Todd Erickson Holds Guinness Book of World Records For Longest Recorded Hit Softball – 576 Feet
By Maria Sonnenberg // May 3, 2017
Space Coast Sports Hall Of Famer
ABOVE VIDEO: Todd Erickson – 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame
2017 AMATEUR INDUCTEE
DEFEATED CANSECO BROTHERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Not many of us can say we hit a ball further than former Major League baseball player Jose Canseco, four-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award and an athlete that averaged 40 home runs for every 162 games. Todd Erickson can.
Responding to a Twitter challenge, Erickson beat not just Jose, but also his baseball-playing twin, Ozzie, in Ocala on the long softball distance.
The Palm Bay resident credits the Cansecos with helping him reach that achievement by providing him with good pointers on hitting and the mental approach necessary to push his limits.
Erickson could arguably be the best softball player in the world, considering that he should hold the world record at 576 feet for the longest batted ball, a feat many people can’t wrap their minds around.
Not bad for someone who didn’t play any sports during high school and who currently doesn’t play professionally or even in a recreational league.
His journey into the record books began in the Navy.
“I just play a tournament here and there,” he said. “I started playing softball midway through my Navy term,” he said.
Most sailors join the Navy to see the world. Erickson on the other hand, saw plenty of softball fields.
When a fellow sailor asked him to join the team he was starting and Erickson ended up hitting a towering shot, the Navy provided Erickson with that “lightbulb” moment when he realized reaching the heights and lengths of the long softball was to be his mission in life.
When asked what his favorite softball field is, Erickson does not hesitate: the field at Naval Station Bremerton.
Although he didn’t participate in sports before his military career, there must have been a latent love of the game in Erickson’s psyche, because to this day he considers his best sports-related gift the tickets to a Major League Baseball game he received as a kid.
HEADING FOR 600 FEET?
Erickson is more than a softball-hitting phenom; he is a softball-hurling demon.
His arms could conceivably be classified as weapons of mass destruction, because when he launches a softball, it becomes a missile that at speeds of more than 120 miles an hour would wreak havoc to scoreboards and lightposts, were it not for the fact that these round rockets fly over them with seemingly the greatest of ease. You don’t want to be anywhere near the path of an Erickson softball.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, the slugger is big, but not huge, yet he regularly hits softballs more than 500 feet.
He considers himself a work in progress, so he practices, practices, practices, taking as many as 500 swings each week, as much as his day job will allow.
Since he has mastered the 500-foot range, he is heading towards 600 feet, and given his intensity and passion for the sport, he is sure to achieve it, and probably very soon.
“I’m pretty certain I can hit over 600 feet,” said Erickson.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced, Induction Ceremony Set May 12
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame selection committee announced Thursday an impressive array of outstanding individuals to be inducted into the 2017 Class of the Hall of Fame.
Dozens of nominees were considered for the 2017 class in four categories including professional sports, college sports, high school sports and amateur sports.
Special honorary recognition will also be bestowed upon individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to sports on the Space Coast.
Space Coast Daily created the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, and has so far inducted more than 100 of Brevard County’s most outstanding athletes, coaches and sports personalities.
Serving on the committee are Space Coast Daily President & Publisher Tom Palermo, Vice President Giles Malone, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo, Managing Editor Zach Clark, Assistant Editor Alan Zlotorzynski, local youth sports advocate and promoter Mike Cadore, Friday Night Locker Room Founders Steve Wilson and Orville Susong, former Health First COO Larry Garrison, Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight and AAU Vice President Rusty Buchanan.
“The list of inductees for 2017 induction include athletes and coaches everybody knows – and some that may have been forgotten with the passing of time,” said Tom Palermo.
INDUCTION GALA & SPORTS AWARDS SET FOR MAY 12
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Sports Awards will be held Friday, May 12 at the Cocoa Beach County Club.
The festivities include a meet and greet with the area’s sports royalty, dinner and the induction proceeding which includes compelling video tributes of each of the inductees.
The 2017 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the 2017 High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, are sponsored by Community Credit Union, First Choice Medical Group, SOAR, Clear Choice Health Care, BioCellular Therapies, Savings Safari, Spectrum Sports, Friday Night Locker Room, Dr. Sangiv Patel, Dr. Mark Pinsky and Rock Paper Simple..
FOR INFORMATION about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, or to make a reservation, e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com or call 321-615-8111.
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Tim Wakefield talks about his induction into the first class of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2017
• PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Joe Kohlbrand, Football; and Cory Philpot, Football
• COLLEGE CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Jason Arnold, Baseball; Michael Coffey, Bowling; Reggie Hannah, Basketball; Paige Kearns, Swimming; and Charles Wilson, Football.
• PREP CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Kristen Gordon, Softball; Ray Herring, Jr. Football; Katie Jackson, Soccer; and Hunter Pingston, Football.
• AMATEUR/REC CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Richard Chapman, Little League; Todd Erickson, Softball; Al Genchi, Youth Soccer; and David Kilgore, Running.
• COACHING CATEGORY INDUCTEES: Skip Arrich, Soccer; Tom Dooley, Baseball; Chuck Keener, Tennis; Steve Lamontagne, Golf; and Mike Soliven, Basketball.
• SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INDUCTEES: Jeff Carr, Eastern Florida State College; and Steve Englehart, Florida Tech.
• LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEES: Linda Anderson, Athletic Director; and Les Stafford, Volunteer
• SPORTS OFFICIALS INDUCTEES: Neely Dunn and Bob Walton.
• SPORTS JOURNALISM INDUCTEES: Hillard Grossman.
• SPORTS AMBASSADOR AWARD INDUCTEE : Gary Gregory, PAL Boxing.
• CHALLENGER AWARDS INDUCTEES: Brevard Special Olympics – Coach Cindy Dropeski, Athlete Chuck Conway and Volunteer Kathi Madden.
• TEAM OF THE YEAR: Cocoa High School 2016 Football State Champions.
• SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Jim Grimes, Basketball, Eastern Florida State College
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MEMBERS OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME