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What was the highest level of baseball that you played?

What is the highest level of baseball at which you played?  

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  1. 1. What is the highest level of baseball at which you played?

    • Professional
    • D-1 college
    • D-2/3 college or juco
    • High school team
    • Non-academic uniform team while in high school
    • Uniform team before high school
    • T-shirt League
    • Never played organized baseball


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On 12/7/2018 at 1:32 PM, Tony-OH said:

I guess I fall somewhere between high school and college. After high school I joined the Army but kept playing. I first played in a summer college league in Virginia (Hit well over .450 and played SS/CF/P) when I was 20 and ended up going to an Orioles tryout camp at Memorial Stadium.

During that camp I made the cut from 90 outfielders to six that got to play in the mini game in front of the scouts. On the first pitch I saw in the game hit a ball into the front row of the outfield fence just next to the 309 ft foul pole, but unfortunately it was on the foul side. I ended up striking out when they replaced that pitcher with Mike Mussina's roommate from Stanford. I was asked to come back to a camp a few weeks later and was told if they liked me then they would offer me a contract, but I wasn't able to attend because the same day Saddam Hussein decided to invade Kuwait and I became very busy and couldn't get off.

I then put together my own team for a Baltimore-area Men's League (MSBL) in which we won the championship in my one and only year of being a player-manager in that league. I then was stationed in Hawaii where I played in summer and winter leagues with winter leagues being a league where we played against college teams and minor leaguers in their offseason. The Hawaii armed forces decided to put together a baseball tournament and I made the All Army Hawaii team that lost to the all Air Force team in the finals. Funny thing was the All-Air Force team then put a team in that local winter league and they asked me to try out and gave me a waiver because I worked on an Air Force base. So I get to say I was the guy to ever be All-Army Hawaii and All Air-Force Hawaii. 

Got stationed in NC and didn't play for almost four year when I was assigned back to Maryland and found an Anne Arundel Men's 25 and over team to play for. Played on two teams then got stationed back to Hawaii. Didn't have time to play right away, but after returning from Afghanistan, I played on two more teams (with my new PRK eyes that were fixed by the Army before deployment I could hit better than ever). I also started doing associate scouting from the Orioles out there at this time.

Returned back to Maryland and after a year or two found a team in the 35 and over AA Men's League. After playing a year I put together my own team and we won the championship (that's two for two in managing championship teams if you are counting). Team broke up after the year (you have never seen politics until you deal with a men's baseball league) and I filled in some new players with the guys that stayed and we ended up making the playoffs again, but lost in the semi-finals (Making the first time I coached a team that I played on that we didn't win a championship).

After that year, fed up with the politics, my hitting had fallen off to the point I was batting myself 8th (think I hit like .250 with wood bats), and I wanted to focus on coaching high school and doing associate scouting stuff for an American League team, I "retired from playing.

Surprisingly, I don't miss it. I've come out of retirement two times to fill in for a team that needed a player so bad or they were going to forfeit, but after pulling my hamstring in my last game, it was clear father time had claimed another victim.

And if read this far, now you know way to much history of my playing days! Haha

 

 

Ughhhh did you have to bring up the loss in the playoffs?! Lmao 

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I played catch in Flagstaff once. At an elevation of 6,909 feet above sea level, that is definitely the highest level I've ever played. 

Also played Little League.

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4 hours ago, Frobby said:

Wow, did you also date the head cheerleader?

How did you choose the other two sports over baseball in college?   Just scheduling issues, or were you just better in the other two?  Even juggling football and basketball would be pretty draining.

LOL 😄 took cheerleader to prom she was NOT the head cheerleader though... Football was my best sport, only played Basketball my freshman year in college. I did play all three in HS. Honestly I love to fish and after HS I decided I needed a break come each spring so fishing won out . College football is a demanding sport.

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I have always loved baseball.  Used to have my parents move their cars out of the garage and threw against the wall for hours.  If I wanted to catch pop flys, I would go to the side of the house and throw against the brick.  I made a local (Montgomery County) travel team in sixth grade and then made another team in seventh mostly because my father volunteered to coach.  I was not the worst on the team, but not a big factor.  My father played at Haverford College and was offered a minor league contract by the Phillies, but turned it down after my grandfather discussed the future of following in his path in dentistry versus minor league baseball.

Separately …..

My father mentioned my budding interest in chess to a patient of his and I met that guy at the Rockville Chess Club in seventh grade - around 1981.  I lost at the final table for the Maryland HS Championships two years in a row, won the club championship in 11th grade at a 17 year old, was rated among the Top 50 in the US for my age group from 13-18 and finished fourth overall in the National HS Chess Championships in my senior year (I finished in the top 15 in the same tournament in St. Louis as a junior).  My highest rating level was Expert and I was rated among the top 20 in the US under 18 right before my 18th birthday.  The biggest disappointment was at the Nationals my senior year.  I got lucky in some of the early rounds, but would have tied for first overall (with some heavyweights at that time) if I won my last round game.  I actually played some of my best chess ever for the first 38 moves or so (and my opponent admitted he would have resigned against a better known opponent) and blundered right at the time control when I passed on the most obvious and clearly winning move.  I did salvage a tie in that game and finished in a tie for third through seventh and landed fourth overall on tiebreak (still have the trophy to prove it!).  The cool part of that tournament was how well the top Marylanders performed - Alex Sherzer (who would later become a grandmaster and is fairly well known in the chess world) and Bengt Svenonius out of Laurel.  We were all undefeated entering the fifth round (out of 7) when I got lucky and was able to draw Alex.  Unfortunately, Bengt - who played in Laurel - died very young and I don't think I saw him after that.

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3 hours ago, hoosiers said:

[ re. chess...]

Cool. Just curious, do you see much parallel between chess and say, the moves of MLB managing or general managing?

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High school for me. I made my varsity team as a freshmen and played four years of varsity ball. I rode the bench my freshman season but started the final three years. I capped it off by being named MVP my senior season. But I had no illusions because I didn't have the body frame to advance from there. I did have the privilege of playing against some outstanding talent in high school. Lou Whitaker (Detroit Tigers) was in our league. As was Roy Clark (AAA for Seattle until injuries ended his career). Talmadge Tanks was signed by Kansas City. Jeff Musser led the ACC in hitting for Virginia. Several other really good talents.

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On 12/8/2018 at 1:04 PM, OregonBird said:

I was a pitcher at Northeast HS in Pasadena, MD on back to back state 2A title teams, coached by the legend Harry Lentz.  I wouldnt trade that experience for anything.  I went on to pitch four years at D1 level, pretty average, some great days and some awful days.  I had good velocity but my offspeed offerings sucked.  If you don’t have a working second pitch, you’re a one time through the lineup pitcher at that level which is why I was a closer.  I learned a sinker and that compensated for my average slider.

I played on some good summer league teams, even had a first rounder on one team.  Matt White was a teammate of mine on my college summer team.  An upcoming HS senior st the time, the kid threw 95 consistently on the ray gun that summer, good command also, and had a nice slider.  He was 6’4” 230 or so, a can’t miss prospect, but such a humble and great kid.  College kids couldnt touch him.

My baseball days are over but my sons are just beginning.  As they get older we watch a lot of HS ball and I’m continuously  amazed at how good the HS baseball is here in Portland.  Every year there seems to be 5-6 kids from the 3 nearby HS going to Pac12 schools.  Not bad for an area that gets 8 months of rain.

 

What year did you play at Northeast?  You guys beat my high school in the state playoffs maybe in 1992.  That Northeast team was stacked. 

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Another fun fact. I moved to Virginia in 1989 for a few years because of my Mothers health problems. Caught on in a League. I very rarely pitched. I wasn't bad, just liked hitting much more. Got to pitch to Julie Croteau who was in a League of Their Own. Walked her on 4 pitches. Got the other 3 outs. To this day I think my male ego wouldn't let me throw a strike so she wouldn't get a hit. I didn't do it on purpose and had no other control issues that inning. I'm blaming it on my subconscious.

 

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I went 8-for-10 in 14-year-old Little League before someone ratted me out for being a few weeks too old.  I was the smallest kid on the team and they kicked me out anyway.  After that I went back to playing outlaw ball on the mean streets of suburban Southern Maryland.

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10 hours ago, now said:

Cool. Just curious, do you see much parallel between chess and say, the moves of MLB managing or general managing?

Chess teaches one about preparation, analyzing variations/thinking ahead, how to gain and exploit small advantages, competition, etc.  At its most crude and basic core, however, chess is about one person sitting down at an equal beginning position and saying to the guy opposite that - I'm a better chess player than you, I'm smarter than you.  It is a highly, highly competitive game.

I think there are some parallels between skills that make one good at chess and ones for a MLB GM, but not a ton.  I think there are more similarities between a good CEO and a GM - building out a good organization, hiring quality people in scouting, development and analytics, making good trades.  I think that is why you see smarter folks without a deep baseball background succeed in MLB these days.  

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Made the JV squad freshman year and got called up to pitch for varsity quite a bit. Didn't throw hard but threw strikes so I pitched against all the weaker teams. Made varsity the next year but I hadn't put in an off-season of work. Fell in love with cross country/track. I got sent down to JV after a few games and I quit. Could have stuck with the varsity team throughout HS for sure but I never would have amounted to much. No plus attributes besides strong fundamentals. Became a 4 time state champion in cross country/track and now I run D1 for UMBC.

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1 minute ago, Can_of_corn said:

Were you the only one over seven?

Hell the entire team was early high school age.

We thought it was fun, we lived in a neighbor lots were about 1/4 acre, and we had the outfield in the yard next door, over the fence, and if they caught it, it was an out, balls hit onto the roof and rolled back into the field was playable. When we tore up the fungo bat, we switched to kick ball. :)

 

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