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Eighth Grader Playing HS Varisty -- Advice Needed

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  • #46
    Originally posted by skipper5 View Post
    What I've always wondered is how people with typical average household incomes can afford this?
    They probably hold fundraisers year round, have sponsors, and charge reasonable fees to the families. Our talent is not at the same level as it is in Florida, California, Texas, or Arizona, for example. These kids are trying to get on either a top twenty Div 3 baseball team, or on an average Div 1 or 2 team if they are good enough.
    "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
    "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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    • #47
      Originally posted by tg643 View Post
      We've done the dance before. You still don't accept the evolution of the game and the process.

      Travel is starting to become a factor in NE. There are plenty of kids playing tarvel rather than Babe Ruth and LL Jrs. The reason is these kids don't want to play with uncommitted kids who are there for social reasons rather than baseball. At the high school level the two kids who went to Vanderbilt from MA this year didn't play Legion. They played travel. I met one of their teammates dads who was recruited by ACC teams for next year.

      In the area my son grew up I don't know any college baseball players who come back to Legion. It's the former high school players who weren't good enough to play college ball who go back to Legion. I hate to see this. It takes playing time away from high school kids who are still developing. I believe Legion is going away from allowing college players in a year or two.
      TG,
      Please don't tell me what I accept and don't. I accept the evolution of the showcases and their place in today's baseball. Many of our players attend showcases all over the country. UCONN, Brown, Eastern CT, Yale, UMASS, etc., all have college showcases that attract hundreds of young men hoping to play. I am at the tail-end of a 2 week trip in SC and have watched a dozen of youth baseball games down here over the past few weeks, I attended spring training for years, spent time in CA, Florida, GA etc, etc,. watching youth ball and training coaches. I see what is going on all over the country. We have travel and showcases up here in "way-behind" New England. Our Legion does compete against AAU, USSSA, etc., etc. Many of our Legion players have left TB and returned to AL Baseball, because of all the TB BS we often talk about. None of this changes the fact that we still have 5,400 teams nationwide with approximately 100,000 players and the program is growing.

      I am not against TB when appropriate. I feel Legion is baseball at its best. It geographically limits coaches to work with the best talet of the area building some community involvement in the program and the game. The further we get away from this the worse the game becomes for the children who play it IMHO, leaving it to the delusional and the wealthy.

      We charge $125/year to play with the balance of the money (32 players) raised by the veterans of the area. For the most part this is the way it is all over the country. We do have corporate sponsors and this is what you see at the site you offered (Our budget is between $10,000 and $12,000/yr.).

      The selling of "for profit" youth baseball at these showcases only further exacerbates the problem and does little to change the overall numbers we as Americans are placing in the professional ranks... So all that extra money, all that TB, all that showcase mentality has done little to improve the game or our numbers who play it at the highest level. All it does is make a very few a few dollars and more parents delusional about their son's chances...

      I have watched a bunch of TB and Challenger Ball here outside of Charlotte... Complexes that would rival the best in the world with a dozen fields - all lit. Parents who moved south because of the baseball opportunities for their 7 y/o son... Well, I just don't see it. A 7 y/o who barely knows how to zip his pants is a 7 y/o who barely knows how to zip his pants. IMO the best in Minnesota would compete with the best in GA, SC, or anywhere else, at all ages... I feel many who support or tout the showcase, TB, route only feed into the game's detriment... It's not evolution TG, it's further reducing the game to those who have money.
      "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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      • #48
        Originally posted by tg643 View Post
        I believe Legion is going away from allowing college players in a year or two.
        Yes we are.
        "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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        • #49
          When you guys refer to showcase are you talking about events held by the university where kids come to both show what they have and receive instruction?

          Legion baseball was perhaps the most exciting thing athletically that I ever had the opportunity to participate in. It was a fairly small town far from any pro sports and a good 100 miles from the nearest D-1 university. HS football was very much like Friday Night Lights type stuff. People came to HS and AL games even if they had no kids on the team. We drew some big crowds and it was a fun atmosphere. Played against a couple of future pros. One a household name.
          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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          • #50
            Originally posted by shake-n-bake View Post
            When you guys refer to showcase are you talking about events held by the university where kids come to both show what they have and receive instruction?
            Shake, colleges do both... Some have showcases to find talent, some have clinics and look for talent.
            "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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            • #51
              When I played Legion it was the best ball I played before college. Our Legion team was a combination of the best players from five high school. I played with and against future pros. From our team those who didn't go onto college baseball were going on to other college sports. I would bet my Legion team would beat my son's showcase team. HIs showcase team only had two pro prospect pitchers. Our Legion team had four. Going to states and regions was a great time.

              But here's what Legion had become where my son grew up: There is at least one Legion team per high school. Some of the largest high schools have multiple Legion teams overlapping districts. The talent level is non college prospect. There are high school bench warmers and JV players starting on Legion. Last year my son and three high school teammates who were college bound baseball players decided to play together one last time. They played for the local Legion. Four travel players tip the balance of the league. A team that was 6-15 the previous year went 17-4, won the zone, district and came in third in the region. These kids joked after facing travel ball pitching at 85-92 Legion ball was like BP facing 78-82. They didn't see velocity until regions.

              Jake made reference to 7U travel. I thought so much of 7U travel, when 7/8 machine pitch all-stars started I told the league we would be on vacation. Anyone who thinks they can determine their kids college/pro baseball future before the kid hits puberty is a fool. Given my family and wife'd family tree athletic background I assumed my kids would have the option to play college sports. But what sports and at what level can't be determined until high school. There's also more involved than talent. The player has to be committed to the goal.

              I have a 6'4" friend who played basketball and baseball in the ACC. He was an All-American in baseball and a high draft choice. He made it to AAA ball. His son was mediocre in sports until he gave up heading into high school. My friend jokes his ex wife polluted the athletic gene pool.

              My son played 9U to 12U travel in addition to CR/LL. He played community based travel at 9U and 10U. It extended baseball until the end of July. The team played in local tournaments sponsored by CR and LL. At 11U and 12U he played in a USSSA Sunday doubleheader league concurrently with LL. The team was the sixteen most likely players to make all-stars. The idea was to have them playing all-star level competition every week. His all-star team played into August both years.

              It's at 13U I believe travel starts to matter. I said matter, not neccessary. My team was a collection of the best players from the LL district. It was easy to sell. "Do you want your son to have some well intentioned dad who doesn't know the game coaching him leading into high school? Or do you want him coached by four former college players of which two played pro ball?" What did travel at ages 13-15 do for my son he wouldn't have got from rec ball? I believe he started a year sooner on varsity.

              Select travel is showcase ball. This is the best opportunity to be seen by college coaches. During the week my son played in a scout league. College and pro scouts would come and watch games all night. On the weekends he did six local showcases and two national showcases. The college and pro scouts are at tournaments all summer. They can camp out for the weekend at these events watching hundreds of college prospects. In Legion they may have to travel from game to game just to see one kid at a time. We never saw college coaches at Legion games until regions.

              If a kid wants to attend a local college, if he's getting all-county visibility Legion can work for him. My son got offers from Legion regions even though he was already committed to a college. The local coaches who knew he was previously injured didn't know he was healthy. But he never intended to go to college locally. But playing Legion where my son grew up would not prepare a player for college ball. It barely prepares them for high school ball. I saw going to the Legion games as a social event with people I wouldn't be around much longer.
              Last edited by tg643; 03-24-2012, 12:54 PM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                But playing Legion where my son grew up would not prepare a player for college ball. It barely prepares them for high school ball. .
                Again, here our team is made up of the best from five high schools.
                "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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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                  Again, here our team is made up of the best from five high schools.
                  Like I said, New England is the last to change. It still works in NE the way it worked for John Adams and Paul Revere. Legion ball was great ball when I played. Adams and Revere were my teammates.

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                  • #54
                    8th graders playing varsity is not a big deal. A couple of years ago Orangewood Christian in the state tournament (semi-finals and finals) had an 8th grader and maybe two getting RBIs in the final games of the year. The older kids were signed with Vandy, FAU, Notre Dame, FIU, plus one was just drafted and Rookie POY in their post-draft league with the Yankees (Bichette Jr.). The two kids that are now 10th graders are well on their way to big-time D-1 signings so believe it or not kids this age do contribute. We have two 8th graders rostered one who starts every game and the other who is DHing (was starting catcher) who is out with tendonitis. However our school is much more like yours not a baseball power. We have one former player at Vandy and one at Florida and that's it for college (one guy played one season at Stetson and gave it up this year).

                    To answer your question, what I am wondering is that most travel stuff happens on weekends. If conditioning is a week day opportunity I am not sure why you can't do both. The other thing you might want to consider is that in FLA. it's pretty common to try out and make (assuming you have the size/talent) teams who play tournaments like PG, Prospectwire, and whatever college tournaments might be happening. Normally you have to tryout for those teams in Dec. or Jan. While your kid might like playing with his 14U team, how do they stack up with teams like Elite Squad and the Pokers which are down in South Fla.? Maybe if he's got the skill to play varsity even at a so-so school he can play underclass for a legit travel program that has a presence at Jupiter, Ft. Myers, Marietta Ga. etc. I will say it seems 14U is about the last age you can do that without going to one of these big-time programs.

                    My advice is try your best not tick off the coach but sneak away on the weekends to play travel. Just make sure you are competing against good teams. My youngest is 14U and decided he didn't want to play travel this summer he is fine playing whatever varsity games the coach puts together for summer/fall. (he's a 9th grader just a late birthday). So basically I listened to him I didn't sign him up for any of the local clubs, if he were like your son I'd ask what he really wanted to do as someone alluded to earlier.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
                      8th graders playing varsity is not a big deal. A couple of years ago Orangewood Christian in the state tournament (semi-finals and finals) had an 8th grader and maybe two getting RBIs in the final games of the year. The older kids were signed with Vandy, FAU, Notre Dame, FIU, plus one was just drafted and Rookie POY in their post-draft league with the Yankees (Bichette Jr.). The two kids that are now 10th graders are well on their way to big-time D-1 signings so believe it or not kids this age do contribute. We have two 8th graders rostered one who starts every game and the other who is DHing (was starting catcher) who is out with tendonitis.
                      8th graders aren't eligible for Varsity in our state but 9th graders are. I can only recall a few that have made an impact as 9th graders in the large classifications. Of those that do, they usually end up being studs. There is one kid right now who is the son of a former major leaguer who is the #2 pitcher on a really good team. Physically, he looks like a 12th grader.

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                      • #56
                        So playing on travel/ club teams AND playing on the high school team is OK in Florida during the spring high school season? In California and many other states it disqualifies a high school team from playoffs and worse for the player.

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                        • #57
                          There is no rule against it.

                          What I am saying though is nobody does it because there is nothing going on anywhere. If you make one of the elite level clubs in Fla. you try out in December/January most of the time. They choose the summer teams at that point but nothing happens. In our case they it went something like "hey, you made the team, congrats". After some team detail they say we'll have a big meeting in May to discuss logistics. So your "travel ball" career is on a shelf until June, it's just that you have to make the team in Dec./Jan time frame. I am speaking of High School only, and the types of teams who play WWBA in Georgia, tournaments in Ft. Myers, Jupiter, etc. Around here at least I am not aware of anything past 14U that is very organized. I think there are some teams that still play 16U and don't play the big-name tournaments I just don't know of any personally.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Encinitas View Post
                            There is no rule against it.

                            What I am saying though is nobody does it because there is nothing going on anywhere. If you make one of the elite level clubs in Fla. you try out in December/January most of the time. They choose the summer teams at that point but nothing happens. In our case they it went something like "hey, you made the team, congrats". After some team detail they say we'll have a big meeting in May to discuss logistics. So your "travel ball" career is on a shelf until June, it's just that you have to make the team in Dec./Jan time frame. I am speaking of High School only, and the types of teams who play WWBA in Georgia, tournaments in Ft. Myers, Jupiter, etc. Around here at least I am not aware of anything past 14U that is very organized. I think there are some teams that still play 16U and don't play the big-name tournaments I just don't know of any personally.
                            It is the same here with regard to tryouts for club/showcase teams in December and not practicing or playing games until their high school season is over. These teams usually go to Peoria, Arizona and/or Jupiter, Florida. Again here in CA if a player is involved in any outside team during the regular season, the team forfeits games and the player is suspended. Think any coach is going to want a kid that caused a team to forfeit a lot of games?

                            Here is an article about a high school was in 1st place in their division until... http://www.vcstar.com/news/2009/may/...ikely-out-for/
                            Last edited by Baseball gLove; 03-25-2012, 10:48 PM.

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                            • #59
                              Jake ... while there won't be enough votes to state the poll is scientific, I started this poll on hsbaseballweb regarding Legion. After getting there refresh the screen to make sure the numbers are up to date. It was at 29 respondants.

                              http://hsbaseballweb.com/eve/forums/...wpollresults/Y

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                                Jake ... while there won't be enough votes to state the poll is scientific, I started this poll on hsbaseballweb regarding Legion. After getting there refresh the screen to make sure the numbers are up to date. It was at 29 respondants.

                                http://hsbaseballweb.com/eve/forums/...wpollresults/Y
                                I wonder how many have children Legion age?
                                "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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