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(Washington Post)   The baseball program at Wilson High School in D.C. has won 21 straight league championships, and hasn't lost a league game in over 14 years. Here's why nobody, including Wilson, is happy about it   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Little League, streaks, minor leagues, baseball, National Women's Law Center, John McCarthy, college baseball, Nats  
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2915 clicks; posted to Sports » on 09 Mar 2014 at 6:03 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
 
2014-03-09 06:34:21 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2014-03-09 06:43:40 PM  
What do you think you're doing, Dave?  It's HS baseball, not an epic tale of a doe-eyed midget hauling jewelry to a volcano.
 
2014-03-09 06:53:12 PM  
It's because baseball is boring.
 
2014-03-09 06:57:52 PM  
It's because like everything else in Washington, D.C., a committee to fund some future project to help minorities gets siphoned off to cronies or embezzled, and the folks who were supposed to be helped by it never see a dime of it. Most of the time, they didn't even know they were supposed to be helped by it.
 
2014-03-09 06:59:10 PM  
I would assume that a big part of the problem is that anyone who is good is snached up by the catholic high schools in the area.
 
2014-03-09 07:05:22 PM  
They want to start up crew programs? For predominately inner city black kids? Lol.
 
2014-03-09 07:07:44 PM  
Why is it always about money? How much money does it take to buy a dozen aluminum bats, some gloves and some uniforms? My high school's baseball field didn't even have fences for 35 years. You need nine guys a side, two benches, a half-dozen balls, a couple of bats, and an umpire.
 
2014-03-09 07:32:13 PM  

Adolf Oliver Nipples: Why is it always about money? How much money does it take to buy a dozen aluminum bats, some gloves and some uniforms? My high school's baseball field didn't even have fences for 35 years. You need nine guys a side, two benches, a half-dozen balls, a couple of bats, and an umpire.


And players who want to play baseball.  Becasue we all know how incredibly popular baseball is in urban, perdominantly African-American communities.
 
2014-03-09 07:38:02 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Adolf Oliver Nipples: Why is it always about money? How much money does it take to buy a dozen aluminum bats, some gloves and some uniforms? My high school's baseball field didn't even have fences for 35 years. You need nine guys a side, two benches, a half-dozen balls, a couple of bats, and an umpire.

And players who want to play baseball.  Becasue we all know how incredibly popular baseball is in urban, perdominantly African-American communities.


Baseball is very popular in those communities. The problem is that many of those communities don't have youth baseball programs. Baseball is one of the sports that you really have to have a strong youth system to teach the game and be a feeder system for your high school programs.
 
2014-03-09 08:39:31 PM  

ongbok: Benevolent Misanthrope: Adolf Oliver Nipples: Why is it always about money? How much money does it take to buy a dozen aluminum bats, some gloves and some uniforms? My high school's baseball field didn't even have fences for 35 years. You need nine guys a side, two benches, a half-dozen balls, a couple of bats, and an umpire.

And players who want to play baseball.  Becasue we all know how incredibly popular baseball is in urban, perdominantly African-American communities.

Baseball is very popular in those communities. The problem is that many of those communities don't have youth baseball programs. Baseball is one of the sports that you really have to have a strong youth system to teach the game and be a feeder system for your high school programs.


If it's "very popular" then why don't they have youth programs?
 
2014-03-09 08:48:29 PM  

CipollinaFan: I would assume that a big part of the problem is that anyone who is good is snached up by the catholic high schools in the area.


Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

"Wilson may be the best that public school baseball has to offer in Washington, but it isn't regarded as one of the area's top programs. In the past four seasons, Wilson has been 25-38-1 against non-league opponents, and has lost in the finals of the D.C. Baseball Classic every year to an intra-city private school. (Maret prevailed over Wilson in last season's championship game, 10-1.)"
 
2014-03-09 09:02:36 PM  

Jack of All Games: ongbok: Benevolent Misanthrope: Adolf Oliver Nipples: Why is it always about money? How much money does it take to buy a dozen aluminum bats, some gloves and some uniforms? My high school's baseball field didn't even have fences for 35 years. You need nine guys a side, two benches, a half-dozen balls, a couple of bats, and an umpire.

And players who want to play baseball.  Becasue we all know how incredibly popular baseball is in urban, perdominantly African-American communities.

Baseball is very popular in those communities. The problem is that many of those communities don't have youth baseball programs. Baseball is one of the sports that you really have to have a strong youth system to teach the game and be a feeder system for your high school programs.

If it's "very popular" then why don't they have youth programs?


Nobody wants to foot the bill for a youth program. When they have programs, they get a lot of participants, for example the MLB RBI program. The problem is being able to fund those programs. Contrary to popular belief, it is very expensive to fund a youth baseball league, with the biggest expense being insurance. So unless you have a contributor with big pockets like MLB, you are going to have a problem funding those programs. And by the way, MLB spends less than half the money on the RBI program that single teams spend on their development programs in Latin America.
 
2014-03-09 09:05:13 PM  

rugman11: CipollinaFan: I would assume that a big part of the problem is that anyone who is good is snached up by the catholic high schools in the area.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

"Wilson may be the best that public school baseball has to offer in Washington, but it isn't regarded as one of the area's top programs. In the past four seasons, Wilson has been 25-38-1 against non-league opponents, and has lost in the finals of the D.C. Baseball Classic every year to an intra-city private school. (Maret prevailed over Wilson in last season's championship game, 10-1.)"


So basically they are King shiat of fark Island, like when I play croquet against ddisadvantaged urban elementary schoolers?
 
2014-03-09 09:06:01 PM  
LiQuid!:

I was hoping this would be the reason. Lol
 
2014-03-09 10:10:57 PM  

rugman11: CipollinaFan: I would assume that a big part of the problem is that anyone who is good is snached up by the catholic high schools in the area.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

"Wilson may be the best that public school baseball has to offer in Washington, but it isn't regarded as one of the area's top programs. In the past four seasons, Wilson has been 25-38-1 against non-league opponents, and has lost in the finals of the D.C. Baseball Classic every year to an intra-city private school. (Maret prevailed over Wilson in last season's championship game, 10-1.)"



And Wilson is at least 5 times the size of Maret.
 
2014-03-09 10:51:21 PM  
It's a shame really because baseball is the great equalizer.  You don't have to be the biggest, fastest or strongest to be good.  If you can pitch, field or hit the ball they'll make a spot for you.

The other problem I can see happening at the youth level is that there are training academies all over the place.  My son went to academies beginning at age 13 through high school.  There were at least 5 in my area that had coaches that had played college/minor/pro ball and many who also coached at those levels.  That costs money...and it isn't cheap.  They'll break down pitches and swings with video and kids that are in grade school are getting personal coaching (I didn't start doing this for my son until after he started showing some talent around 12-13 when he was making league all-star teams).

He was very good and played through high school but since he didn't get a D1 or D2 scholarship (he was offered an invite to play at a JuCo) he decided to join the Navy...probably the best decision for him because I don't think he was really ready for college and he likely wasn't going to make a DI/DII scholarship after 2 years anyway.  Really good hitter...just not good enough and probably not passionate enough about it near the end.
 
2014-03-09 11:46:56 PM  

varmitydog: They want to start up crew programs? For predominately inner city black kids? Lol.


Hey, the inner city Philadelphia polo team is one of the best in the country.
 
2014-03-10 02:38:16 AM  

slayer199: You don't have to be the biggest, fastest or strongest to be good.


In other words, it's not a real sport. Just an outdoor parlor game.
 
2014-03-10 06:12:25 AM  

HotWingAgenda: In other words, it's not a real sport. Just an outdoor parlor game.


No.  What I meant by that is that if you can hit the ball far, you don't have to be the fastest runner.  If you throw the ball hard and accurately, you don't have to be the best hitter or the biggest guy.  If you're a great fielder, you don't need to be the best hitter.  Baseball is less dependent upon physical size and more on specific skills.

Look at basketball and football where size and quickness are important
 
2014-03-10 06:21:35 AM  
I love that the Washington Post posted this picture.

img.fark.net
 
2014-03-10 07:36:03 AM  

Polish Hussar: varmitydog: They want to start up crew programs? For predominately inner city black kids? Lol.

Hey, the inner city Philadelphia polo team is one of the best in the country.


http://www.peterwestbrook.org/programs-partnerships/athletics/

Just like Pete Westbrook created a solid sabre fencing program for disadvantaged youths?
 
2014-03-10 09:20:00 AM  

KAVORKA: rugman11: CipollinaFan: I would assume that a big part of the problem is that anyone who is good is snached up by the catholic high schools in the area.

Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

"Wilson may be the best that public school baseball has to offer in Washington, but it isn't regarded as one of the area's top programs. In the past four seasons, Wilson has been 25-38-1 against non-league opponents, and has lost in the finals of the D.C. Baseball Classic every year to an intra-city private school. (Maret prevailed over Wilson in last season's championship game, 10-1.)"


And Wilson is at least 5 times the size of Maret.



I played for one of those fabled Catholic schools and we always beat the bigger public schools. The only teams that ever stood a chance against us were other Catholic schools. I was the 10th or 11th best player on my team my whole time in high school, but every time we played a public school all I could think of was how I could be an all-state player for one of the public schools. Man were they crappy at baseball. However play them in basketball or football and they would dumptruck you if they chose to. It really is a social economic issue. Upper middle class kids have the money to buy bats, gloves, cleats, balls and time in a batting cage. Regardless of the level of play you have to have that equipment. You can learn football without any equipment other than a ball. All you need for basketball is a ball and a hoop. Once you get to highschool you already have a love of the game and a basic understanding of how to play instilled in the youth. For the same to happen in baseball that same kid's parents have to shell out a lot more money on gear and there have to be a lot of other parents in the same area doing the same thing. If that doesn't exist then the kid never developes the love or talent needed to excell at a higher level. Hence you have a lot of upper middle class kids who's parents want their kids to have a private school education growing up playing baseball and then going to the same private schools. It isn't really all that hard to figure out.

Cost of equipment when I played over ten years ago:
Bat-$175+
Glove-$85+
Cleats-$75+
Box of balls-$60+

Football-$20+

Basketball-$35+
Basketball goal-$100+
 
2014-03-10 10:54:43 AM  

balfourk: Cost of equipment when I played over ten years ago:
Bat-$175+
Glove-$85+
Cleats-$75+
Box of balls-$60+

Football-$20+

Basketball-$35+
Basketball goal-$100+


You didn't wear shoes while playing basketball and football?  Football is very expensive for the schools (lots of padding).  Basketball is one of the cheaper sports though.

Regardless, I watched some public DC high school baseball, I used to run track workouts on a track that went around a baseball field.  They were... bad.  It was a bunch of walks, with most the outs coming from base running errors.  You could tell each team only had a couple kids who cared.
 
2014-03-10 12:03:46 PM  

bacongood: balfourk: Cost of equipment when I played over ten years ago:
Bat-$175+
Glove-$85+
Cleats-$75+
Box of balls-$60+

Football-$20+

Basketball-$35+
Basketball goal-$100+

You didn't wear shoes while playing basketball and football?  Football is very expensive for the schools (lots of padding).  Basketball is one of the cheaper sports though.

Regardless, I watched some public DC high school baseball, I used to run track workouts on a track that went around a baseball field.  They were... bad.  It was a bunch of walks, with most the outs coming from base running errors.  You could tell each team only had a couple kids who cared.


My point is that you can learn the basics as a child playing both football and baseball in a field or on a court wearing basic tennis shoes. You don't have to buy specific shoe types to learn the basics. So parents don't have to spend more money that they might not have.
 
2014-03-10 12:08:39 PM  

balfourk: Cost of equipment when I played over ten years ago:
Bat-$175+
Glove-$85+
Cleats-$75+
Box of balls-$60+

Football-$20+

Basketball-$35+
Basketball goal-$100+


In what world do you have to shell out that kind of money for baseball equipment?  You can pick up everything on that list for under $20 each at any sports store or Wal-Mart.  Football, on the other hand, is insanely expensive for private youth leagues.  The 6th-7th grade leagues where I live charge parents almost $300 just to cover the insurance and entry fees.  Then the parents are required to rent the pads and uniforms on top of that.
 
2014-03-10 12:33:45 PM  

slayer199: What I meant by that is that if you can hit the ball far, you don't have to be the fastest runner.  If you throw the ball hard and accurately, you don't have to be the best hitter or the biggest guy.  If you're a great fielder, you don't need to be the best hitter.  Baseball is less dependent upon physical size and more on specific skills.


This, and this is why I like baseball.  It's a sport where you can make up for having lesser physical gifts with brains.

Football, you have to be either really big or really fast, preferably both.  Basketball, you can get away without being big, but if you're not big or fast, you're going to be a role player who will struggle on defense.

I'm 5'6", not blessed with the most speed or strength, and, when I was in my playing days, 135 lbs. soaking wet.  I would have gotten broken in half on a football field.  On a basketball court, my first step was lacking.  We couldn't afford hockey.  Other than becoming a jockey, baseball was the one sport I could play where I could succeed.

Put me at second base and I could overcome a lack of size and strength with a consistent glove.  Then, at the plate, a good eye and a small strike zone helped, plus a good mind for the psychology of opposing pitchers and an ability to line shots to the opposite field gave me a great BA and OBP.  I was SABRmetrics before SABRmetrics was cool, baby.  The fact I could overcome the lack of physical gifts and still be a good player was part of what always gave baseball an appeal to me.  Not sure if any other sport allows for that.

I still miss playing, but when my Dad took ill 10 years ago, I lost the one guy willing to go out and hit me grounder after grounder and my defense went to Hell.  Oh well.
 
2014-03-10 12:42:45 PM  
Since organization and training is so important in youth baseball (as well as facilities, materials, equipment) then the coaches all gravitate to the schools with the $ to run a good program (private).  The true star players get scholarship offers to the private schools, and the publics are left with bad fields, bad equipment, poor coaching and sub-par players.  No surprise there.

What I'm more surprised at is that highschool baseball even exists.  I thought the American Legion, Little League or other non-school leagues were where all the real players were at.
 
2014-03-10 03:35:35 PM  

balfourk: My point is that you can learn the basics as a child playing both football and baseball in a field or on a court wearing basic tennis shoes. You don't have to buy specific shoe types to learn the basics. So parents don't have to spend more money that they might not have.


You don't *need* cleats to play baseball either.

You can play the basics with about $5, 5 minutes in someone's garage, and an open field.
 
2014-03-10 04:44:15 PM  

omnimancer28: balfourk: Cost of equipment when I played over ten years ago:
Bat-$175+
Glove-$85+
Cleats-$75+
Box of balls-$60+

Football-$20+

Basketball-$35+
Basketball goal-$100+

In what world do you have to shell out that kind of money for baseball equipment?  You can pick up everything on that list for under $20 each at any sports store or Wal-Mart.  Football, on the other hand, is insanely expensive for private youth leagues.  The 6th-7th grade leagues where I live charge parents almost $300 just to cover the insurance and entry fees.  Then the parents are required to rent the pads and uniforms on top of that.


If you're paying $300 for football, someone's raking some off the top.. I've coached youth (uh, did you say youts?) football in northern virginia for 10 years, it's not nearly that expensive to put a kid on the field.
 
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