Yusef Davis Heads Down Under To Hone His Fastpitch Skills

Written by Bob on December 30th, 2016

Yusef Davis Jr., reaches up and slaps a high rise ball off BC A’s pitcher Gregg Garrity and reaches safely on an infield single. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 SCIFL Tournament

LONG BEACH, Calif. – For many people, their Christmas wish-list is often filled with requests for material things: like an iPhone 7, a car, or new clothes and jewelry.

Just like the rest of us, 22-year-old Yusef Davis appreciates the finer things in life, too.

But the young man from Long Beach wanted more than material things. And he got his Christmas wish and then some with a trip “Down Under” to expand his fastpitch softball horizons.

For the past few years, Davis has played with Those Guys of Long Beach – a NAFA A-Major ranked team – but he shot up in the fastpitch world last season by playing for the International Softball Congress major level New York Peligro Gremlins.

He had what may be one of the best first games by a first-timer in the history of the ISC World Tournament when he went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run in Peligro’s first-round win; and Davis finished the world tournament batting a reputable .375.

His 2016 dossier also includes helping the Beaumont Coyotes finish fourth in the NAFA World Series A Division, earning an All-World plaque for his efforts.

Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

Not one to rest on his laurels, Davis started early making plans for the 2017 season. A big part of which was signing on with the New York Gremlins, one of the elite club teams in the sport that finished third in the 2016 world tournament.

But playing for one of the best teams in the sport embodies some responsibility: raising his game to the highest level possible. With that in mind, what better than to hone one’s skills in a country known for producing some of the best teams and players in the world? New Zealand.

So with the Kiwi season underway, Davis will board a plane in a few days and fly to Auckland to play for the Waitakere Bears that compete in the Auckland Fastpitch Championship.

This all came about through talking with Kevin Castillo, a USA national team player and friend, along with Eru Drage, who plays for the Bears.

In preparing for this exciting trip, Davis has been training on his speed and footwork, and by spending hours in the batting cage.

“The Waitakere Bears offered me a chance to travel and play with their team,” said Davis. “I want to get better at the plate, learn the game even more, and be able to contribute to the Gremlins’ hopes of winning an (ISC) world title. I (also) hope to grow as a person seeing a different side of the world.”

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