In recent years we have got more and more emails, letters and calls regarding information about our club. All of you ask about us, opponents, players, fields etc. This year we will try to do a number of interviews of Mustangs players. We would you to get to know the Mustangs better.
So the first interview is prepared by Marius Urbanavicius (MU), who’s interviewing one of the thinnest Mustangs, Richard Bibby(RB).
Interview held at Wide Lane Sport Ground, Sunday 8th January 2012 at 13:20, before the first Mustangs training session. Richard was in good shape and condition with a smile on his face.
MU: WHAT IS YOU FULL NAME?
RB: Richard Bibby.
MU: DO YOU HAVE A NICK NAME?
RB: Nickname. Yap, some of my friends on a team call me Trig. You can call me Richard. Somtimes I get called Bibb or Bibbs, but Trig is my real nickname. Phil Johnson came up with it. Have you seen the program “Only Fools and Horses”?
MU: No I haven’t.
RB: Don't you have it in Lithuania? (Marius is from Lithuania.)
RB: Oh I see, it’s funny, it’s a great show and you guys, you should really get it. Anyway there is a character called Trigger and he is really slow. He always gets the joke a couple of minutes after everyone else. Apparently that’s me. So that’s where it came from.
MU: DO YOU HAVE A BIRTHDAY?
RB: No, no birthday… I wasn’t born,… I just came into existence. (Laughs). My birthday is in August, 11th of August.
MU: DO YOU CELEBRAITE IT WEEKLY, MONTHLY OR ANNUALLY?
RB: (Is Marius trying to be funny?) I don’t celebrate it.
RB: It’s just another day isn’t it? Not a big date, not interested in birthdays.
MU: HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH?
RB: I don’t know.
MU: MORE OR LESS?
RB: I think it’s around about… do you understand imperial measurements? (Marius doesn't) I think I’m about 11 stones. Probably more now, 11 and a half.
MU: AND THIS IS BEFORE OR AFTER BREAKFAST?
RB: (Laughs loudly) Oh well, like I said Marius, I don’t know. I haven't weighed myself for awhile. I did have a big time in a toilet (Marius's euphemism) just about half an hour ago, so it might be closer to 11.
MU: HOW TALL ARE YOU?
RB: About 5’10".
MU: AGH, FINALLY YOU GROW UP.
RB: (Laughs loudly)
MU: HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU PLAYED BASEBALL?
RB: 2012 will be my 6th season, so my first season was 2007.
MU: AT THE BEGINNING, HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN BASEBALL?
RB: Don’t know really… It’s weird… I did… I use to watch a bit of baseball, before I came to University (Southampton University). But I didn’t really follow that closely or anything. I came to University and aaa... I always played cricket all my life. But I didn’t really want to join the University cricket team, I wanted try something a bit different and baseball just sort of came up, so I give it a go. And in couple of weeks, I loved it. And never looked back.
MU: WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXCITING MOMENT IN BASEBALL, AT THE BEGINNING?
RB: I remember my first play. Within 2-3 weeks of me starting baseball we had a student cup called the “DRUNKEN CUP”. I was playing third base, I remember my first play very well. I was a back hand stop, turn and throw to first base and it all worked. I thought 'WOOW… That was cool'. I think I messed up the next 3 or 4. But it still felt good.
MU: WHAT ATTRACTS YOU TO BASEBALL NOW?
RB: It’s a fair question Marius, I think it’s the team really… that I play with. Because there are other teams I could play for… much closer to where I live… and they have got just as good facilities and play at just as good a level and everything. But the guys I play with, some for 6 years, that keeps me coming back. Great spirit.
MU: WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST OR THE BEST IN BASEBALL: HITTING, FIELDING, MEETING WITH TEAM MATES OR...?
RB: I’m definitely more into my defense than hitting. I think I’m not like… I don’t like think, oh it’s great if you can make a… an amazing play kind of thing, cause I don’t do that very often. What makes me happy after playing baseball is if I haven’t messed stuff up! If I get three simple plays in a row and make them solidly, to me that’s what baseball about. It’s about consistently getting it right. Doesn’t happen very often.
MU: DO YOU HAVE ANY SUPERSTITIONS BEFORE GAMES?
RB: Not really. (There was one but it can't be published)
MU: YOU MENTIONED YOU PLAY CRICKET AS WELL. SO HOW DID YOU START CRICKET?
RB: Cricket, it’s just in my family, kind of thing. My dad introduced me to cricket, we all - me and my brother - both played since we were… I can’t remember… yap, it's a big part of my life... You should try it...
MU: Well one day maybe.
Mu: WHICH PART TAKES BASEBALL AND WHICH PART TAKES CRICKET IN YOUR LIFE?
RB: Er… well they are pretty equal to be honest. Most of the time in summer I play cricket on a Saturday, baseball on a Sunday. I kind of feel like I’m married to cricket. Cricket has been with me all of my life and it’s given me lots of great stuff through the years. But it can get a bit stale . So baseball is my mistress, the bit on the side, that keeps thing exciting. So without baseball, I wouldn't enjoy cricket as much. I play baseball, enjoy myself, and go back to cricket refresh.
MU: LAST SEASON, IN MY EYES YOU DID A GOOD JOB WITH HITTING. I WAS SURPRISED AND IMPRESSED WITH YOU. YOU IMPROVED FROM THE SEASON BEFORE, WAS THAT JUST LUCK OR DID YOU TRAIN MORE OR SOMETHING?
RB: I think, I have improved every season which you expect, because I've not been playing that long, so I should be improving. I think I changed my technique a little bit throughout the season. I guess I got lucky a few times too. I had a good season… a decent season… But what annoyed me is that I didn’t get enough hits with men on base and that kind of thing. I didn’t get enough RBI’s, I tend to get hits, then find myself stranded on base all the time. Or getting hits with no one on base. So that did frustrate me with my hitting last season. I hope to work on that. I get too anxious in those kind of situations. So yap, I think, I've got room for improvement.
MU: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM NEXT SEASON, DO YOU HAVE ANY TARGETS FOR IT?
RB: At the moment I’m in the training program for the GB under 23s. So my first target is, to make the squad, because there is tour of New England in the middle of the summer. So I'm aiming for that, at the moment. Obviously with the Mustangs, I think, our target has to be to make the final four again. I think we can do it and it would be great to get to the point where we just consistently get in the final four. Then people will start to say 'wow, it’s not just luck, they are doing pretty well'. And that’s where I’m aiming this season.
MU: I SAW YOUR GIRLFRIEND SUPPORTING YOU AT SOME GAMES. DO YOU GET A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM HER OR YOUR FAMILY?
RB: Well she likes baseball, to be fair. I think she does enjoy coming to watch it. My family are interested, they always ask me how it’s going, but they don’t bother to take all day to watch me. Which is fine, I kind of like that. It’s kind of my thing. I don’t want support from anybody, but it’s nice when she turns up. It puts more pressure on me though, Marius. When she’s there, even when there is no one on base it feels like bases loaded and two outs. With all the other attractive blokes on the team potentially getting her attention, you have to impress.
MU: WHAT DO YOUR FAMILY THINK ABOUT YOU IN BASEBALL?
RB: I think they are quite interested, but they don’t know anything about the sport really.
MU: AREN’T THEY JEALOUS, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT IN CRICKET?
RB: No, not at all. Because I still do play cricket. They're quite encouraging.
MU: HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU’LL PLAY BASEBALL?
RB: I'd like to think I’ll play for quite a long time. I mean, at the moment, I have got quite of spare time. My job doesn’t take too much time. I don’t have kids, not married, that kind of thing. So it's easy to say, yap, let’s turn up every Sunday. In a few years time, that might not be the case. And more to the point, probably my arm will fall to pieces in a few years and I'll have to give up. But I'd like to keep playing with the Mustangs.
MU: WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
RB: I work in London for BBC Worldwide. Royalty accounting. Pretty dull.
MU: WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS?
RB: Sport obviously, I like sport really… Don’t know, that’s it really… Books, I like books. I use to have a radio show which I might be bringing back.
MU: WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
RB: Go home, watch telly, that’s it.
MU: MY LAST QUESTION IS, WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TELL OR SUGGEST TO YOUR TEAM MATES?
RB: Ah… just don’t be shit guys. (Laughs loudly). Just continue to not be shit and we'll be OK. To be truthful I can’t really say anything to them… They are brilliant... They all try and they all get on with each other. I don't think you can ask for any more. So if you continue to do that, then I think we'll be OK.
So that’s our Bibbs guys. He wasn’t so fresh any more after the first training session, but still had a smile on his face.