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uromd2020

East Tenn Dominance of Travel Bseball

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I've spent a lot of time recently looking for opportunities for my son (12U) to play competitive travel ball in Middle Tennessee. While there are a few good teams (ie. Major or AAA teams like the Shoetiques, etc.), there seems to be a relatively disproportionate number of highly competitive teams from East Tennessee. Any ideas as to why this is the case? Surely there are talented players in middle Tennessee (like the 13U Legends). Would appreciate any feedback.

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I've spent a lot of time recently looking for opportunities for my son (12U) to play competitive travel ball in Middle Tennessee. While there are a few good teams (ie. Major or AAA teams like the Shoetiques, etc.), there seems to be a relatively disproportionate number of highly competitive teams from East Tennessee. Any ideas as to why this is the case? Surely there are talented players in middle Tennessee (like the 13U Legends). Would appreciate any feedback.

 

 

The dominance you refer to changes as those same kids move to the big field as 13's. The game changes unless you play in East TN with pitchers moving back to 60' (55' in East TN) and those 225'-275' HR's become long fly balls and lots of outs. West TN has alot of talented 12 and under teams and imo East Tn tends to recruit a little wider territory than Middle TN at the 12 year old age group.

 

I've seen the stronger 12 yr old teams from East TN, Middle TN, and West TN in tavel ball and I believe the talent levels are similar. I've also watched some of those E. TN power programs at 12 come back to the pack by the time they are 14, 15, and 16 yr olds after "dominating" as 12's.

 

If you want to gauge competitiveness of baseball in TN look at the high school level and see who consistently wins titles or look where the MLB draft is selecting more players and I think you will see that there are players coming out each year from each geographic region of the state. I know yesterday Franklin High & Marshall Co High (both Middle TN high schools) had players drafted on day 1 of the MLB draft.

 

The good news is travel ball, quality coaching at the high school level, & many strong college programs in our state have TN putting out more and more baseball talent than ever before.

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Thanks for the insight. I have only recently started loooking at high school baseball and need to look more closely. I do agree Tennessee, as a whole, has a significant amount of talent, especially when you include the collegiate programs in the state. Thanks again.

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The 12U Shoetiques played in Knoxville this past weekend in a tournament with mostly East Tn teams. They held their own going 4-1 and lost by 1 run in the championship game. One win was against the Knoxville Stars ranked 21 in the country on Travel Ball Select. That was a quality win for Middle Tn. Hats off to the programs in the East Tn area. Great experience with good coaches, parents, and competitive kids - especially the Knoxville Impact. What a class organization with awesome kids,parents and coaches. The Knoxville Thunder and Knoxville Fire parents along with every other team we interacted with were also awesome. Great job East Tn making the out of town teams feel welcome and playing the game the right way!!!

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The last 2 years Chris Mercado coached the Hit after Hit 12 year old team to 1st place @ Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. The tournament had over 90 teams playing during those weeks and that Legends (13 yr old) team was one of those Hit after Hit 12 year old teams. I am not sure that another Tennessee team other than Hit after Hit has ever won the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament.

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The short answer is that Middle and West Tennessee have a much stronger Little League, Dixie Youth and Babe Ruth tradition than East Tennessee and a lot of those kids will stick with the local rec leagues longer before jumping up to travel ball on the longer bases. I know in our area, the kids typically stick with the local leagues through all stars and then play a couple of pick up tournaments afterwards to get a taste of travel ball. When they make the move to the longer bases and start middle school ball, they also typically start playing more travel ball.

 

There are exceptions. Morristown has a great Little League tradition even in the older age groups and northeast Tennessee has a stronger Little League presence. Knoxville and Chattanooga have not as a whole had very strong rec league programs.

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This past weekend the Shoetiques went to Cincinnati Ohio and played in the Cincy Summer Classic hosted by the Cincy Flames. There were 30 teams in the field and the Shoetiques won 1st place going 5 - 0 for the weekend. Good win for the Shoetiques and good win for Middle Tennessee!!!!

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