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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • tg643
    replied
    To be honest, it couldn't have been much of a showcase if 82 was the 7th fastest time. The one's my son did there were more than seven kids hitting 90. You are right about pitching. My son's team would go to the eight game tournaments with fourteen pitchers. Trade is right about showcases opening eyes. Perfect Game showcases showed my son there are hundreds more similar in ability. It was then he got serious about differentiating himself from the pack and trained even harder.

    Leave a comment:


  • tradosaurus
    replied
    I like travel ball because it opens your eyes to a new world of baseball. I have seen some really good players and know that if my son continues in this sport he will have to work hard to compete for scholarships and hopefully a shot at the MLB.
    So your grandson should realize that he has some areas to improve to compete with the competition he witnessed.
    Also a coach should also realize that he should be bringing at least 6 good starters as well as middle relievers to compete at showcases.

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  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Showcase details:

    I don't know how many were in the showcase but I know they sent an email out that because of the amount of boys entered into the showcase they were not going to have opening ceremonies at the tournament.

    I think this is also the reason they only allowed the boys to throw 8 pitches with very limited warmup.

    Regardless, they got my boy at 82mph..... maybe that's his true speed but I've seen him clocked at 84mph over a year ago. But the gun doesn't lie. I know it takes him a long time to get warm but regardless that was his speed on that day.

    In his class (class of 2014) he was ranked 7th in velocity...... no idea how many were in it. I do know the goal is to make the top ten (if you care about stuff like that).

    Kinda disappointed in the showcase. First I didn't like the fact they only threw 8 pitches and only had a few minutes to get lose. Second I hoped his velocity would show at least 85mph. But again, that was his speed on that day so he will just have to work harder if he wants to improve.

    Travel season is over for now. With me working on my new job it's a nice break. Not sure when fall travel will start but we'll kick it up again.

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Update:

    The World Series is over. I don't have any stats or anything. I know our team was out of it on the first day once the pool was set. For some reason the coach decided he didn't want to waste one of his top pitchers in the first game of elimination so he pitched a boy that doesn't pitch and had already had his brains beat in the tournament. Nothing against the kid but he throws in the low to mid 70's with no movement and no off speed pitches and those kids just lit him up like a Christmas candle. The coach said "what was I supposed to do? Use one of my good pitchers early?" My reply was if you have to get a mother out of the stands to pitch in the championship game then at least you got to the game.

    I can see his thinking but I just disagree is all...... not mad about it or anything.

    Bottom line is our team was just out classed down there. We ran out of pitching the first day. You can't go into a bit tournament like that when you may play as many as 9 games in 5 days with three pitchers. You have to have several good pitchers to even compete.

    But our boys had fun and maybe they learned a thing or two.

    Will update in a following post on his showcase details.

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • Jake Patterson
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    Which World Series is this? When my son played USSSA there were sixteen World Series in their age group.
    Then it would only be 1/16th of a World Series :scholar:

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Originally posted by tg643 View Post
    Which World Series is this? When my son played USSSA there were sixteen World Series in their age group.
    All I know it is in Florida in Kissimmee (spelling).

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Which World Series is this? When my son played USSSA there were sixteen World Series in their age group.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    World Series Update

    They won their second game today. I don't have any details.
    So far they are 2 and 1 in the tournament and if it matters the game they lost was in extra innings.

    Pretty exciting so far....... wish I was there......

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    World Series Update:

    Don't have a lot of details but my boy's team played again today in the WS. He got the call to pitch. He pitched a shutout through five innings and for some reason when the 6th inning came along the coach put in another pitcher. We were winning 3 to 0 going into the 6th.

    Our team lost the game in extra innings.

    Like I said I don't have any details..... but for him to pitch a shutout through five down there against good competition has me very proud. Sorry that they lost but they are playing against some very good teams and they have nothing to be ashamed of. I hear the boys played hard.

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • HeinekenMan
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    My boy's travel team is going to be going down to Fl for the World Series. I'm not going to be able to go nor is my wife. I'm really going to miss not going but I start my new job Monday and its going to be impossible.

    I guess I'm kinda sad tonight. My boys games are winding down at 16 years old. Who knows how many more I'm going to get to watch him play.... I can say this...... baseball has been a wonderful gift to me and I wish every boy (and parent) could have half the joy I've had the past few years. There is so much crap in this world and baseball seems to simply life. Work hard do your best, respect your coach and be a good teammate. Goodness, if kids could learn those few things what a wonderful world it would be. Aww, I don't know how much my boy has learned about life from baseball but I know I've learned a lot.

    Maybe I'll never see little Sparks playing college or in the minor leagues. Who knows, come next year he might decide he's had enough of the game.......I really don't know. I do know I'm very proud of what he's done. For the most part he's a pretty good kid and I don't think it's because of me.....I really don't. I think baseball had a lot to do with it.

    I wonder if Abner Doubleday new what a special game he had invented? Did he have any idea how the game he created would mold kids and bind families? I wonder if he knew the joy he was giving millions of young boys and girls? The proud parents sitting in the stands?

    I doubt it..... he probably just saw a stick and hit a rock with it and liked the way it felt.

    Never the less this game of baseball has been a wonderful experience and all I can say is thank you Abner Doubleday.... thank you for the memories.

    Sparks
    Maybe he can help you write the book about this journey. You capture the emotion very well, and that turns pages.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Update:

    Got a call from my boy while I was at work. They won their first game against the team from Puerto Rico. He played SB and reports got back to me that he helped turn two double plays and and one was from what people tell me an amazing defensive play. He had to dive for a ball and jumped up and threw the runner out at 1st.

    He had three at bats with two walks and a strikeout.

    Boy was he excited to win that first game......I was happy for him too.

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • tg643
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    Update:

    My boy is down in FL at the World Series. Their first game is tomorrow morning. Sadly I have to work so I'll miss it. I think he and his team is in for a shock when they see the level of competition they'll face. I hope they have a lot of fun down there but I don't have a lot of hope that they will do all that well in the tournament.

    They had a showcase today. My boy called me and said it was a joke. I paid $41 for him to be in it. All they got to do was throw 8 pitches and that was it. To top it off they didn't even tell the kids how they did. They were supposed to get a shirt and they didn't get that either. I swear, there is just so much..... I don't know how to say it but just bull crap with people wanting money.

    Anyway, I'll update if I can on the progress.....

    Sparks
    You need to do your homework on showcases. Don't just throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jake Patterson
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
    ...I swear, there is just so much..... I don't know how to say it but just bull crap with people wanting money.

    Anyway, I'll update if I can on the progress.....

    Sparks
    Sparks, the unfortunate part is this will only get worse as the lines increase...

    BTW - Good luck tomorrow... Anything can happen in baseball.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    Update:

    My boy is down in FL at the World Series. Their first game is tomorrow morning. Sadly I have to work so I'll miss it. I think he and his team is in for a shock when they see the level of competition they'll face. I hope they have a lot of fun down there but I don't have a lot of hope that they will do all that well in the tournament.

    They had a showcase today. My boy called me and said it was a joke. I paid $41 for him to be in it. All they got to do was throw 8 pitches and that was it. To top it off they didn't even tell the kids how they did. They were supposed to get a shirt and they didn't get that either. I swear, there is just so much..... I don't know how to say it but just bull crap with people wanting money.

    Anyway, I'll update if I can on the progress.....

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparksdale
    replied
    My boy's travel team is going to be going down to Fl for the World Series. I'm not going to be able to go nor is my wife. I'm really going to miss not going but I start my new job Monday and its going to be impossible.

    I guess I'm kinda sad tonight. My boys games are winding down at 16 years old. Who knows how many more I'm going to get to watch him play.... I can say this...... baseball has been a wonderful gift to me and I wish every boy (and parent) could have half the joy I've had the past few years. There is so much crap in this world and baseball seems to simply life. Work hard do your best, respect your coach and be a good teammate. Goodness, if kids could learn those few things what a wonderful world it would be. Aww, I don't know how much my boy has learned about life from baseball but I know I've learned a lot.

    Maybe I'll never see little Sparks playing college or in the minor leagues. Who knows, come next year he might decide he's had enough of the game.......I really don't know. I do know I'm very proud of what he's done. For the most part he's a pretty good kid and I don't think it's because of me.....I really don't. I think baseball had a lot to do with it.

    I wonder if Abner Doubleday new what a special game he had invented? Did he have any idea how the game he created would mold kids and bind families? I wonder if he knew the joy he was giving millions of young boys and girls? The proud parents sitting in the stands?

    I doubt it..... he probably just saw a stick and hit a rock with it and liked the way it felt.

    Never the less this game of baseball has been a wonderful experience and all I can say is thank you Abner Doubleday.... thank you for the memories.

    Sparks

    Leave a comment:

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