Great Baseball Players “CAN” Come From Any State Or Region. But… I believe that the kids from up north…where the cold winds blow many months of the year, will have to work harder and smarter than their southern and warmer-weather counterparts. It may even cost a family more money due to the long distance travel, especially as players get older, say age 14.
I know a scouting director who even passed on Derek Jeter, in part due to his being a Michigan kid! And he loved the kid, his family, his skills and his make up… Go figure! But, it happens.
Some Examples Here’s an example of potential competition that a frozen state kid faces (remember, all teams in each area have the same weather, right?) If a 12 year old travel ball player in Florida has his 1st game of the spring season January 15, that same player would start around mid- late February in Georgia… just one state away. How about that same player in New Jersey? maybe April 1…if there’s no snow on the ground from a late storm?
Now that’s tough.
Try this one…when my son’s college ballclub headed to Florida from Tennessee, they had already played 12 games and teams from their conference in Texas had played 18. Yet some teams they matched up with were playing their 1st game of the season…right there in Florida!
One coach from Illinois (who’s team hit the snot off the ball in their opening game) shook his head in amazement at how well they did hit. He told me that no practices had included live hitting on the field until that very game!
So, can you win if you are at this disadvantage? Absolutely…but we are talking about averages and odds…and it is just tougher with this disadvantage.
But you know who tends NOT to have a disadvantage? Pitchers! They can get their work in in the gym…it doesn’t seem to be a big difference-maker!
The Inaugural Under Armour All America Baseball Game was held at Wrigley Field last August. 36 rising High School seniors were chosen out of the 450,.000 HS players across the country.
1 player came from each of the following cold weather states/provinces:
Canada, New Jersey, Washington, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Maryland, N. California.
The other 27 were from below the Mason-Dixon Line… the South and the deep South!
The College World Series On the college level, there are great programs in all size schools in all parts of the country but when you get to the big schools in Division 1 (aka D1)…look at the 8 teams who competed in the College World Series (CWS) that just ended:
Since most are state schools, most draw players from their region yet there are still blue chip players on those rosters from up North. So, it can be done but… many yankee players travel south to play at these premium baseball programs, further diluting the northern talent pool.
Is There A Lesson Here? I’d say it is more than an observation but if there is any to be learned is that all players should strive to do their best and find ways to become the best they can be. Its easy to say that you love to play the game but it is the truly honest player who searches inside himself/herself and decides how much they are willing to do… for themselves.
The Great Thing About This Game… is that you get judged everyday so there’s always the chance that it could be your career or your ticket into the college of your dreams, maybe saving your family a ton of money as well.
Its your game, its your fun… so its ultimately your decision.
Remember, everyone plays their last game… some of the best pro players I ever saw never got out of A Ball (one of the lower levels).
You have to earn the right to continue playing each season so please do it to the best of your abilities and keep learning…because this game is played from the neck-up!
And, its a blast to do anything well!
See you next time –Coach JP
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