When it comes to great places to play youth baseball, Sports Force Parks offers a one of a kind experience. They have two different state of the art baseball complexes in Sandusky, Ohio and Vicksburg, Mississippi. The park in Vicksburg, Mississippi will open in February of 2019 and if it is anything like the one in Sandusky, it will not disappoint.
Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi is going to change youth baseball in the South when it opens President’s Day weekend. The complex has 10 synthetic turf baseball fields, 6 with LED sports lights, the 300’ High Wire Zip Line, River City Mini Golf, and a playground shaped like a Mississippi River Steamboat! The park also has great concessions including Bucko’s BBQ, the Rusty Rooster Grill, and The Market serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The first three tournaments at the park are President’s Day Classic, Opening Day Tournament, and Border War Tournament. These include USSSA, Grand Slam, and Nations Baseball sanctioned events. Each tournament has a 3-game guarantee and as part of our Grand Opening celebration will have NO GATE FEE!
Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi is truly an experience you will not forget. It has the perfect mix of baseball and entertainment for the rest of the family. Upgrade your baseball tournament experience and have a family vacation you won’t forget!
When it comes to great places to play youth baseball, Sports Force Parks offers a one of a kind experience. They have two different state of the art baseball complexes in Sandusky, Ohio and Vicksburg, Mississippi. The park in Vicksburg, Mississippi will open in February 2019 and if it is anything like the one in Sandusky, it will not disappoint.
Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky, Ohio Boasts 12 state of the art baseball fields on synthetic turf, ample parking, Sky Trail Ropes Course, Putt-In Bay Mini Golf, a pros and minors playgrounds, batting cages, and much more. What else does it offer? Tickets to nearby Cedar Point of course. Sports Force Parks offers players in tournaments free 5 day passes to Cedar Point with in-and-out privileges.
The first two big tournaments this season are the Opening Day Tournament on 3/30—3/31 and the Roller Coaster Challenge, 4/19-4/20. Both Tournaments are for age groups 9-14u and offer a 3-game guarantee. They are also both Nations Baseball Qualifiers. Admission is $10 per day, but unlike most parks and tournaments, you get free unlimited access to the Sky Zone Trail Ropes course, Putt-In Bay Mini Golf, Sky Bounce Bungy Jump, as well as planned entertainment throughout the event.
Sports Force Parks is truly an experience you will not forget. It has the perfect mix of baseball and entertainment for the rest of the family. You can combine your family vacation and watching your favorite baseball players for a great baseballcation.
Baseball in East Cobb is widely considered the Mecca of travel baseball in the Southeast. The proof is in the pudding too or should I say in the grits. With over 300+ pro players that are alumni, including big names like Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, Dansby Swanson, Daniel Norris, Javier Baez, and Nick Markakis just to name a few. They also have countless kids playing on college teams around the county.
East Cobb Baseball is comprised of 60+ travel teams from ages 8-18. According to Perfect Game, every East Cobb Astros team is ranked from ages 13-18. The older age groups at Perfect game are ranked #1 at 16u and #1 at 18u in the nation. The younger age groups are equally successful according to BRP-Baseball Rankings Project (travelbaseballrankings.com). From ages 9-12 the East Cobb Astros have 3 out of 4 of the top ranked teams and multiple teams ranked in the top 4 of 11u and 12u. This organization is a powerhouse.
There are many kids that drive 4+ hours to don the East Cobb brand and to be coached by some of the best. Wes Etheridge, coach of 12u and 14u Astros gave insight on why he drives close to two hours to coach. He said the most rewarding aspect of his job is watching his former players sign to pro teams, colleges, and developing the players. He moved to Georgia from California to be closer to his kids and grandkids. In California, he started one of the first travel baseball programs on the west-coast 30 years ago. He described how he runs practices with kids from Savannah, Florida, and South GA, which logistically could be very difficult. Not for Wes, it is a well-oiled machine and the out-of-town players will practice 4 hours a day on the weekend twice a month and the local players are able to practice together more frequently.
As an organization, there is no doubting the success of East Cobb Baseball. There are so many great teams affiliated with this brand. They face high level competition and travel as far as California for top-notch competition. If an East Cobb Baseball team comes to your town, check them out because there is a good chance you could be watching a future MLB player.
When I was younger the baseball model was as follows: You played baseball for your local little league team and if you were good enough you were selected to travel around the area. If you wanted more baseball during the Summer, there were only a couple of options for travel baseball programs to choose from. The times, they are changing. The travel baseball model has now taken over. While little league still exists and has some very quality baseball players, most of the elite players are playing on Travel Baseball Teams. In many cases even the players that make the Little League World Series have played travel baseball, but cannot pass up the chance to be on ESPN.
Travel baseball oftentimes provides much more quality instruction to kids, with high quality indoor facilities, top-notch equipment, and much better competition. This is true to some degree, however, there are some misconceptions. The big problem today is, while there are very good travel baseball teams, the increase in teams has watered down the talent level drastically. Some organizations have 2-4 teams per an age level and cost between $500-$4000. Oftentimes the instruction is very similar to what you may get in little league, and it could be argued that some little league coaches are better. Everyone knows the main motivator for these teams, yet parents still dish out the money, so their kid can be labeled a “travel baseball player”. In the end, is this right way to go?
When players decides to do travel baseball they might get criticized by local teams, parents, and friends. As a result, some animosity and jealousy can ensue. The local parents would like the kids to stay together, might even challenge the worth of travel baseball altogether, and make it sound like your kid is too good or stuck-up to play with local kids. Many parents may also ponder, “My little league team beat a travel team, so why play travel baseball?” They aren’t totally wrong either. If a travel team is playing in and getting beat by local teams, what is the point of doing travel Baseball? I look at it as, if your kid is playing travel baseball and is playing in local tournaments against little league teams, maybe you should question the motivation of your organization and the quality of that team.
As stated earlier, travel baseball is watered down to some extent and many organizations like USSSA have different divisions to deal with this problem. Comparing a little league team and a travel team is very much like comparing apples to oranges. In travel baseball, leading off and pitching starts at 8. Little League doesn’t allow leading off at all, meaning leadoffs can start at 13. I have always maintained and most coaches would agree, while the percentage of throwing a runner out is much lower in travel baseball, it gives both the catcher, baserunner, and pitcher a huge advantage as they get older. The game is much faster in travel baseball and the little league catchers may get a false sense of security with their arms.
Travel baseball has received bad publicity in recent years for the pay-to-play model. The criticism comes mostly from former players, coaches, and broadcasters that don’t realize how much the game has changed at the youth level. In the early days of baseball, the game was meant only for wealthy aristocrats and was more of a status symbol than actual talent. It then changed to become America's Pastime and later integrated to include all cultures. Today, some kids are extremely talented, but cannot afford to pay for travel baseball. It is a mistake to leave these talented/athletic kids behind. There are a few solutions for this. Some organizations are offering scholarships to kids to play for free, getting enough sponsors to greatly reduce the price of travel baseball, and in some cases they raise enough money to make it free altogether.
Travel baseball is not for everyone. In most cases, it gives players a distinct advantage in high school, college, or further. If your kid is currently on a travel baseball team, ask yourself these questions: Is your kid playing good competition? Is your kid getting more quality instruction than they would locally? Is he/she having fun? Are they improving? If so, maybe it is all worth it. Just know that not all organizations and coaches are equal.