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Lupe Ramos Stops By, Phil Kessel Gets His 900th & This Fridge Is Officially On My To-Do List

Opening Day baseball is officially here for my son

Ahh, the first day of the city baseball league when parents start to let the thought run through their mind whether it’s time to move on to travel ball where they’ll drop thousands of dollars chasing the dream of making it to the NAIA level of college baseball or even crazier dreams of playing D3 ball.

Today will be my first good look at how my son stacks up against the city ball kids which has been stripped of talent by the travel ball industry where the kids walk around with two baseball bats in their bags for some reason. As someone who grew up playing true Little League (Hardscrabble L.L.; Clayton, Ohio; once was the oldest L.L. in Ohio until the travel ball teams stripped it of its talent that had produced multiple MLB draft picks over the years; RIP) in one of the most Norman Rockwell settings, it’s going to be tough to sit in a suburban park next to the highway as my son moves up out of the coach pitch division and into big boy ball. And it doesn’t help that that high is going to be 58 & the park sits in a wind tunnel.

Over the next two months, we’ll get a good look at Jack’s interest level and if it’s beyond the city ball world. If it isn’t, no big deal. If it is, Fox might have to come up with a raise to compensate for the travel ball hotel industry or I might be forced into buying a camper and selling burgers and dogs on the side at these parks to keep up with the costs.

USA Today High School Sports estimates travel ball parents spend an average of $3,700 a year. If this baseball thing doesn’t work, I need to make sure my son understands that $3,700 would pay for some incredible golf trips on a yearly basis. I’m just sayin’.

• Speaking of travel ball, I completely missed this back in mid-April. Cooperstown, New York’s Dreams Park is requiring 12-year-olds to be vaccinated in order to play at that facility this year. Teams are losing their $4,000 deposits over this requirement. Any readers out there affected by this? I’d love to know what’s going on out there in travel ball tournament land.

• You know the company Impossible Burgers that has made its way into all sorts of different venues? Now they want into the school systems. That’s right, your kid may soon have a plant-based option. The company will run a pilot program at schools in Palo Alto, California; Aberdeen, Washington; Edmond, Oklahoma; and Union City, Oklahoma.

• And finally this morning, Billy Crystal came out this week and had words for the cancel culture industry that didn’t go over well with the cancel culturists. “It’s becoming a minefield and I get it,” he told the NY Post. “I don’t like it, I understand it … I just keep doing what I’m doing and that’s all you can do right now. It’s a totally different world [now] and it doesn’t mean you have to like it.”

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

10 Comments

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  1. Aaah travel ball… A few things I learned: 1) No travel ball before 7th grade. If your son has the interest/athleticism he won’t fall behind his peer group. Most of the boys who were travel ball hotshots at 9 or 10 y.o. were burned out or had arm problems by the time they hit high school. 2) Forget playing college ball at any level. Told my son he’s going to college to get job skills and not play baseball. He agreed. So many parents were chasing a dream thinking they might “get some money” for their son to play college ball at an overpriced D3/NAIA school with lousy academics in the middle of nowhere. That aspect of travel ball is a scam. 3) We did the weekend circuit for 5 yrs (7th grade to 12th grade) and as much as I hated it at times I wouldn’t change anything. My son and I had a lot of great times and really bonded. Priceless.

    Unless your son is an exceptional athlete he’ll have to play travel ball to compete at the HS level. That’s how it is in our area. You can survive it by being grounded and realistic. Our baseball journey ended my son’s senior year. He made all-conference and never looked back when his season ended. I got my weekends back and about $4K/year in savings.

    And Elizabeth Hurley is stunning.

    • Spot on. We started too early. 7 years old on a travel team. Son stopped playing last year at 14. Burned out. It really wears on a kid – regardless of skill – as comp teams are really an everyday proposition with practices and games for 2/3 of the year. 4K a year is if you don’t travel out of state.

      It was worth it though. Bonded with my son – made great friends with the parents who you will see more than anyone else for a year – its great crushing beers on the weekends with the dads between and after games.

  2. If Earnhardt knew that his beloved number 3 was on the side of a beamer, he would roll over in his grave. There’s foul and there is down right disrespect. I don’t even like the Intimidator, bit it had to be said.

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