Youth baseball

How teams are picked differs between travel, all-star baseball

2012-07-27T17:00:00Z 2012-07-29T01:51:11Z How teams are picked differs between travel, all-star baseballRobby Howard The Times nwitimes.com
July 27, 2012 5:00 pm  • 

When you're on the playground at recess, no one wants to be the last kid picked for a team.

That's not exactly the way it works for travel baseball teams and some all-star teams.

Travel baseball teams host open tryouts, usually in the first few weeks of August, for anyone from anywhere interested in joining their team.

"You have tryouts and you see who fits in and who doesn't," said Dave Griffin, coach of the 14-and-under Indiana Playmakers. "Who's open to ideas and who has their own ideas.

"If he's a hard worker and he does what you want and he fits the team, you know not every kid can be Michael Jordan. That's what I try to explain to parents. You want 10 Michael Jordan's on your team? You're going to have a lot of headaches."

At the Cal Ripken level, the part-time travel teams who compete in the Chicagoland Sunday Baseball League and the all-star teams both come from in-house players who play in the town's league.

While people from outside the town can play in the in-house league in Cal Ripken, these kids are not eligible for any of the part-time travel or all-star teams.

"If you live in Schererville, you come here," said Pat Killeen, president of the Schererville Baseball League, which is affiliated with Cal Ripken. "We'll take in kids from Dyer, but we tell them, come all-stars, you can't play."

Killeen said his league has tryouts for the part-time travel teams, and the all-stars are picked by the coaches.

Little League does not have a standard for picking all-star teams, but it suggests that teams allow players to pick the teams.

Munster Little League allows players to vote for the all-star teams at 10-, 11- and 12-year-old levels.

"Over the course of many years, their feeling is that the data supports that the kids will select the best players," said Steve Burse, president of the Munster Little League. "It's not a popularity contest."

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