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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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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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      • Great story Sparks... Keep em coming.
        I was fortunate enough to coach several teams like you describe above and there is nothing better.
        "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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        • 6 years

          Believe it or not this coming Thursday my boy will turn 16 years old.
          I stared this thread when he was 10. It's been a 6 year journey so far that has been full of joy and a lot of pain. It's hard to believe so much has happened since that day he played his first game.

          Once again I find myself a little down..... In all honesty I think I've let the little feller down. He turns 16 in three days and I just can't find a way to buy him a car. It seems all of his friends are pretty well off and it seems every one of them is getting a new car. Heck, I can't even get my boy a used one. He's given me so much these past few years and I've let him down again.

          But there is so much to be thankful for.....other than looking to the sky and thanking the big man himself I think I'd love to meet Alexander Cartwright and tell him thank you. The game of baseball has meant so much to me and my family and I can't imagine our lives the past 6 years if we hadn't had baseball. It's more than just a game... its a game of life that has helped me teach my boy many things. How to be a teammate and respect your coach and work hard. Although he's stumbled a few times these past few years he's still playing the game and loving it. Maybe that's one of the things I'm proudest of.... he still loves the game.

          I hope he will forgive me for letting him down.

          Someday I'll tell him about this thread and maybe he will be able to see this journey we've taken. And although I'm old school and find it hard to express my emotions maybe just maybe he will see how much I truly love him and thank him for making my life a pure joy.

          Sparks

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          • Sparks, after everything written in this thread, you are worried about not being able to get him a car? In the scheme of things this is a very small item, especially at 16. JMHO
            "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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            • Then and now

              This is a picture of him after he had first come to live with us.....he had been living with us for a couple of months and had actually gained a little weight. He weighed 49pounds as six year old and we were concerned about his health.

              levihealth.JPG


              Below is a picture of him after we won the State this past weekend.

              state10.JPG


              It has really been a wonderful journey this past six years.


              Sparks
              Attached Files
              Last edited by Sparksdale; 10-04-2011, 12:05 PM.

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              • Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                Sparks, after everything written in this thread, you are worried about not being able to get him a car? In the scheme of things this is a very small item, especially at 16. JMHO
                Uh, I think this kid has his head screwed on straight enough to not worry about maybe having to (a) borrow your car, or (b) ride with friends. If anything, I'm betting that he's more worried about how disappointed you might be feeling than he will about not having a car for himself. Kids have a pretty good sense of what the family's overall financial picture is, so he should not be surprised that a car for him is not in the works.... and so there's nothing to forgive because you can't afford it. It's not like you're a millionaire who is denying him a car simply out of spite. The conversation should be simple (but don't hold it on his 16th birthday): "You've probably guessed that a separate car for you isn't in the cards right now, but so long as you show yourself to be a responsible driver and keep your grades up, we can work out a system so that you can have access to a car when you need it."

                Ursa Minor is 17 and still doesn't have his license, and is not in any hurry to get it. (In California, he can't drive other minors around until after he's had his license for a year, so the motivation to get a license so as to be able to either take a girl out on a date or to horse around with friends does not exist. And we have BART, which will get him most places.) So, I've saved a bunch on car insurance and I don't have to worry about his driving and the risk of an accident. (Then again, I have to haul his lazy arse around more than I'd like.) And, of course, if he can drive in states where he's permitted passengers of the opposite sex, there's the risk of an entirely different sort of 'accident' , if you catch my drift. Frankly, you're better off that he doesn't drive so much.
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                • When I was a Senior. I got a part-time job bought a car... Thought I was a hot ticket being one of the few with a car and some money... Then I had to work more to buy the gas, insurance, fix the car, etc. School sports became impossible because of my hours - and had to quit. Clutch blew on the car and I had to make the choice between a clutch and the annual class trip to Washington...

                  I see the team and class trip pictures today and think "What and idiot."
                  "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.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                    When I was a Senior. I got a part-time job bought a car... Thought I was a hot ticket being one of the few with a car and some money... Then I had to work more to buy the gas, insurance, fix the car, etc. School sports became impossible because of my hours - and had to quit. Clutch blew on the car and I had to make the choice between a clutch and the annual class trip to Washington...

                    I see the team and class trip pictures today and think "What and idiot."

                    When I turned 16 my dad told me I could have any car that "I could afford". I was working at a grocery store at the time and I had saved up a little money.
                    I found a 1976 dodge dart parked in a guys front yard. I should have known something was up because the grass was grown up to around under it and came up to the doors. I paid him $100 for it and it smoked like crazy all the way home from burning oil. The best part is IT DIDN'T HAVE A BACK FLOOR BOARD.

                    It was ugly, it stunk and I figured it had maybe two months of running at best before it blew. But by George it was mine and it had a RADIO!

                    I drove it for a while and found another dodge dart that didn't run but I bought it for parts.

                    One day I came home from school and both cars was gone and so was the motorcycle I had had for a couple of years (a Honda 350). Dad apologized but told me he had to sell them to pay the power bill.

                    I guess I just want things better for my boy..... but everyone is having a tough time in this economy.....everyone.

                    ON the bright side my boy and his team got their picture in today's paper.

                    Also, we looked on the USSSA website and his team are the #1 ranked 16U team in the nation. Now that just pretty darn cool.

                    Sparks

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                    • Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                      When I was a Senior. I got a part-time job bought a car...
                      But, I think Model Ts were only $500 back then

                      /running
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                      • Well...... the boy got his license today.

                        Oddly enough it makes me sad. It was pretty tough to see him drive himself to school today.


                        Sparks

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                        • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                          Well...... the boy got his license today.

                          Oddly enough it makes me sad. It was pretty tough to see him drive himself to school today.
                          This reminds me of mine last year. Expect to see less of him now.
                          efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                          • New Year

                            It's been quite some time since I've posted, but baseball season started this week (practice). Hard to believe that my boy is now a Sophmore - since I began this thread . So much has happened down through the years, but it's been a wonderful journey.

                            To be honest this past few months have been very hard. My boy is driving now and I swear when he turned 16 it's like someone else has taken over his body. Oh, he's still a great kid and all that but he's definitely not my little boy anymore.

                            Like I said it's been pretty hard. He went weeks even months without speaking to me and God as my witness I have no idea why. You try to talk to him about it and he rolls his eyes in the back of his head. Amazing how he's 16 but I'm an idiot and I JUST DON'T GET IT.

                            As far as baseball goes he still loves the game but it doesn't seem the same.....at least so far. Right now he's so bent on driving and girls and stuff that that's pretty much all he can see. Yeah he loves baseball but it seems to be at a different level than in the past. All he wants to do is go to practice....he doesn't seem to have the desire inside himself to be the best (like he's had all his life). I get the feeling that it's just fine with him to be on the team. I can remember a time when he would not accept anything other than being the best player on the field.

                            Oh well...it's very very early and practice has just started. He may surprise me...... I sure hope so.

                            His coach gunned him and a few of the pitchers the other day...... he got my boy at 83mph which I was a little disappointed in. Last summer he was consistently throwing 81 to 82 so I had hoped he would have gained a little more.....but like I said the season has just started so he may get a little faster before the end of the year.

                            Right now he's still listed on the JV team and not the Varsity...... I found out why. His couch punished him because of something that happened and put him back on the JV for the time being. He's been told he's going to have to earn his way back to the Varsity again. I know what happened and I'm on my boys side of it but I still respect the coach so we will gladly live with the coaches decision and who knows... maybe that's just what my boy needs for motivation. The reason he was sent down was not baseball related and it was something that was beyond his control.

                            It's been kind of a tough time personally as well. I've given up my writing career and I'm now looking for work. I've not been able to find anything and it's getting frustrating.

                            But the season has started now and I'll try to post updates as often as I can as to my boys Sophmore year.

                            Sparks

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                              Right now he's so bent on driving and girls and stuff that that's pretty much all he can see.
                              Fumes Disease. It has been known to strike many a young man in their prime. It comes in at least two forms: Perfumes and GasFumes. In rare cases the smell of money can actually get a kid working, too.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JCincy View Post
                                Fumes Disease.
                                haha, good one. I had a bad case of this when I was young. The only cure is a mortgage.
                                Last edited by songtitle; 02-03-2012, 08:35 AM.
                                efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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