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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Originally posted by stejay View Post
    I really don't know....I didnt do the math...A website did it, when I put in my accurate stats...I really haven't noticed till now tbh
    It looks like your numerator and denominator were backwards.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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    • Originally posted by Harley View Post
      Stejay, How in the world can you have a batting average and an OBP OVER 1.000?:noidea
      Originally posted by stejay View Post
      I really don't know....I didnt do the math...A website did it, when I put in my accurate stats...I really haven't noticed till now tbh
      Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
      It looks like your numerator and denominator were backwards.
      Or when you entered your "accurate stats", you may have entered all of your hits and then entered how many doubles, triples, and home runs you hit in the separate boxes/spaces provided. This will mess up the numbers BIG TIME, as the computer/website re-adds those extra base hits in to the calcs and you've basically given yourself a bunch of extra hits and total bases . . . I made that mistake once and it took me forever to figure out how I had messed things up . . . :noidea

      You may want to go back and double-check your numbers/entries . . .
      In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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      • This afternoon we will have the big season ending "Championship Game". Our school hosted a tournament at the end of the season and the two final teams standing are us and our cross town rivals. Our rivals have only lost one game all season and have pretty much dominated every team they've played.

        We will not know until the game if my boy will start (pitching) or not. It will either be him or the other Ace on our staff. Either way both of them should have a good showing in the big game.

        Sad to see the season end but excited to be able to have a chance to play the best team in our area and probably in the state.

        Sparks

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        • We lost our big game tonight. The coach didn't pitch my boy....not sure why but I guess he had his reasons. He's one of the best coaches my boy's ever had and he helped us have a great year.

          Our 8th grade team broke the school record for most wins. It's a pretty big honor for my boy to be a part of the best middle school team in the history of our school. I would like to think he was a big part of it as well.

          His season ending numbers are as follows.
          Hitting....he hit a respectable .368
          OB% .505
          ERA: 2.10 (I would like to add that my boy was called on to pitch against all the top teams. We had several teams in our area that he could have pitched against and made his ERA much lower. So his ERA of 2.10 is a true number against top teams. I'm very very proud of that.) He pitched 30 innings gave up 9 earned runs and struck out 38 batters and walked 13. He had 5 wins and 1 loss.

          I think he had his best year ever and I believe he realizes what he needs to work on (which I like the most). He struck out way to many times this year (19) and almost every time it was on a called 3rd strike. It's just something he got to doing this year and just couldn't seem to get out of it. Never the less he had a great year, had a lot of fun and was part of a great team.

          Sparks

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          • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
            We lost our big game tonight. The coach didn't pitch my boy....not sure why but I guess he had his reasons. He's one of the best coaches my boy's ever had and he helped us have a great year.

            Our 8th grade team broke the school record for most wins. It's a pretty big honor for my boy to be a part of the best middle school team in the history of our school. I would like to think he was a big part of it as well.

            His season ending numbers are as follows.
            Hitting....he hit a respectable .368
            OB% .505
            ERA: 2.10 (I would like to add that my boy was called on to pitch against all the top teams. We had several teams in our area that he could have pitched against and made his ERA much lower. So his ERA of 2.10 is a true number against top teams. I'm very very proud of that.) He pitched 30 innings gave up 9 earned runs and struck out 38 batters and walked 13. He had 5 wins and 1 loss.

            I think he had his best year ever and I believe he realizes what he needs to work on (which I like the most). He struck out way to many times this year (19) and almost every time it was on a called 3rd strike. It's just something he got to doing this year and just couldn't seem to get out of it. Never the less he had a great year, had a lot of fun and was part of a great team.

            Sparks
            Any summer ball???
            "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
            - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
            Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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            • Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
              Any summer ball???
              Yes. Again, we fell into a stroke of luck. The coach that coached my boys last All Star has agreed to coach the team for the summer. He's an incredible coach and from what I gather was one of the best players our area has ever had play. He was drafted by the Dodgers but took a football scholorship to Auburn. I think he played baseball back in the 60's around here and his grandson is one of our best players on our team.

              When he coached our All star a couple of years ago he took a below average team and made them much better and we finished 3rd in the state that year. He has a gift for teaching young kids.

              We are looking forward to summer ball but I have to say playing school ball was about as much fun as we've ever had.

              Sparks

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              • Summer Ball

                We've started playing summer ball....our first game is this weekend. We have some crazy rule up here (not sure if it's this way everywhere) but our school coaches aren't allowed to coach the summer ball team. Anyway most of our boys are playing and we are looking forward to summer ball. My boy is going to play on two teams....one rec ball team and his school team. Most all the kids are doing the same thing so we should have a fun summer full of baseball.

                Later this month our team (and all the summer school teams) are going to get the chance to play at our local college baseball team. Our college team is usually one of the top teams in the nation and they have an amazing field. It will be a blast for our kids to get to play on their field and we are all looking forward to it.

                Sparks

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                • We played our first summer games today. My boy caught the first game and pitched the second game.
                  He had a pretty good day, he hit a solid stand up tripple and went 3 for 6 hitting.
                  Pitching he had a good day but it was one of those days. He pitched three innings and had his best stuff but gave up 2 hits on just plain stupid pitches. The two hits he gave up were on 0 and 2 pitches when it was clear the batters couldn't touch his fastball and he put a curve right down the middle belt high and of course the kids hit it. Just things like that that my boy has to learn. He gave up 3 unearned runs on 2 hits in three innings.

                  Also he hit a personal best of 77mph on his fastball. The ball just jumps out of his hand and with is 5'6" frame I don't think hitters can believe he throws as hard as he does until they step into the box.

                  A funny story that happened today. When my boy hit his tripple the kid playing 3rd base ask him if he was going to pitch the next inning. My boy asked him why....he said "because, you throw so hard I'm scared to bat".

                  We won both our games but they weren't pretty. The two teams we played weren't very good and we had to fight like crazy to beat them. Our team seems to have a good bit of rust right now but boy they are really having a lot of fun playing.

                  Till next time,
                  Sparks
                  Last edited by Sparksdale; 05-08-2010, 11:28 PM.

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                  • Quick update:

                    So far this summer my boys team is 9 and 0 in summer baseball. We've pretty much dominated every team we've played and few of the games have been close.

                    I would like to say this....these teams are 13 and 14 year old kids and to be honest I'm surprised at the level of talent that I'm seeing this summer. I don't think our team has played their best yet we are beating most teams by 12 runs or more. What I mean is this....I'm surprised that kids around here who are 13 and 14 year old aren't very good. I'm seeing kids that can't do the very basics like catch a simple pop-up or get a slow grounder. This just isn't one or two teams it's many of the teams we've faced. I'm not talking about a few errors now and then because that happens but you can tell when a kid just doesn't know how to play the game and I'm seeing a lot of that.

                    Its no surprise that we are undefeated so far this year....we really haven't played a good team yet but the kids are having fun.

                    This weekend we have a huge "fun" event. Many of our local teams get to play at our local college on their field. Man what a blast that will be for our kids to play on a great college field.

                    Sparks

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                    • Sparks, 13-14 y/o summer ball is a tough time, 'cuz you'll still have parents who think that it's a cool way to give their kid something to do for the summer, even though he may not have played serious ball for some time. That's fine as far as it goes -- it's a great way to keep kids in the game and doing something "team oriented" during the summer. And it may give the more skilled kids a chance to do something that they hadn't done as much on their more competitive teams -- Ursa Minor was on just such a team last year and got a ton of time on the mound and behind the plate. But, you'll wind up with these disparities both within a team and between teams.

                      Sounds like your team's manager needs to go out and find some better competition to play against, or your boy and his teammates may not learn a whole lot.
                      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                      • Ursa

                        Ursa it's always great to hear from you.

                        As far as playing better teams I'm afraid we just don't have any other options. This is "school" summer ball so we are playing other schools around our area. There is talk of maybe getting our kids to play in a travel tournament but that is "iffy" at this point.

                        I am really excited about one thing....our school had a meeting the other day with all the baseball parents. Starting next week our school is going to have a "summer baseball workout program". This is above and beyond playing. It will be four days a week for 3 hours a day. I'm told they are going to do arm training developed by Dr. Andrews and they are also going to do speed and agility training. This will all be done under the supervision of the coaches. I kid you not, this is the kind of stuff we've paid our boy to take down through the years. I love love love the arm training that they are going to do and I'm excited to see what its all about. A couple of years ago my boy was a member of a speed training clinic and I know how great that is.

                        Here is my opinion on this......I think the HS coaches (and AD) know what kind of players they have down here in the 8th grade. Our team broke our school record for most wins and blew away the ERA and batting titles from former teams. Our school has a long history so his is a pretty big deal around here. I think our school/coaches feel that we have the potential to have a team that can go to the state in a couple of years and I believe they are doing all they can to get our boys ready. Also they fired the head HS coach a couple of weeks ago. Rumor is they are going to do what it takes to get a great coach with a history of winning.

                        Good to hear from you and keep me updated about your boy as well.

                        Sparks

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                        • We lost our first game of the summer tonight.

                          We had a team come into town that was also undefeated so it was going to be a good game. We were told before the game that 5 of the players on the other team were JV players. It's a very small school and it seems they don't have enough kids for a 7th and 8th grade team so half of the team is made up of 9th and 10th graders (our boys are 8th grade with a couple of 7th graders).

                          Anyway we played a double header. My boy pitched the first game and we won it. The second game we lost 6 to 3.

                          It was fun playing those kids. They had wonderful coaches and well coached kids and you could tell that the kids on both sides enjoyed playing each other. Even though both teams were undefeated all of the kids really had fun.

                          Like I said the team we played was from a very small 1A school but man they had some ball players on that team.

                          My boy hadn't picked up a ball or a bat for almost a week. He went to the beach on summer vacation for 4 days and I was concerned that he might have an "off" night tonight. Well, before the game I noticed him warming up (soft toss). The ball was freaking jumping out of his hands. I went down there and asked him how his arm felt and he just replied "fine". I told him I could tell just from soft toss that he was going to have his best fastball. I never gun him when he pitches to a batter but sometimes I try to gun him on a couple of pitches in between innings. The coach was catching him (waiting on the catcher to gear up) and my boy tossed a pitch in at 74mph and I could tell he put "nothing" on that pitch. I have no idea what he topped out at tonight. I've clocked him at 77mph before but I think he beet that tonight.

                          When he was batting the catcher asked him how old he was and my boy told him 14 going into the 9th grade. Then he asked how hard he threw, my boy told him he's hit 77mph before. The catcher told him he's never seen someone his size throw so hard (my boy is 5'5"). Funny, my boy hit a standing double and when he got to second base the SS asked him the same thing.

                          Sad that we lost our first game of the season but it was still a fun night to play with some great kids.

                          Sparks

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                          • Sparks... thanks for the news. Glad to hear your kids got some competition. If you aren't ever losing, you aren't scheduling tough enough opponents. Summer ball isn't about the W/L record. Our team played five games last weekend and lost them all by small margins (but UM played in only two, so you can't blame him ), but everyone got some responsibility and had his moments, so there's nothing much to complain about.

                            One of the nice things about these lower-pressure games is that the kids can -- as you describe -- compare notes and candidly express admiration for an opponent's achievments. Kids should realize that -- whatever else you may think about your opponents in the heat of battle -- they remain fellow members of the baseball community, which gets ever more exclusive as they get into high school.

                            I'm not surprised that your boy had the ball hopping out of his hand after the layoff. One of the mysteries of youth baseball is that a layoff -- and a week sounds about right -- sometimes allows the mind, body and baseball mojo-chromosomes to rest and re-configure themselves and somehow come together to produce even better results than before.
                            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                            • Summer ball is winding down with just a few games left.
                              It's been a winning season for our team.....so far we've only lost one game and the kids have really had a lot of fun.

                              We have about 3 players on our team that are getting close to hitting a ball over. I don't know about where you guys live but our 8th graders play on high school fields and none of our boys have hit one over. My boy got as close last night as he's ever gotten. There is a competition on our team on which one of our boys are going to be the first to hit one over. Most of the fields we play on are around 370ft dead center and on average about 330 down the lines. So for one of our boys to hit one over they're really going to have to get a great hit. My boy is still only 5'5" and I just don't think he's grown enough yet but boy he wants to hit one over so bad he can't stand it.

                              The school has started a summer workout for our team. It's mostly strength and conditioning. After only one week I can tell it's doing wonders for him. It's an 8 week training workout series so I'm anxious to see how he is after the 8 weeks. After only one week I could tell the bat seemed lighter in his hands and his swing looked a little quicker.

                              Anyway, he's already sad that summer ball is almost over. He told me last night that he wants to play more this summer. But I'm thinking the time off may be good for him. I don't want him to burn out and maybe a little time away will refresh him.

                              Till next time.....
                              Sparks

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                              • Yesterday during summer workouts the high school varsity coach came and talked to my boy.
                                He invited him to the varsity practice this week. I talked with the coach and he said he wanted to get a look at my boy that he had been hearing about him.

                                I'm not sure what will happen. I can tell you this, my boy and "we" are excited (and nervous).
                                We are a 6A school so it's pretty rare for a 14 year old to make the varsity team. Again, this doesn't mean my boy will be on the varsity team but its really nice that someone thinks enough about him for him to be able to practice with the varsity team.

                                I'm also anxious to see talent level of the varsity kids and how much farther along they are...

                                Sparks

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