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  • #76
    Well, my boy played with the 12 and 13 yr old's tonight. We really had a great time and I enjoyed sitting in the stands cheering him on. He had a very good game. He played center field and one of the players on the other team hit a high fly ball to center... when I tell you the ball was high...man it was a mile high. My boy caught it and threw into second base and held the runner on second. I can tell you this, there aren't many of the 10 year olds in my area that would have caught that fly ball.

    He also batted twice. He fouled out once and hit a hard grounder to short and was thrown out at first. The 12 and 13 year old pitchers threw..man they threw lights out hard. Much much harder than he has ever seen before. I watched him in the batters box and he didn't back out of the box one single time. He had what I consider two very good at bats against the best pitcher he has ever faced in his young life.

    So in the end we had a great time and he played a very good game. Of course he wasn't the best player or anything but tonight did prove one thing....at least to me. It proved to me that at 10 years old he can not only play with the 12 and 13 year olds but he can play at their level and compete with the older boys.

    Oh, regarding the rule about not allowing a player to play on two LL teams. I understand that rule and I agree with it but I live in a pretty small town. Teams around here will allow a younger player to play with the older kids if the other team doesn't have enough players. Tonight the team my boy played on only had 8 player (counting him) so if he hadn't played there wouldn't have been a game. No body wants that so we have to relax the rules on occassion. The other team doesn't mind a 10 year old player playing against an older team so no body is hurt and the kids get to play the game and have fun.

    When the game was over the coach gave my boy the game ball and told him he played a great game. You should have seen the smile on my boys face..money can't buy that. I think he played far better than any of us thought he would. He wasn't the least bit nervous, as a matter of fact he wanted the ball hit to him and he couldn't wait to bat against the other pitcher that was throwing so hard.

    LL baseball just might be the most fun on planet earth. Watching these kids play is a joy and I can't imagine anything better than this. Life is good, very good.
    Last edited by Sparksdale; 05-18-2006, 09:00 PM.

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    • #77
      Sparks, thanks for the update. I'm a big believer that, in most things in life, you learn more by working or playing with people "better" than you than you do by being the stud of a weaker "team".

      It's been tough for my son, because, with a July 28th birthday (and a bit slow to physically develop), he's missed the cutoff to stay at lower levels in his Pony League er .... league by three days. So, he's been at a physical disadvantage sometimes almost as pronounced as the one your son faced in his game. Last year, he played his first year of "Bronco ball" (11/12 y/o) and had only three hits all season (but led the league in walks, so his OBP was still .380). Still, he made the season-saving throw in the playoffs and had a good time while they won the championship, so it worked out. Still, it was tough to see friends of his who only were a week or two younger than him playing at the lower level and making it onto the All-Star team, when he was their equal in skill and far above them in game savvy. But that's the point -- he wouldn't have advanced so much if he was playing against weaker competition. (Next year, Pony moves to the April 30th cutoff, so he'll have a third year of Bronco ball if he wants it and can finally be the stud. Since that likely will be his last year of competitive ball, he might as well have fun with it.)

      What's important was that your son enjoyed the challenge and neither shied from it or was frustrated by it. And, I think a really good ten year old can get around on pitches faster than he thinks. He just has to get any slop out of his swing. And plaudits to the coach for recognizing the kid's contribution....

      As far as the suggestion of counseling, if your wife is a psychiatrist, I'd say you're covered on that score. Let's see how this plays out -- "Dear, I know you've got the medical degree and the license and the credentials and you of course actually know and live with this kid, but the guys on the Baseball-Fever forum voted 8 to 6 that the kid should seek counseling, so we'd better go in that direction." Hmmmmmm..... no.

      Whatever you do... don't beat yourself up over any of this. It sounds like the youngster is right on track to be whatever he wants to be, whether on a baseball field or in a classroom, or simply as a person. And, he's waaaaaay ahead of where he'd be without you and his grandmother. Just enjoy the chance to enjoy baseball again with someone who loves it to. In my mind, it's kind of like Christmas morning for me every time I see my kid run out onto a baseball field with a uniform on and a smile on his face. I'm glad you're seeing it that way.
      Last edited by Ursa Major; 05-19-2006, 01:13 AM.
      sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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      • #78
        Sparks awesome story. You're right - there's nothing better.....

        Originally posted by Ursa Major
        As far as the suggestion of counseling, if your wife is a psychiatrist, I'd say you're covered on that score. Let's see how this plays out -- "Dear, I know you've got the medical degree and the license and the credentials and you of course actually know and live with this kid, but the guys on the Baseball-Fever forum voted 8 to 6 that the kid should seek counseling, so we'd better go in that direction." Hmmmmmm..... no.
        Only one word of caution here... I had an industrial psychologist on staff at my company. It was a great experience.... Long story short- I said to another psychologist friend once, "We have a councellor at work, who has become a good friend..." He stopped me at once and said, "Look, he can either be your councellor or your friend - he can't be both."

        Again - great story about your boy. I think what your are doing is wonderful.
        "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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        • #79
          He stopped me at once and said, "Look, he can either be your councellor or your friend - he can't be both."




          Great post!

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          • #80
            Radar Guns at Little League Practice?

            Originally posted by Sparksdale
            We had practice today. My boy threw 49mph but threw quality pitches and most were either strikes or close to a strike.
            One of the other boys threw 47 but was all over the place.

            .
            So let me gets this straight...you bring a radar gun to Little League practice?

            I don't know, I guess I am old school, but really....a radar gun to Little Legue practice? I Yi YI!

            As I can tell, many of the best ball players on the little diamond are the biggest ones. Yes, I know this is a sweeping generalization, but there's some truth to it. While some small kids have good arms, success in Little League is still often a size thing. One needs only watch the LLWS and we can figure that out! (Yes, know, NOT IN EVERY CASE, but in general) remember the kid Cody Webster from Washington? Didn't think so.

            For what it is worth, what is the value of clocking a kid on the little diamond, other than for bragging rights or simple discussion? I'm sure someone will give me a long dissertation about how important it is for the kid's development and progress, and the need to get the best data and all, but is there any point at which it's appropriate to say "I think we've taken this a bit too far?"

            Tom

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Ursa Major

              It's been tough for my son, because, with a July 28th birthday (and a bit slow to physically develop), he's missed the cutoff to stay at lower levels in his Pony League er .... league by three days. .
              I coach kids in middle school, often their first experience with the big diamond. I have found that "the extra year" is by no means an advantage for a child, because by the time they should be playing on the big diamond they are still playing on the small one. That one season on the big diamond gives the kids who are a few weeks, or a few months older, a big advantage when they get into 8th grade and High School.

              Only my personal observations.

              As for "playing up" I can see both sides, but as a youth league administrator, its a nightmare. Our league has a very unique situation (at least I hope it is unique). We are too small for one League all the way up (rookies (our coach pitch) minors, majors, and Babe Ruth.) So we combine our league with another town next door, that is part of the High school district, for the minors, majors and Babe Ruth. However our side does not allow players to "play up" and the other side alwasy has an excuse for doing so. This year its the new cutoff date. The other side has decided that if they let a kid paly up in the past he can still play up, but if not, he has to go by the date, which is now May 1.

              Well, the arguemetns and debates and anger and resentment were incredible. "My kid is too good for Rookies,"

              "My kid will kill kids in the Minors,"

              "Why can this kid play in the Babe Ruth prep but not MY kid!." (What do you mean THAT kid is BETTER than MY KID!"

              Its not worth it.

              Even for the claim that there were not enough kids...."Why didn't my kid get called up?"

              "Why do you keep calling the same kid up?, they should all get a chance"

              And of course, God forbid a kid gets hurt "playing up!" I don't knnow where you guys live, but here in super affluent south central Connecticut, lawyers have no shortage of work, and they get from parents looking to sue over ANYTHING.

              years ago I was the resident the Babe Ruth League in my town and the PONY league was trying to get us to absorb them. It turned out that they had lawsuits pending against them, one, as I understood it was the result of a disabled player(in a wheel chair), who had been allowed to play at the threat of a lawsuit(if you don't let him play we will sue!) being hit by a ball that was missed by the parent designate (a parent assigend to stand by the boy in the wheelchair in left field and catch the ball if it came to him). The ball hit the kid and the parents sued. Needless to say we did not enter into an agreement with that league.

              Therefore, I am in total support of "the cutoff is the cuttoff and that's the cutoff." I know some of you will disagree and want your kids to play at a higher level, but here there is AAU for that, which I am considering for my son, not becasue he is so good (far from THAT to be sure) but becasue the AAU programs play more, they are pretty much year round, and they are serious, which I am finding my son is becoming.

              Just my ramblings, let the onslaught begin!

              Tom

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              • #82
                JakeP said: Only one word of caution here... I had an industrial psychologist on staff at my company. It was a great experience.... Long story short- I said to another psychologist friend once, "We have a councellor at work, who has become a good friend..." He stopped me at once and said, "Look, he can either be your councellor or your friend - he can't be both."
                I wasn't suggesting that the Grandmother be the counselor... only that she was more qualified than any of us to determine whether he should get counseling, presumably from someone else. And if she's too close to the situation to even make that decision -- which I doubt -- he still shouldn't be relying on us.
                sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Ursa Major
                  I wasn't suggesting that the Grandmother be the counselor... only that she was more qualified than any of us to determine whether he should get counseling, presumably from someone else. And if she's too close to the situation to even make that decision -- which I doubt -- he still shouldn't be relying on us.
                  Agree......
                  "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


                  • #84
                    "I coach kids in middle school, often their first experience with the big diamond. I have found that "the extra year" is by no means an advantage for a child, because by the time they should be playing on the big diamond they are still playing on the small one. That one season on the big diamond gives the kids who are a few weeks, or a few months older, a big advantage when they get into 8th grade and High School."

                    BR and LL Juniors are allowing 12yo's play up in 13 and 13-15 ball. My son is currently playing his last year in LL and on a 13 prep team for BR. He'll be playing 13-15 after the LL season. I don't think the bigger field is a "big" deal for decent players except in pitching. That extra 14'6" is quite an adjustment and can put a lot more stress on the arm. A kid who was a big stud in LL last year was playing BR and Jr. Varsity at the same time this year and did damage to his rotator cuff that will require surgery.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by tominct
                      I know some of you will disagree and want your kids to play at a higher level, but here there is AAU for that, which I am considering for my son, not becasue he is so good (far from THAT to be sure) but becasue the AAU programs play more, they are pretty much year round, and they are serious, which I am finding my son is becoming.

                      Tom
                      Playing year round in baseball is a bad idea. Go to ASMI.org and read some of their literature. One of their strongest recommendations is that kids take at least 3 months off from baseball and play other sports. As I understand it stress injuries become much more prevalent when kids play year round in one sport.

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                      • #86
                        Well, my boy had a great game last night. He hit two home runs and walked his third at bat.
                        Oddly enough he didn't pitch all that well. There were two reasons for his pitching (I guess).
                        #1 We had the same umpire that we've complained about all year. This guy is terrible. He has a Major League strike zone. These are 10 year old kids and his strike zone is from the belly button to the knee caps. He does not call anything over the belly button a strike. These are 10 year old kids and many of them are less than 4' 7" and it's virtually impossible to consistantly throw strikes in such a small area. Besides, my boy throws mostly fastballs and his fastballs are usually about chest high (which is a strike in Little League).
                        #2. The other team had a few good hits off him. So I guess sometimes you have to tip your cap to the other team and realize they did a good job of hitting.

                        We won the game 10 to 6 and my boy had 5 RBI. He pitched three innings and gave up 5 runs. Most of the runs he gave up were because of walks.
                        In all honesty, even the pitches he threw for balls were not far out of the strike zone. I mean this umpire didn't cut him any slack at all....not a single inch. I also think he is aiming the ball when he pitches and not throwing it. For this reason I think when a batter gets in the box it slows his fastball down two or three mph.

                        He has been invited to play with the 12 and 13 year olds again Friday night. They are going to be playing a team from out of town that is one of the better teams in our area. It should be a lot of fun to watch him play in that game. The team they will be playing has a sponser and shiney new bats and a field that looks like a major league field. They have a lot of money (which is ok) and they pick the best players in their town. It should be interesting to see how our 12 and 13 year old team does against them.

                        BTW: Talk about a bummer. I broke my wrist. I tell you what - it pisses me off to no end. I don't mind the pain or anything but it's baseball season and I'm done. I'm told this kind of break is the worst you can get and it can take several months to heal. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow but from everything I"ve read on the internet I've broken my Scaphoid Bone and it takes forever to heal.

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Sparksdale
                          I've broken my Scaphoid Bone and it takes forever to heal.
                          My youngest did it on his pitching hand. It took eight weeks before he could throw.
                          "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


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by bbjunkie
                            Playing year round in baseball is a bad idea. Go to ASMI.org and read some of their literature. One of their strongest recommendations is that kids take at least 3 months off from baseball and play other sports. As I understand it stress injuries become much more prevalent when kids play year round in one sport.
                            I didn't say my son played one sport, and I didn't mean that he would play baseball "fulltime" all year round, but just enough to "keep his chops up." My sons are hockey players!

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                            • #89
                              Good luck with the kid. Again, as others have posted, I don't know the size of the area you live in, you've said it's "small" several times...

                              I live / coach in a decent size area....these speeds are just from the team I coach...this is a 9 year old team...USSSA sanctioned...

                              NOTE : I'm NOT a proponent of gunning kids and letting them know, so they can see how hard they throw. These readings were taken without the kids knowing, during actual games. None of the kids know their speeds, only myself ( PC ) and another coach, who ran the gun.


                              #1 - RH, pretty big for his age, not huge. Very athletic all around. Over 3 innings and 40-odd pitchers he was consistently at 55-57mph with the FB.

                              #2 - RH, cruised at 49-52mph over several innings of work, and hit 54 and 55 a time or two.

                              #3 - LH - above average size, but not a man-child...cruises in the 50-52mph range, and did hit 53mph once or twice.


                              #4 - RH - Average size. Cruises at 49-52mph, hit 54/55mph several times

                              #5 - RH Almost identical to #4....just LOOKS / SEEMS much faster since his motion is so slow and easy...


                              And we don't have 'dominating' pitching by any means. Guessing speeds is so inaccurate it's crazy...so much depends on arm action, motion, speed of delivery...there's one kid that so many people were talking about how he threw 60mph as a 9 year old....turns out he was right with our top pitcher...but it did LOOK A LOT faster.....

                              As for attitude...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE address it first and foremost. They need to learn how to lose, how to K, how to just plain 'suck' sometimes...they need to learn that baseball is a game of failure...if they learn to deal with those it will make their lives ( not just baseball ) so much easier in the long run. They will also appreciate hard work a lot more as well IMHO...

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Sparksdale
                                What I meant was he is at least starting to do things a little better. He isn't by in stretch doing things right....not yet anyway.
                                I have talked with him (and all of our LL'ers) that I would much much rather they throw 35 mph for a strike than 50mph that wasn't a strike.

                                I just wanted to know how fast my boy could throw compared to other kids his age....that's all. Now we know and we have it out of our system.
                                We aren't at all worried about how fast he "pitches". I would always ALWAYS rather he throw for strikes.

                                He is a very good all around player so my goals for him are this.
                                1. make sure he has fun and LOVES the game.
                                2. I will always make sure he takes care of his arm. That is priority one with me and he really gets mad at me because of it. I ruined my arm as a kid and I don't want that to happen to him. Last year we were playing in a game and the other team brought in a new pitcher. The umpire let the other pitcher pitch at least 15 warm up pitches (probably more) before he said play ball. My boy came in during one of the last innings to pitch and the umpire said play ball. I told him no that I wanted him to take a few warm up pitches. The ump said no we didn't have time that they were just kids anyway. I took my boy off the mound and put him back at short.

                                I hope I haven't gotten the wrong impression on this thread. My #1 concern in my boy and his health and LOVE FOR THE GAME. My hope is the can learn to love the game as I do and maybe be a good player for as long as he wants to play.

                                If you are the coach of the team make sure you arent spending all you time worrying about your kid, your the coach to a lot of other players, dont get caught up in your kid. who came in since your kid couldnt pitch or who had to stay in

                                every team i played on in little league had the coaches son and a lot of people hate the little SOB because he gets extra attention, the best coaches ive had diddnt have sons
                                Last edited by loopy lefty; 05-25-2006, 07:23 PM.

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