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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    More pictures from last night to put a face to the one this message board has been about for so many years.


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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Little Sparks got another save last night. Dropped his era to 2.03 with 14k's in 13 innings.

    Here is a picture of someone you may recognize. His son plays FB on our team.



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  • Jake Patterson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    Hey you know what? My little Sparks is a college baseball player. Isn't life wonderful!

    Sparks
    This is all that matters...

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  • Colonel21
    replied
    Originally posted by JettSixty View Post
    Sparks ... Your grandson is doing great. He's snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The baseball success is great. More important are his life choices. Choosing good friends and doing well in school is more important than baseball. As for the D1 dreams, just let baseball happen. Let it be his dream. The most important thing is to find a place to continue having a positive baseball experience regardless of the level. You don't want him bummed out if he ends up at a quality D2 or D3 program.

    There are very few right handed pitchers at the D1 level under six feet. The few tend to throw 90+. At my son's school this year the three shortest pitchers (of seventeen) are 6'0 and two 6'1's.
    But there is Hope though for the short guys. We watched Arizona State playe over Spring Break. They had a pitcher that is listed at 5'6". I believe he sat around 86mph on the gun. Topped out at 88 I believe. But your are right, it was odd seeing someone that short on the mound. When the coach came out to talk to them, you couldn't see him when surrounded by the infielders and coach.

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  • stkjock
    replied
    He playing some new fangled ball with four outs a inning?

    Sucks when the D kicks it.

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Well sparks had his first bad outing although I think it was what I call "just baseball".

    He came in to finish the last 1.25 innings of the game and we were down 5 to 0. He gave up 4 runs but only 1 was an earned run. His defense had 3 errors in 1 inning.

    His era has gone from 1.64 to 2.19. He has 13 k's in the 12 innings he has pitched.

    So on to the next game.

    Hey you know what? My little Sparks is a college baseball player. Isn't life wonderful!

    Sparks


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  • JettSixty
    replied
    A former teammate/friend's son was a starter on a 45-1 D3 national champion. No one in the family is upset he didn't play D1. There are a lot of very good players at the D3 high end. Many of them could have played D1. They chose the D3 for its academics and knowing they would start three or four years.

    In D1 10-15 studs are recruited each year to replace anyone who stumbles. My son's roommate went from freshman starter to soph platoon player to junior bench player to cut senior year.

    Do you know what happens at a D1 if the team ends up with 38 players? Three have to be cut. The roster limit is 35. Not that players 21-35 get on the field very often.

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Little League

    Jett

    You are right about size. I think he needs to get into the mid 90's to move up and don't think he'll make it.

    He has 3 very good pitches FB, CB and change up. Most pitchers I've seen that throw hard is they seldom have 3 solid pitches.

    His coach was a pitcher in mlb and I asked little Sparks if his pitching coach has taught him a new pitch. He said no. His coach told him he has 3 good pitches and doesn't need another.

    Still size is an issue and few smaller players break through.

    Sparks


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  • JettSixty
    replied
    Sparks ... Your grandson is doing great. He's snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The baseball success is great. More important are his life choices. Choosing good friends and doing well in school is more important than baseball. As for the D1 dreams, just let baseball happen. Let it be his dream. The most important thing is to find a place to continue having a positive baseball experience regardless of the level. You don't want him bummed out if he ends up at a quality D2 or D3 program.

    There are very few right handed pitchers at the D1 level under six feet. The few tend to throw 90+. At my son's school this year the three shortest pitchers (of seventeen) are 6'0 and two 6'1's.

    Leave a comment:


  • SJS
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    Update:

    Little Sparks has truly impressed. Every change I hoped college/baseball would offer him has happened and far far more.

    He's has turned his life completely around. He has bought into his coach hook line and sinker. He has all A's in his classes and most important has made a new set of friends (teammates) instead of the kids he hung around with the past few years.

    I can't begin to post here the positive changes in his life but I am very very proud of him.

    His goal is to improve and go to a D1 school. I think he'll make it.

    Sparks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I first read this thread (over a couple of days) about 2 years ago. The end of the thread at that time was sort of depressing. Maybe we're just conditioned to expect Hollywood style happy endings.

    And somewhere, out of nowhere, the happy ending is happening. Thrilled for you and your boy Sparks.

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Little League

    Update:

    Little Sparks has truly impressed. Every change I hoped college/baseball would offer him has happened and far far more.

    He's has turned his life completely around. He has bought into his coach hook line and sinker. He has all A's in his classes and most important has made a new set of friends (teammates) instead of the kids he hung around with the past few years.

    I can't begin to post here the positive changes in his life but I am very very proud of him.

    His goal is to improve and go to a D1 school. I think he'll make it.

    Sparks


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    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Update;

    Sparks had a sore shoulder so the coach sat him the past couple of weeks. The games he has played since he came back he is doing well.

    It's a little past mid season and he has earned the spot of #1 closer. So far he has an era of 1.64 and 10 k's in the 11 innings he's pitched.

    Please read my next post for a great update.


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  • chief2791
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    He also told me his coach told him he got a call from the baseball coach at Clemson asking about little Sparks.
    Monte Lee is an outstanding baseball coach and person.

    Glad things are going well Sparks!

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  • songtitle
    replied
    So good to hear this. Isn't college baseball fun?

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Update: things are going well. His coach has made him the closer.
    Yesterday they played at a perfect game stadium in Georgia. Little Sparks pitched the final inning striking out 2, gave up a single and a groundout. No walks or runs. He said they had a radar gun on the scoreboard and his fastball was sitting at 86 to 87. His curveball was 76 to 77 and his changeup was 73.

    He also told me his coach told him he got a call from the baseball coach at Clemson asking about little Sparks.

    So far on the season he has 10 k's in 10 innings pitched with an era at 1.80.

    Sparks


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    Leave a comment:

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