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Eighth Grader Playing HS Varisty -- Advice Needed

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Gables View Post
    Mud – An interesting side note to the “other school (baseball factory” is that I’m an alumnus of that high school and I decided not to send him there. It’s a good school academically, but his current school is the “best of the best.” That other school wants him strictly as a pitcher while he can do both at his current school.
    Wow, that's a crazy twist on things.

    Like guys have said, HS ball doesn't really matter much or isn't as important as it once was in garnering a scholarship.....however, there are a few schools that still get recruiters and scouts to their games, just due the quality of player they put out on the field year after year, that can save some folks the cost of "showcase" money.

    But there are also pros and cons going to those types of schools (and why I wrote "there's good and bad with both options"), as there are only nine positions being "showcased" at their games, and a very good player can find himself not seeing the field too often, if he happens to be behind an excellent player also at his position(s) at those schools.

    More than likely, if your son plays for his old TB team for the competition, his HS coach probably won't hold it against him......they simply want to put the best team and players out on the field once the HS season rolls around. Kind of hard to explain to the AD, why you cut (or are not playing) a good ball player, simply because he choose to improve his skills elsewhere.

    Sound like you already have things well in hand and have pretty much made your decision. You have the best read and understanding of it all, so I'm positive you've made the right one; now just kick back and enjoy the ride.
    Last edited by mudvnine; 03-22-2012, 08:07 AM.
    In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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    • #17
      Originally posted by mudvnine View Post
      Yeah, I missed out on the "TB Prosperity Wagon" also.

      Only charged what was needed to recoup tournament, field, or uniform costs. Actually lost money over the years, because not a single kid missed a game, practice, or tourney, due to an inability to pay.

      Not complaining about that in the slightest, as it was money well spent. Some of those young men still send us Christmas cards, email, and text message what they're doing with their lives years later......even if it no longer includes baseball.

      Youth baseball has truly made me rich.....even if it's not in the monetary sense of the word. :cap:
      That is great!

      Don't get me wrong though because on our team all kids are expected to have a balance of money in their "account" to cover tournament fees. We do fundraisers to help out however the coaches aren't willing to cover deficits; and they shouldn't. I've heard that some bigger city travel ball coaches are paid.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by tradosaurus View Post
        I've heard that some bigger city travel ball coaches are paid.
        Yes, that is correct.

        Even in the large TB organization (10U through college teams) I coached in, there were some teams where the coaches did charge for their services. It was strictly up to the coaches to choose which route they wanted to go, the organization didn't charge a "sanction" fees or anything like that for using their name, and even offered us a nice facility to use. Their only "fee" was that they wanted the best teams and players out on the field (as they want as many "signed" players by the time they're hitting their "senior" HS teams as possible), coaches who couldn't deliver that were usually not invited back the following season.

        But yes, because several of the coaches in the program were HS coaches who needed money over their summer break from school, they did charge for playing on their teams (as did a couple "wannabe" dads).....and it was pretty pricey I must say. h :dismay:
        In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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        • #19
          I can barely afford travel ball as it is so I can't imagine trying to fork over more dough.

          The sad part is that people will throw $5,000 - $10,000 / yr on travel ball chasing the potential of, at best, 1/2 tuition scholarships for a baseball slot at major colleges.

          My goal is for my son to learn the game of baseball so that by high school (1 more year) it will be virtually free to play. He will have had 3 yrs of very competitive ball by then.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by dominik View Post
            @tg
            your kids seem to be really good players. did they get drafted?
            The oldest is a girl. She played D1 softball. My son is a freshman at a D1. Since he had two serious injuries and missed the entire recruiting season he walked on. They don't have a roster spot for him this year. He's a bullpen catcher so he can workout with the team. He has a verbal commitment for a roster spot next year.

            Summer after senior year he received three offers after he tore up a Legion tournament. But he wasn't interested in the schools. His plan was to sit out a year and go through the recruiting process in the fall when he was fully rehabbed. The D1 had been interested before he had knee and shoulder injuries. A reference call from a pro scout, a 6.75 sixty and the ability to play six positions (played short and center in high school) was all he needed to walk on.

            We'll see what happens next year. I question whether he has major conference bat speed. I saw him as a mid major prospect. Most of his showcase teammates went to their reach/dream programs and life is rough. Except for three they're all sitting or struggling. Two of those went to mid majors. The third is a legit major conference player as a freshman.

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            • #21
              Only charged what was needed to recoup tournament, field, or uniform costs. Actually lost money over the years, because not a single kid missed a game, practice, or tourney, due to an inability to pay.

              I did the same from 13U to 16U. Most kids paid $500. It was about $1,000 for my kid with the money that came out of my pocket. The two years of 17/18U was partially subsidized by a MLB team. Six regional tournaments, a scout league and two trips south (East Cobb and Jupiter) was only $2,500. Each trip I took south cost over $1,000 just for me if that helps understand how inexpensive his team was.

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              • #22
                I'd look at it from the perspective that he is still an 8th grader. How can the HS coach or his teammates hold any animosity for not participating in the summer program? Are other kids that have not yet attended the HS encouraged or invited? If he / you decided in favor of the travel team, I'd tell the HS coach that your son would like to be back in that environment while he still can. Your son is entitled to still be pre-HS if he so chooses.

                That said, knowing what I know now, I'd have my son jump at this opportunity - even if he was going to go play at the other HS. My son's in the 9th grade. Over the last not even a year he has dedicated himself to working out and gained 40 pounds while losing inches in his waist. And he's probably younger than what your kid is presently. More organized, everyday baseball, especially for a pitcher is in my estimation is a very poor risk / reward option in comparison to spending that time working on his body. I'd put his throwing arm in a glass case and his butt in the weight room. Also use the time to get major reps on specifics. Treat it as off-season like a pro would. Only difference is that your kid at his age has way more opportunity to drastically change his body.

                If that's the route you / he decide on then it also must be known to this TB coach that your kid is entitled to that choice. And don't leave it entirely up to him - please. Don't force anything on him, but for Pete's sake you have to come to the understanding with him that he doesn't know what he doesn't know. You guys are on the same team. And, he can trust you to help him make the call that's right for him. I wouldn't worry about retribution. If your kid can play, he's making that HS's team. If he shows up faster, stronger, and more explosive (and without injury) then he otherwise would've been because of the conditioning then he's going to impress.
                Last edited by shake-n-bake; 03-22-2012, 02:17 PM.
                There are two kinds of losers.....Those that don't do what they are told, and those that do only what they are told.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                  Jake ... Outside New England the best kids aren't playing Legion anymore. Where my son played some of the historically strong programs rostered travel kids and played them enough to be eligible for the post season. Then they kicked their regular starters to the curb. My son played Legion the summer before heading for college ball for an easy summer. He was more focused on working out and conditioning than playing. He said it was batting practice compared to travel ball. Several other former travel/future college players played on his team last summer. They trampled the league, zone and region. It wasn't until states they saw serious competition.
                  Tg, you and I have gone around on this before.... There are thousands of Legion programs all over the country and yes there are travel teams and summer college programs that may be better.... On the whole, no program has had more professional ball players than American Legion.
                  "American Legion Baseball enjoys a reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues. Today, the program registers over 5,400 teams in all 50 states, including Canada and Puerto Rico. Almost 100,000 youths, ages 15 to 19, participate annually. Since its inception, the league has had 10 million players, and nearly 75 percent of current college players are program graduates."

                  I feel this is baseball at it's best as the Legion insists their program be just as much about sportsmanship, Americanism, respect, etc., than any other program I have seen...
                  "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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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Gables View Post
                    Mud – An interesting side note to the “other school (baseball factory” is that I’m an alumnus of that high school and I decided not to send him there. It’s a good school academically, but his current school is the “best of the best.” That other school wants him strictly as a pitcher while he can do both at his current school.
                    Gables, It is not .... Our numbers have been increasing with our Jr. Legion programs... We now have over 5,400 teams.
                    "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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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                      Tg, you and I have gone around on this before.... There are thousands of Legion programs all over the country and yes there are travel teams and summer college programs that may be better.... On the whole, no program has had more professional ball players than American Legion.
                      "American Legion Baseball enjoys a reputation as one of the most successful and tradition-rich amateur athletic leagues. Today, the program registers over 5,400 teams in all 50 states, including Canada and Puerto Rico. Almost 100,000 youths, ages 15 to 19, participate annually. Since its inception, the league has had 10 million players, and nearly 75 percent of current college players are program graduates."

                      I feel this is baseball at it's best as the Legion insists their program be just as much about sportsmanship, Americanism, respect, etc., than any other program I have seen...
                      Your fact on Legion is correct because Legion has been around so long. But the better kids to day are not playing Legion (outside NE). Currently 2/3rds of all American born players entering MLB in the past five years have played in a Perfect Game showcase. That's not just travel. That's the pinnacle of travel. This is where the best players are now. They're not playing Legion. Very few of the college prospects in our area played Legion. These were usually low end D3 prospects. In our area Legion has meetings on how to stop the bleeding of talent to travel. Then they decide to promote it's better ball, people laugh and more players leave for travel.
                      Last edited by tg643; 03-22-2012, 04:13 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                        Your fact on Legion is correct because Legion has been around so long. But the better kids to day are not playing Legion (outside NE). Currently 2/3rds of all American born players entering MLB in the past five years have played in a Perfect Game showcase. That's not just travel. That's the pinnacle of travel. This is where the best players are now. They're not playing Legion. Very few of the college prospects in our area played Legion. These were usually low end D3 prospects. In our area Legion has meetings on how to stop the bleeding of talent to travel. Then they decide to promote it's better ball, people laugh and more players leave for travel.
                        It is the same in our area. We have two D-1 kids in our area and neither player has played Legion ball as far as I know. One played showcase ball out of state the last two summers and the other is on the premier showcase team in our state. Legion is dead around here. The high school coaches used to coach the two legion teams in the summer, now they coach their own players in a wood bat league. The college level kids play showcase, the remaining high school kids play wood bat, which leaves Legion ball for the kids from small towns or kids that weren't good enough to make the high school team but kept playing Senior league rec ball.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by d-mac View Post
                          ....which leaves Legion ball for the kids from small towns or kids that weren't good enough to make the high school team but kept playing Senior league rec ball.
                          D, I have never seen this to be the case. What area is this? What Post?

                          Our team is fed by 5 high schools and college players... Having followed the AL national tournament - all the teams have similar situations and they are from all over the country.

                          I admit many good players go to showcases - So do many of our Legion players.
                          "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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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                            Your fact on Legion is correct because Legion has been around so long. But the better kids to day are not playing Legion (outside NE). Currently 2/3rds of all American born players entering MLB in the past five years have played in a Perfect Game showcase. That's not just travel. That's the pinnacle of travel. This is where the best players are now. They're not playing Legion. Very few of the college prospects in our area played Legion. These were usually low end D3 prospects. In our area Legion has meetings on how to stop the bleeding of talent to travel. Then they decide to promote it's better ball, people laugh and more players leave for travel.
                            TG, what are the Post numbers in your area?
                            "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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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                              TG, what are the Post numbers in your area?
                              There are none. They all bailed long ago. It's been all corporate and town sponsorship as long as I've known. The local Legion program is part of the local youth sports association. It was sponsored by a local bank until the youth sports board chairman ticked of someone at the bank.
                              Last edited by tg643; 03-22-2012, 10:27 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                                There are none. They all bailed long ago. It's been all corporate and town sponsorship as long as I've known. The local Legion program is part of the local youth sports association. It was sponsored by a local bank until the youth sports board chairman ticked of someone at the bank.
                                American Legion Baseball is not part of any youth programs in any area. They are stand-alone. You may have something people "call" Legion ball... Look in the phone book and give me the post number of the American Legion Post on your area, and I'll get back to you.
                                "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

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