We just spent the past five days in Ft. Myers as he traveled with a special group of players representing Bo Jackson’s Elite team in a 208 team World Underclass (no seniors) Showcase Tournament. It was pretty neat to see him get the nod to be the starting pitcher for game one and look around only to see 20-25 college scouts all with their note pads, stop watches and radar guns. The scouts wore their team colors or hats and North Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma, Iowa and many other college scouts were milling around as the games went on.
I later heard that about 500 kids from the tournament had already orally committed to their college to play ball. Most of these kids are juniors while Jake and most of his teammates were sophomores.
I can’t imagine going to an event like this when I was growing up (we hardly went anywhere that we couldn’t get to by bike) and I don’t think any of the kids from his team had any idea how lucky there were to attend. We live in an amazingly spoiled generation of kids and people like me are fully engaged in it. Jake got to miss two days of school as the first game was Thursday at 4:30pm. I had to miss four days of work and pay a crazy-high plane fare for us to go. All to give him the experience of playing against many of the best sophomores and junior baseball players around in front of college scouts. Of course, I didn’t get to play, but I couldn’t help but wonder how I would have done against these kids “back in the day”.
Yes, it was an amazing experience, but it was expensive and while the weather was fantastic (85 and sunny every day) the frugal side of me cringed when I kept adding up the costs.
I have no idea if Jake will play ball in college or not, but God has been whispering in my ear that this journey with my son was a good idea and so I will keep playing it out, confident that we will continue creating great memories for a lifetime.
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