Which way should we go?The time is now for another baseball reorganization…

Posted by Andy Durham on July 13, 2011 at 12:59 am under Amateur | 10 Comments to Read

Which way should we go, Colt League/Legion ball during the week and then Showcase Baseball on the weekends???

Some changes, or adjustments are going to have to be made, or one of the groups is going to suffer a knockout punch and might end up being Colt Baseball…..With all the Showcase Baseball on the Weekends, and late in the season you have some week-long tournaments too, so in the end and in the grand scheme of things, too many players have their name on too many rosters and they can’t be at all the same places, at the same time…..

End result, the Showcase Touraments are going to win out and it is killing Colt Baseball and really hurting Legion baseball too….

The Colt group, had to make way too many adjustments this past weekend and even early during the week, because teams didn’t have enough players to play in the tournament and even after they won a game during the week, they couldn’t play on the weekend, because they were lined up already for their Showcase Tournaments and they couldn’t be two places at the same time, so they are choosing Showcase Ball….

Where is the commitment? Donnie Stowe, his son Rob Stowe, Matt Dezearn and others like the young man that runs the front gate at the Colt events, they are committed…..You see them there every night…..Donnie Stowe’s dad, Don Stowe, had that same commitment to the Colt Baseball Program and now Donnie Stowe, has passed that same love of the game/commitment along to son Rob and a few others have picked up the ball and kept it rolling…..

At times they must feel like they are the home team, in the bottom of the 5th, down by ten, with two outs and nobody on base, ’cause they all left town with their Showcase team…..

Nothing totally wrong with the Showcase deal….The parents have made the deal and they have chosen to pay for it and they must be seeing some results, or they wouldn’t keep paying to play it….Some have said you don’t see the scouts at the Showcase Tournaments and the scouts that are there, they are only there to see one or two, or limited numbers of players and the other kids don’t get looked at…..

It doesn’t appear that the Showcase Events are going anywhere and if that is the case, then there needs to be an alternative plan for the Colts and the Legion teams/leagues……

For Colt and Legion baseball, just play a Monday-Friday schedule and leave the weekends to the Showcase teams/tournaments…..

On the Legion side of things, we may be talking more in terms of Junior Legion ball, than we are the Senior Legion programs….But it is a fact, that the Junior Legion teams have been hurt/effected, by the Showcase Tournaments….There was a big one going on and probably still is down in East Cobb, Georgia this week/last week…..

Monday-Friday for the Colts and Junior Legion and then the Showcases get the weekends…..What do you say??? Do we need to get the players to sign a wavier, saying that they will only play Colt/Junior Legion during the week and Showcase on weekends only?????

Will this plan work? It would be a lot easier on all the coaches knowing who they were going to have at the games each night, and maybe in advance for change and not on a one-day or two-day notice……It is bad news when you have to forfeit games because you don’t have enough players, or you know you can’t play the next day or two days later, because you won’t have the same team……

Maybe local Colts or the Junior Legion groups could start holding some of their own Showcases on the weekends, this has been discussed before……

Any way, something needs to be done or we will be sitting here going over this same problem next year at this same time, in further detail and it won’t get any easier, to make changes then…..

Do it now, as we get ready for 2012….Have the Colt and Junior Legion baseball programs run Monday-Friday only and have the Showcases on the Weekends……For Colts, run the Tournemant Monday-Friday and stay away from the weekend entirely…..Same for Junior Legion, make yours a weekday tournament…..

I have not been to the Showcases, so I can’t sit here and tell you how they operate, but I have talked to several parents that have kids attending the Showcases and I have heard mixed reports….

I have seen what the Colts do and have done to try and keep their program going and they are to be commended for their efforts and over the past couple of years, I have been right there with many of the Junior Legion teams and players and they have a good thing going……

Things are going to have to change, but will it happen sooner or later??? Later may be too late to save some of our programs and in the end, the kids that are young, developing ball players, they need Colt and Junior Legion baseball in the summer….

Let’s put this new Colt/Junior Legion Plan in place and make sure it is up and working by 2012 and when in place, let’s stick with it and make it work for all…………

Are we there yet?????


  • Calvin said,

    No easy answer and something we struggle with. My son has played all three and wanted to play Colt ball this summer but not enough of his classmates were available to form a team due to Showcase. He played Legion because we thought games were only on weekdays but found out different once season started. We only played 1/4 of Legion games due to conflicts with Showcase on weekends. It’s true that only a handful of scouts are at Showcase to see only 1-2 players BUT at least they are there and you have a chance to shine. No scouts are at Colt or Legion games and that is why parents are willing to pay the $$ for Showcase. This upcoming week at East Cobb there are over 300 college and pro scouts registered to attend, that is something that Legion or Colt ball can’t compete with. We want to play Legion ball but they are going to have to limit play to weekdays to get the best players because Showcase is going to win head-to-head. Personally I much prefer the “purer” game that Legion and Colt plays as opposed to Showcase. Showcase is what it’s name says, showcasing individual players and not the team. Unfortunately this monster is created and it’s not going away so if Legion and Colt is to survive they will have to adapt to the Showcase schedule.

  • The Truth said,

    Its sad because up until a few years ago all there was, was colt and junior legion baseball. Now all of a sudden every parent thinks there kid should be playing division 1 baseball, and of course these showcase programs are eating this up. In reality it is a business, the amount of money these parents are paying for their kids to be happy and play showcase baseball in this economy is mind boggling. Its the high school coaches job to get these kids on college programs not the parents paying $$. Colt will survive as long as these High School coaches require their kids to play for their respected teams. It used to be real competitive and has lost its edge due to showcase. Junior Legion is a dying breed in this area, some areas like Rowan County for example those kids dont even miss a practice or even play showcase and they will move and play college baseball and possibly get drafted. In the end I think showcase is a joke and a waste of parents money, if a kid is a good enough to play at Carolina or ECU or whomever “showcase” your talents during school ball for free.

  • No Comparison said,

    I enjoy goinjg to watch Greensboro Colt League games because I know a lot of the kids playing but there is no comparison in the level of competition between Colt League and Showcase baseball. Colt has become a developmental league for the younger players and those lacking a higher skill level. It is a great opportunity for these players to get some more field time after the high school season has ended and for this aspect it serves a tremendous purpose at an affordable price.

    In response to The Truth, your comment about high school coaches working for these kids is completely erroneous. Most HS coaches do not have the vast network connections to solicit any interest for the majority of their players plus it is not in their job description. The blue chip players automatically solicit their own interest level but it’s the lower level D1 and DII players that fall between the cracks College scouts do not waste their time traveling half way across the state to watch a single kid on a Friday night when they can stay on campus and watch 50-60 kids in a single Saturday and 50-60 more on Sunday. It’s a no brainer. The colleges are under financial constraints also and travel expenses quickly eat away at a programs budget.

    The comment about Showcase being a waste of parents money is also incorrrect. Just do the math based on the typical in-state tuition cost of a four year institution at $100,000. Showcase is well worth the investment. Even if a kid gets a 25% ride, the parent comes out way ahead financially. Plus most scholarships are “stacked” which annually increases the contribution as the player progresses through college.

    The times are changing and Greensboro Colt League must change with it in order to survive. And I hope they do because they provide a valuable service in the nurturing and development of local baseball talent. But please don’t go head to head with Showcase because it is two different products and guaranteed failure.

  • sefan said,

    I have written something for the last hour but just have not been able to write something that will not tick someone off. I agree with most of what No Comparison says. I think Legion ball also needs to stop thinking it is Showcase. I have nothing against Showcase ball I just think there needs to be a place where kids can learn and develop. I think everyone (players, coaches, parents, fans) would be better off if it was more clear and their was more honesty about what the goals of the summer league programs are.

    I would be all for Jr. Legion ball being played during the week and designated for your older players and/or those who want to play Showcase on the weekends. Colt ball could be for the younger, less talented players who want to develop their skills on the playing field. Ask the varsity coaches to coach Legion and JV coaches to coach Colt. This way you are not killing yourself carrying more kids than you need and all players get a chance to develop.

  • formercoltplayer said,

    do the math, colt had 14 teams this season. if your goal is for every team to play 2 games per week, and you only play games monday thru thursday, you are not going to achieve that goal with just 2 fields. i know i did not include friday, but when do you think the showcase players travel? sure you could add more fields, ie high schools, but that means more staff and volunteers and umpires, etc. they are limited when they can start the season (high school baseball) and they need to be done with everything by early july due to football (in a lot of cases this includes coaches). so you cannot really stretch the schedule. do we really need 14 teams in one league? shrink it to 8 and you might be able to do a M-H schedule.

    i believe it used to be you could not play in other leagues if you played colt. if it was not a colt rule, may have been an unwritten rule that the coaches enforced. but now that is allowed. some would say you have to allow the dual particpation in order to fill out rosters. maybe so, but how many marginal players decide to not play colt because they know they will sit when the showcase players attend? so when the showcase guys show up you have enough, when they do not you are short – sound familiar? if dual participation is not allowed, you might get several of the younger, less talented players to commit. then schools are benefitting from having more kids playing summer ball. yes, the quality of play may suffer, but at the current pace of the colt league, it may not even exist in a couple of years. let the stars, or better the yet the kids whose parents think they are college material, play their showcase ball. leave colt to the players who either: are not showcase material; can’t afford showcase; or just do not like the idea of traveling all over the world to play baseball.

    and lastly, who are the players who eventually end up leaving their schools and transferring to the privates? the showcase players. don’t believe it, just ask the northern coach. so, when 2, 3, or 4 end up leaving at the same time, a coach have to throwi a player into the starting lineup that did not even play summer ball the year before. how is that good for the program?

    not saying that any of this is the answer, just maybe some ideas that should be considered. it is a shame when teams win early in the tournament and then do not even have enough players to play the next round. something needs to be done, colt ball has been in greensboro much too long to just let it die.

  • thetruth2 said,

    What is a kid to do when he goes to individual college camps and the coach says “hey kid I like you. Send me your showcase schedule so I can come see you play”

  • Currently at East Cobb said,

    I am currently in East Cobb at the 17U World Wood Bat Championships where there are 216 teams particpating. The Triad is well-represented with the Dirtbags, The Golden Spikes(Scott Bankhead of the NC Baseball Academy), the Panthers Baseball Club(coached by High Point University Coaches), The YAK(High Point Batting Center) and the Heat Showcase all participating. Each of these teams contains several Greensboro/High Point players that could be playing Colt ball. This tournament is the premier event for rising juniors and seniors and this is where the college coaches are. Every ACC team is represented plus the Southern Conference, Big South, etc, etc. It is an absolute waste of time for the players on these teams to drop back to Colt ball unless they just want to use the games as “practices” for the showcase events. After facing 90mph pitching in the Showcase, what benefit is there for facing a rising 9th grader that throws 65mph? If Colt/Legion would go to a weeknight schedule, the level of performance would go up dramatically but the fact is the more skilled players will always choose Showcase over Colt/Legion.

  • Pirate said,

    High School can not make a kid pay for their school in the summer. The coach and school can get in trouble. Maybe not right, but the NCHSAA has too uch control. I know that YAK, NCBA, The Hitting Zone and many more N.C. teams are headed to Atlanta Friday for the World Wood Bat 16u World Series. There are over 200 teams in this I think.Many of the players are from Guilford and Forsyth Counties..

  • Joe Hardy said,

    Colt baseball has two (2) choices to consider if they want to survive (remember Pony, Bronco, etc. have already thrown in the towel)—

    1) Continue the way it is and try to win the elusive world series in a national organization that has already succumbed to the “Showcase” disease–The organization will eventually die

    2) Same as choice #1.

    Do the math, by the way, all you people dedicated to East Cobb and Showcase baseball will see that the economic impact of theses baseball tournaments is so vast that even Matt Brown would not have to lie about the numbers. Greensboro could have been the same way if the city parks and recreation department had not refused to help by making fields available when people wanted to host tournaments. The “powers that be” thought the organizers might nake a little money, so they squeezed them out. Just my opinion!

  • Pirate said,

    Joe Hardy is right. If they Parks and Rec Dept. and the City Council would spend money on b uilding baseball fields instead of sidewalks and greenways we could host tournaments here like they do in East Cobb. The tournament they are hosting this weekend are using close to 20 high school fields. Lok at the Perfect Game web site. The Guilford County Schools will not let you use their high school fields without paying an exuberant amount. Our city leaders are clueless when it comes to youth sports. With the size of our city we ought to be sanctioned with some baseball organization and still pay travel ball. I know a kid that is playing showcase ball and legion and he told me the pitching in showcase ball on weekends is a lot better than Jr. Legion. Look at the Hitting Zone, Baseball Academy, GBC, YAK, Proehlific Park and others roster. Many local players.