Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Middle School Tryout)

This is part 4 (Age 13, 7th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Image courtesy Akadema

A couple months after Leo turned 13, he went to the December tryout for the middle school team, as a 7th grader. At 35 degrees, it was cold!

The middle school baseball coach ran the tryouts using a serious high school approach. Of the 26 kids who tried out for the team, 14 were immediately cut. In Wayne’s words (post 424),

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Injury)

This is part 3 (Age 12, 6th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

After the fall baseball season ended, Leo again played basketball. Though Leo was excited at the start the basketball season, it was clearly not his favorite sport. That would be baseball.

Image courtesy pixabay.com

Leo also took up skateboarding. Wayne was not happy. Wayne “couldn’t stand the skateboard (post 364).”

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Leo’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (Travel Ball)

This is part 2 (age 11, 5th grade) of an ongoing series following a young player’s baseball career from Little League to College Baseball. In order to get the most out of this series, be sure to start at the beginning.

Shortly after Leo turned 11 in October, the fall baseball season came to an end. It couldn’t happen soon enough for Leo, who had been ready for a break from baseball for months.

Leo took up basketball and played through the cold winter months. He excelled at basketball due to his quickness and overall athleticism. However, after the winter break, Leo was ready to play baseball again.

Leo was not just ready to play baseball. He was excited!

Logo for one of several travel ball organizations, courtesy travelballusa.com

In January, Leo tried out for a local travel ball team.

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One Player’s Journey from Little League to College Baseball (The Beginning)

Making it onto a college baseball program and staying with it for all 4 years is not easy. Playing high school baseball also has its challenges.

Want to know what it takes?

I’ve been curious myself about what it takes and how it works to play baseball all the way from Little League to college. I’m curious because my own 12-year-old son has been telling me since the age of 2 that he wants to become a professional baseball player. It’s an improbable dream. But it’s a dream that may be shared by over a million kids at any given time.

Though I’ve learned bits and pieces about playing baseball at the higher levels over the years, it wasn’t until I read a very detailed chronicle of one player’s journey that it all began to make sense. This player, who I shall call Leo, is a talented and hard-working baseball player. Leo made it all the way from Little League to college baseball.

The hard way.

The baseball journey can be hard
Image courtesy of Robert Montenegro at crookedscoreboard.com

This is part 1 of my retelling of the story of Leo’s journey from Little League to College Baseball.

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New USABat Standard Coming in 2018 for Youth Baseball Bats

In January 2018, many youth baseball players will need to buy a new bat with the USABat standard. Here are the details, starting with facts, moving on to advice, and ending with opinions about this change.

usa-baseball-logo

I interviewed several authorities for this article, including Russell Hartford, who is the “bat guy” at USA baseball, in addition to his role as Director of National Team Championships.

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Youth Baseball Stats Part 4: Moving to a Bigger Field Changes Everything

The stats that matter most for youth baseball change as kids age. You’ll want to first read Part 3 of the youth baseball stats series if you want to get the most out of Part 4:

Part 1: It’s Hard – how to gather, interpret and apply baseball data to improve youth baseball play

Part 2: Appropriate coach pitch stats – ages 7-8

Part 3: Appropriate kid pitch stats – ages 9-10

This post discusses the stats that matter when kids move to the bigger 50/70 field and the full rules of baseball begin. In our PONY league, this starts with the Bronco division, ages 11-12. Continue reading “Youth Baseball Stats Part 4: Moving to a Bigger Field Changes Everything”

What Does Drop Mean for Youth Baseball Bats?

bat-drop-printed-on-louisville-slugger-bat
Drop -12.5 prominently displayed on Louisville Slugger bat

Bat drop is printed weight, in ounces, minus printed length, in inches. For example, a bat labeled 13.5 ounces and 26 inches has a bat drop of minus 12.5 (13.5-26 = -12.5).

To get the right bat, you just need to match the right drop, weight, and length printed on the bat to the age, height, and weight of the player.

It’s that simple, right?

Nope.

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Preparing for 100,000 Page Views per Month

Once every year or so, I get obsessed with making improvements to my site. Last year it was modernizing and customizing my WordPress theme. This time, it’s:

  • Better hosting (more reliable, much faster)
  • SSL (greater security, even faster)

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Best 5 Strategy Board Games for Families

The typical U.S. family has a deck of cards and a few games in the closet. Most have heard of few, if any, of the best family games to come out in recent years. This is too bad, because quite a few of these games are far more fun and interesting than just about every game invented before 1995.

5 best family strategy games
5 Great Family Strategy Games
(latest editions may look different from pictured games)
Ticket to Ride, Catan, Pandemic, Stone Age, and Dominion

This article profiles 5 modern strategy games that are terrific for the whole family, including ours.

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Stone Age Review: A Great Family Game that is not Primitive

Imagine you are the leader of a Stone Age tribe. To survive and prosper, your tribe must hunt for food, develop agriculture, gather resources, make and use tools, construct buildings, raise children, and develop civilization. If your tribe doesn’t strike the right balance, your people may starve, or may be surpassed by neighboring tribes.

You can experience all this with a game I strongly recommend for families:

Stone Age


2016-07-22 08.22.46

Many modern games attempt to have some kind of theme. However, you know a theme is not transporting you to another time and place when you think primarily about optimizing efficient placement of colored cubes. That pretty much sums up many modern “Euro” games: Place colored cubes efficiently.

When we play Stone Age, the board components and graphics combine beautifully with game mechanics to immerse us in a way that’s rare for a board game. We feed people, we gather wood, we build buildings . . . And if our people don’t eat, they starve. It even comes with a dice-rolling cup made of rawhide. Please pass the stinky cup!

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