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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • Our travel team won it's second tournament this past weekend.

    This is was the 4th tournament our team has played in since they started in the 16U group. My boy pitched for the first time in this tournament. Come to find out the coach didn't even know my boy was a pitcher. They asked him to be on the team because they needed a SS and a catcher. My boy just wanted to be on the team so he never told the coach he was a pitcher (I actually think he was a little scared to tell him).

    Well, I'm not hyping this up when I tell you about the team he had to pitch against. They were pounding every team they played and all of the boys on that team were huge and had great arms. My boy talked to one of them and he said they didn't even know each others name. I don't know how or who picked the boys to be on that team but obviously they were hand picked, which is fine of course.....that's part of travel ball.

    Anyway, my boy had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. He had not pitched in over 4 months and he simply dominated that group of boys who had been killing the ball all tournament. In the end he struck out 7 walked one. In the 6th inning he started to get tired and after walking one he hit two batters in a roll. Then he had 2 errors behind him and 4 unearned runs scored (all in the 6th inning).

    I have no idea how hard my boy was throwing but no body in that tournament threw harder than him. He talked to one of the boys on the "big" team and he told him that three of the boys on that team threw 85+ (it looked like it because they had impressive arms). If they were throwing 85mph then my boy was throwing 86. My little bushnell gun simply will not work on the big fields where the mound is so far away. Doesn't matter anyway because he was hitting his spots and pitched one of the best games he'd pitched in years.

    We pulled the game out though and won the championship!

    I had forgotten how much fun this travel ball is.

    Next weekend we travel and play in a state championship tournament.

    Sparks

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    • If I had a 2014 throwing 86, he would not be pitching for a fall team (unless it was East Cobb in July or Jupiter in Oct).

      I he can gain 4 mph, he will be visiting D1 schools next fall. If he gets hurt...

      You are very,very close.
      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                  • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                    Well, I'm not hyping this up when I tell you about the team he had to pitch against. They were pounding every team they played and all of the boys on that team were huge and had great arms. My boy talked to one of them and he said they didn't even know each others name. I don't know how or who picked the boys to be on that team but obviously they were hand picked, which is fine of course.....that's part of travel ball.

                    Anyway, my boy had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. He had not pitched in over 4 months and he simply dominated that group of boys who had been killing the ball all tournament. In the end he struck out 7 walked one. In the 6th inning he started to get tired and after walking one he hit two batters in a roll. Then he had 2 errors behind him and 4 unearned runs scored (all in the 6th inning).

                    I have no idea how hard my boy was throwing but no body in that tournament threw harder than him. He talked to one of the boys on the "big" team and he told him that three of the boys on that team threw 85+ (it looked like it because they had impressive arms). If they were throwing 85mph then my boy was throwing 86. My little bushnell gun simply will not work on the big fields where the mound is so far away. Doesn't matter anyway because he was hitting his spots and pitched one of the best games he'd pitched in years.

                    We pulled the game out though and won the championship!

                    I had forgotten how much fun this travel ball is.

                    Next weekend we travel and play in a state championship tournament.
                    Sparks:

                    I just picked up on this addition to the thread. Congratulations to the young man for his great tournament.



                    Now, put one of these pictures in a frame and put it next to your computer. The next time you're tempted to write a post along the lines of, "My boy is so discouraged/frustrated/depressed because he didn't do as well as he'd hoped or didn't get the recognition he'd hoped," look at the picture. Take a deep breath. Count your blessings. Then wait for the next occasion to boast.

                    Let us know how the state championship tournament goes.

                    Ursa
                    Last edited by Ursa Major; 09-30-2011, 02:45 PM.
                    sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                    • Ursa,

                      I don't know how you did it but thanks so much. I printed that picture off and put it in an 8x10 frame...... I love it.

                      Thanks again...

                      Sparks

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                      • Nicely done Ursa...
                        "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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                        • Got back from the State Travel Ball tournament a little while ago.....

                          As it turns out, and if any of you know about travel ball we had to play the best team in the Semi's on Sunday to get into the championship game. Its win or go home so teams can't save their best pitchers for the finals because if you don't win you don't make it to the finals.

                          Well, my boy was given the ball to pitch in this game.

                          HE FLAT OUR DOMINATED THEM. Wow... he was just incredible. He pitched the entire game struck out 9 batters and gave up three earned runs. I swear I think he would have struck out more but in the last two innings I guess they figured they couldn't hit him so they started bunting. Good for us of course because they were easy outs.

                          Anyway, WE WON THE STATE! Wow oh wow oh wow..... amazing.

                          Its such a great group of young men and not my boy or any single boy was the MVP. They all had to play well to win and they did.

                          Not sure what my boy hit but he had to have hit around .700 in the tournament. He only got out three times. Most of his hits were singles with one long double.

                          We had a great time.

                          Sparks

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                          • WOW!!! Fantastic Sparks, congratulations . . . makes for some wonderful lifetime memories.

                            I really enjoy reading thing like this . . .
                            Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                            Its such a great group of young men and not my boy or any single boy was the MVP. They all had to play well to win and they did.

                            We had a great time.
                            . . . win or lose . . . this is what it's all about.

                            So happy he and you are able to enjoy such happiness together, knowing all of the difficult obstacles that had to be overcome to get to where you're both today.


                            Great story, thanks for including us,
                            mud -
                            In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                            • Dang it all, Sparks! How in heck are we going to turn this story into a movie if he peaks at the beginning of his sophomore year?

                              Congrats to the kid and his team. Wish I'd been there to watch.... not him - I've seen dominating pitchers before. No, I wish I'd been there to watch you go crazy but try to hold it together. (Which is exactly what any of the rest of us would have tried to do in like circumstances.) Mazel tov!
                              sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                              • Ursa,

                                Man talk about yelling..... I'm not kidding I can't talk I'm horse right now.

                                I"m not sure we are the best team but I tell you our boys are special. I've never seen a group of baseball players like them. They truly all love each other and are like a group of brothers. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY complains about where they are playing or if they are playing or anything. It's amazing how they all pull for each other. It's really special to see these kids play.

                                Two of the mothers have cancer on our team and all our boys wore pink bands on their arms. I mean, these tough 16 year old kids wearing pink bands. But its just something they do and don't think twice about it.

                                Listen to this...... personally I was impressed. After my boy pitched I told him he struck out 9 batters and jokingly I said " just think how many you would have struck out if you had your fastball". I figure was a couple of miles off. This was his reply.... "I couldn't throw my best fastball for a strike so I just threw the best fastball that I could get for a strike, and kept them off balance with my curve". I don't know..... I just don't know many kids that have enough confidence to pitch in such a big game against such a good team and have the knowledge to know what he can and can't do on the mound. I've seen so many pitchers down through the years that if they can't get there best fastball over they just try to throw harder and harder....which of course is the last thing you want to do. He just concentrated on location and didn't have his best fastball and they still couldn't hit it.

                                Amazing time we had.... amazing.

                                Sparks

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