with a grain of salt and focus on the positives.
THE WORLD SERIES NEEDS PLAYERS LIKE SAMANTHA SHOW!— Lauren Chamberlain (@LChamberlain44) May 30, 2019
Do you think bat flips make the game more fun? What do you say to kids who are wondering if it's something they should do?
It's hard for me to wanna say that eight-year-olds should be bat-flipping, but the message I have is to be yourself. As a girl, if you don't wanna wear your hair up in a ponytail and wanna wear it down to express yourself, then that's what you should do. If you are dropping bombs at eight or 10 years old, and you wanna bat flip, go ahead.
It's just getting the message out there to be yourself and to play as yourself and to have fun. To do it for the person, for your teammate, next to you. That's the message I want to get across. I've had so many people tag me in videos of them bat-flipping and that's awesome. As long as that's who they want to be, that's all I want.
So, I'm guessing you won't ever stop flipping your bat?
Right. In our Scrapyard summer season (a Texas pro softball team), we're playing USA National Team pitchers like Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, Danielle Lawrie. I'm interested to see, if it happens -- it has to happen first -- how are they gonna respond? Are they gonna throw one near my ear hole next time?
But yeah, I'm definitely not gonna restrain from anything. I can't hold the bat flip back.
Matt Monagan is a writer for MLB.com. In his spare time, he travels and searches Twitter for Wily Mo Peña news.