Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record; truly one of baseball’s magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Perfect PRACTICE Makes Perfect
Practice does not make perfect. How is that possible? Because bad habits may be practiced, and practicing a flawed technique will get a player nowhere. The only way to do something is to do it right. Practicing good habits is what makes a better player. Habits are formed in practice and then become automatic in the game. You play like you practice; If you practice correctly, you will play correctly.
TEACHING Baseball… Printable Lessons as well as Video Lessons (click hyperlinks below) on the Basic Fundamentals of Hitting, Infield & Outfield Play, Pitching and even a Glossary. Instructors include Cal Ripken Jr., Billy Ripken, John Habyan and Joe Orsulak.
Hitting is probably the most difficult part of the game. However, it is also the most enjoyable and satisfying part, as we all love to hit a baseball. It’s difficult because the pitcher has the ability to throw the ball hard, or not so hard, or to make it curve or sink. As the hitter, we not only have to determine what pitch has been thrown, but also whether it is a strike or a ball. If it is a strike, we have to attempt to hit it. All of this must be done in a fraction of a second. Like all parts of the game there are basic fundamentals that can help make us become better hitters. Click on Hitting Lessons with Cal: Fundamentals, Choose Right Bat, Right Grip, Stance, Weight Shift, Release Point, Stride, Swing, Tee Drill, Soft Toss Drill, One Hand Drill, Make It Fun
Outfield play, especially at the youth levels, often gets overlooked. Even though the outfielder is not directly involved in the majority of plays, coaches need to stress the importance of the position. An outfielder has to be able to maintain concentration throughout the game, because there may only be one or two hit balls that come directly to that player during the course of the contest. Those plays could be the most important ones. There also are many little things an outfielder can do — backing up throws and other outfielders, cutting off balls and keeping runners from taking extra bases, and throwing to the proper cutoffs and bases – that don’t show up in a scorebook, but can really help a team play at a high level. Click on Outfield Lessons with Joe Orsulak: Straight Away, Good Stance, Pick Up Ball Off Bat, Cross Over Step, Drop Step, DS Drill, Get To Spot, Catch Ball, Fast-Slow-Fast, Throwing-Grip, Throw Using Body-Crow Hop, Make Accurate Throw
Every year thousands of players participate in the great game under the Babe Ruth League banner. Many of them dream about someday becoming professional athletes.
It used to be that only young male athletes could dream of reaching such lofty heights through athletic participation. But now because of women’s professional basketball, softball and soccer leagues, young female athletes have been able to share those dreams.
While it’s great to dream and strive for success in all of your endeavors, the reality is that a very, very small percentage of athletes ever get the opportunity to play a sport professionally. In fact, only a handful of the athletes who participate in youth baseball or softball will play at the collegiate level. More, but probably not the majority, will play in high school.
At some point all of us – even the most successful professional athletes – have to venture out into the business world or what some people like to call the “real world.” While it is our primary goal to help the young baseball and softball players improve in those sports, we are very aware that there is more to life than athletics. There are many valuable life lessons that can be communicated through sports participation, and it is our hope that the young athletes will take away something that will help them later on in life. One of those key lessons that we hope to impart is the value of sportsmanship. Read more
Every game we handed out a trophy for the Most Valuable Player. This idea came to me from watching my son’s Head Baseball Coach, Doug Bassett (Facebook). My son left RPBL in 2014 and he and I got involved with the WM Warriors. I was the Assistant Coach on the 8U-B travel team. In 2015, Blake had the most success season to-date winning the MVP in the “35th Annual HCYP Invitational Baseball Tournament in Ellicott City, MD”. This medal was awarded by the opposing Manager. His 8U-A team also went undefeated in the 2015 Essex Express Baseball Father’s Day Summer Classic
August, 2001 my girlfriend Rene and I drove to the Eastern shore with our first born child AKA dog Brendan. The breeder named him Snow because he was so white. So, when we set out to train him and enrolled him in multiple obedience classes. This is where I learned one of the most valuable lessons in life. She said,
“Have you ever wondered how trainers are able to get dolphins to jump out of the water on command and do a flip at SeaWorld? It’s through “positive reinforcement” using fish.”
So, instead of fish we used Cheese Balls and it was AMAZINGLY effective. I managed to train Brendan to Sit, Stay and Come on command beautifully. He was literally like a son to us. We loved him so much he became our “ring bearer” at our wedding @ the Inn at Perry Cabin.
This style of teaching proved to be very important in my teaching career, as well as coaching. I began awarding a Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy at every game. There is NO “I” in TEAM. For example, Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez was named 2015 World Series MVP. Read more He wears jersey #13. Guess who else wears that unlucky number on the Orioles? Gold Glove 3rd baseman – Manny Machado
At Closing Ceremonies this year, we will be presenting the first ever RPBL Coaches Award to one player on each National League Team (9-10 age group) who best represents the values of RPBL. These values include:
The winner on the Blaze goes to Henry Fischel. He always had a smile on his face, hustled, followed direction well, cheered for his teammates and most of all was a great asset to the overall success of our team this year. In fact, he managed to have some key offensive hits when we needed it most and his defensive pitching performance was outstanding.
However, it was not a land slide. We had many players who were very easy to teach and seemed to be enjoying the game. But there were two special players who deserve to be recognized. Amelia Overton & Wyatt Winstead – Honorable Mentions. I believe their best example of “Sportsmanship” was shown when they consistently went out of their way to acknowledge me not only after every game, but after every practice as well. “Thank you Coach” are the 3 magic words any Skipper loves to hear!
One last player who made remarkable improvement was Sawyer Ross. He wins the “Most Improved” award. Here’s a guy who had never played baseball before. Yet, I knew he was a great athlete because he played soccer with my son. He became my “pet project”. I worked with him and tried to teach him how to bat. Sure enough, when the game was on the line, he came through. Read Victory & Defeat
Don’t be a Sore Loser
Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. A “sore loser” refers to one who does not take defeat well, whereas a “good sport” means being a “good winner” as well as being a “good loser”. (Someone who shows courtesy towards another in a sports game).
RPBL requires that we play every player in the outfield. So, we will continue to make adjustments this season experimenting with players at pitcher, 1B and SS. I will continue to keep the batting lineup in descending order alphabetically. This gives everyone equal plate appearances.
In general, sportsmanship refers to virtues such as fairness, self-control, courage, and persistence, and has been associated with interpersonal concepts of treating others and being treated fairly, maintaining self-control if dealing with others, and respect for both authority and opponents. The four elements of sportsmanship are often shown being good form, the will to win, equity and fairness.
The important thing to remember is that we win and lose as a TEAM. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” –Babe Ruth
Since every sport is rule driven, the most common offence of bad sportsmanship is the act of cheating or breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage. A competitor who exhibits poor sportsmanship after losing a game or contest is often called a “sore loser” (those who show poor sportsmanship after winning are typically called “bad champs”). Sore loser behavior includes blaming others for the loss, not accepting responsibility for personal actions that contributed to the defeat, reacting to the loss in an immature or improper fashion, making excuses for the defeat, and citing unfavorable conditions or other petty issues as reasons for the defeat. A bad winner acts in a shallow fashion after his or her victory, such as by gloating about his or her win, rubbing the win in the face(s) of the opponent(s), and lowering the opponent(s)’s self-esteem by constantly reminding the opponent(s) of “poor” performance in comparison (even if the opponent(s) competed well). Read more
The BEST thing I heard after our disappointing 10-0 loss in the Championship game was from a complete stranger.
A young boy was walking by immediately following my Gatorade shower and said,”That’s the happiest losing team I ever saw”!
Every baseball player and coach wants to win, generally. That’s why you keep score. The biggest showcase of the year is the World Series and that’s where all the hard work throughout the season comes to a close. If you had a successful season and won enough games to make it to the playoffs you have a shot at taking home a National Championship.
However, there have been many, many great baseball players that were not very popular like Al Gallagher. So, when you think of the BEST ballplayers, you automatically associate their stats. What was his batting average? What was his ERA? And yes, coaches also are measured on stats. Yet, considering how difficult it is to make it to the World Series, it is fascinating to me that Joe Torre won the Championship four (4) times. Read more.
If you want to be the best ___ [fill-in the blank]. Find someone who has already achieved that success. Then just copy everything they do! Eventually, you’ll develop your own “signature”. I’ll stick with the home town hero, Buck Showalter.
Notice that Buck was the Yankees coach before Torre. But I grew up watching Earl Weaver. Buck Showalter loves scouting reports — except when it comes to assessing the personalities of people he’s never met. In that regard, the Orioles’ manager insists upon formulating his own opinion. “People will start to tell me about a player that’s coming,” Showalter said, “and I stop them and say, ‘I got this. We’re starting fresh. I’m going to make up my own mind about him.'”
Showalter’s reputation preceded his arrival in Baltimore. Taskmaster, drill sergeant, disciplinarian — those words were often associatedwith him during his tenure as manager of the New York Yankees (1992-95), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Texas Rangers (2003-06). So when the feisty skipper was hired by then-president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to turn around a franchise in search of its first winning season since 1997, the players knew what was coming…
“Some people’s reputation before you meet them is not the same after you get to know them.
My son Blake turns thirteen at the end of the year and he has spent the past couple of years in 12U Leagues getting comfortable with drop 10 USSSA and USA bats. He is only 4’10” and 100 lbs.
Using the “Bat Sizing Chart” it recommends 30 inch length.
However, he has been having a lot of success using a 31″ 21 lb. (-10) so moving to the heavier bats is going to be a big adjustment.
To use the bat size chart below, all you have to do is follow these simple steps: * Move the top slider on the chart to the player’s height range * Move the bottom slider on the chart to the player’s weight range Click here
I’ve reached out to my network and most coaches replied, “it depends on the league”. Also, it was pointed out that the “increased bat weight is offset in significant part by the increased distance from the pitching rubber to home plate. The 12U game at an advanced level can be more challenging than the 13U due to the infield dimensions.”
From the Desk of Matt Tyner, Head Baseball Coach, Towson Tigers
“Age 13 is big field time. The transition is the great equalizer. It’s the separation mechanism that makes young players play a different sport. Very seldom does a young player dominate on the big field, Bbcor bats etc. if there is one that does, he’s easily identified. Take it in stride. Speed is the key.”
Convoluted Needs of 13U Players
Getting the right bats for a 13u player is far more complicated than any other age. Not only do a variety of bat standards apply depending on context, but BBCOR bats are looming in the near future for players who hope to continue playing in high school.
Nearly all 14u travel ball tournaments require players to swing BBCOR bats. So let’s say you turn 13 in April of 2018. Starting August 1, 2018, you’ll be using a BBCOR bat in travel ball games. Some 13u players are required to start using BBCOR earlier than that as part of a middle school baseball program or if playing on a 14u team.
It is much, much easier for players to swing a light bat than a heavy bat. At the younger ages, many players have poor hitting mechanics, and the quickest fix for that is to switch to a bat that is so light that it can be used to good effect in spite of poor mechanics and/or lack of strength.
Some kids who never develop good swing mechanics continue to use a light bat until they are forced to switch to BBCOR at the age of 14. I see some players on my son’s 13u and 14u PONY division swinging drop 10 bats. Switching to BBCOR (combined with better pitching) from a drop 10 bat is so drastic that typically, mechanics change for the worse and hitting results plummet. The switch to BBCOR contributes to some players deciding to quit the game.
The local coaches with whom I’ve discussed BBCOR have all said that it’s very helpful to practice with increased weight for many months before BBCOR bats are required. So it might look something like this:
January through May of 13u year: Use a drop 8 bat for games, drop 5 off the tee. Even better if a player is big/strong enough to start with such heavy bats at an earlier age, but many players won’t be big enough until they’re 13.
June and July: Use a drop 5 bat for games, BBCOR off a tee
August: Begin using BBCOR always as a 14u.
Also helpful is to regularly do calisthenics such as pushups, pullups, crunches, planks, and squats.
It’s very important to maintain good mechanics when switching to a heavier bat. It can be helpful to practice with the heavier bat off a tee, being careful to focus on good mechanics, rather than just at batting practice and games where the player will focus more on hand eye coordination than mechanics. Read more
BBCOR (Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution) is something you’ve probably heard a lot about; it’s the standard currently governing adult baseball bats used in High School and Collegiate play. Rather than measuring the ratio of the ball exit speed to pitch and bat speeds, BBCOR measures the trampoline effect of the bat.
-3 is BBCOR. That’s high school and college. USSSA is what we used this year. They should allow USA also.
I think 14U is usually BBCOR. 13U leagues are sometimes BBCOR.
14U & Below: You may use either a 2 5/8″ or 2 3/4″ barrel diameter with a maximum allowed length of 36 inches. Your bat must feature either the USSSA 1.15 BPF certification or the BBCOR .50 certification.
All bats must be stamped BBCOR. Wood bats allowed. 19u: To be considered a wood bat, a bat must be made of a single piece of wood. All other bats such as bamboo or two piece must meet the BBCOR standards and have the BBCOR stamp
Adult baseball bats must have a -3 length to weight ratio and 2” barrel. In high school and collegiate sanctioned leagues, bats must be 31″-34″ long to be legal.
In 2018, many league requirements forced players to purchase new, and expensive, bats that complied with the USA Bat Policy (i.e. bats stamped with the “USA Baseball” logo). However, this year they have reversed course so now the “old” USSSA bats will once again be permitted for league play along with USA Bats.
Bats come down to personal preference, so if your player is happy with a USA bat, he can continue to use it. However, most kids prefer the older, big barrel (2 5/8″) USSSA bats as they have more pop which results in the ball travelling farther when hit. Right now, you can find tons of quality used bats USSSA bats on e-Bay at a fraction of their original cost and most are lightly used and come with new grips, making them feel like new bats. Another option would be to search local, used sporting goods retailers but that takes more leg work than shopping on-line. Please note that while 2 5/8″ barrels are approved, 2 3/4″ barrels are not approved for HCTB play; however, some tournaments may permits the use of those bats.
Be sure to check your individual league website for updates and information on bat restrictions.
2019 Bat Rules
USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel or USA Bat (No barrel restrictions)
USSSA BPF 1.15 2 ¼” or 2 5/8” Barrel, USA Bat (No barrel restrictions), or BBCOR
Some of the best USSSA Baseball Bats
DeMarini CF Zen -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (WTDXCBZ-18)
Easton Ghost X -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (SL18GX10)
Marucci Hex Alloy 2 -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (MSBHA2X10)
Louisville Slugger Solo 618 -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (WTLSLS618X10)
COMBAT MAXUM -10 Senior League Baseball Bat (SL8MX210)
Effective January 1st, 2018
USA Baseball is introducing a NEW standard. Traditionally, rules were always based on age groups. For example, 12U players are allowed to use baseball bats up to thirty-three (33) inches in length and less than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Now the new rule requires that bat barrels up to 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter are REQUIRED to carry the new USABat stamp.
USSSA has had a stated 1.15 BPF Small Barrel (2¼” barrels) and Big Barrel (2⅝” and 2¾” barrel bats) baseball bat performance standard in its rule book for 6 years for its sanctioned programs up to and including its 14U program. Read more
Traditionally, there has long been some confusion on the specific weight/length ratio limits, as well as the composition differences between wood, metal (aluminium), composite and BBCOR. When you move up to 13U they can use thirty-four (34) inch bats, and composite is allowed if BBCOR barrel is no larger than 2 5/8. Read more | Bat Standards | Announcement
Youth Baseball Bats that feature a 2 1/4 inch barrel diameter and are often lighter, with a length to weight ratio between -8 and -13. Youth bats are sometimes referred to as small barrel bats or Little League baseball bats, and are used by players that play in leagues that mandate a bat with a 2 1/4 inch barrel. Most will be Little League approved bats and should also be legal in one or more of the following associations: Babe Ruth, Dixie, Pony, AABC, or USSSA. If you’re in search of youth baseball bat sales, check out our Closeout Youth Bats or Youth Bat Packs page for discount bats and great deals! Read more
The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.
Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USA Baseball bat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.
There will be no immediate change to youth baseball organizations’ bat rules. All bats, currently accepted for the respective leagues, remain permissible through December 31, 2017. Each participating national member organization will incorporate the new standard into their rules for the 2018 season and will begin, with this announcement, to inform their membership of the USABat standard.
Frequently Asked Questions about the USABat standard:
Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?
To date, the following organizations are participating (in alphabetical order): American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.
Why the change to a wood-like standard?
USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.
Why not just use wood bats?
Wood is a scarce resource. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood, where its performance will be limited to the highest performing wood.
How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?
Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups.
Why is USA Baseball involved?
The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard. Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard.
Why wait until 2018?
The implementation date of 2018 will allow bat manufacturers sufficient time to conduct the appropriate research, design, testing, manufacturing and shipping needed to get new bats into retail outlets. This date also allows the participating national member organizations adequate time to educate their memberships of the USABat standard.
Is my current bat good for league play?
Yes. Current league-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017.
Is safety the reason for the change?
No. Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.
How will I know which bat to buy?
All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations.
When can I buy the new bat?
It is the intention of the bat manufacturers to make the new bats available in the fall of 2017, in sufficient time for the 2018 season. Read more
sponsored by Roland Park Baseball Leagues (RPBL) will be a series of four WORKSHOPS at local indoor facilities convenient to Roland Park. These events are designed to address all five of our little league age groups teaching various SKILLS including hitting, base running, infield, outfield, pitching and catching as well as, organizing an effective practice.
Beginner – targeting T-Ball and International League Teams (ages 5-8) Intermediate – targeting National and American League In-house Teams (ages 9-11) Advanced – targeting Teen League and Travel Teams (ages 9-15)
Date: Saturday, February 17 Times: (each workshop is approx. 90 minutes each)
9:00 AM – Beginner
10:30 AM – Intermediate
12:30 PM – Advanced
Location: S3 Training Center Address: 1412 Shoemaker Road Balt., MD 21209 Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile;
Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach; Brooks Kerr, Calvert Hall Coach and Joe Palumbo, Archbishop Spalding Coach
Date: Sunday, February 25 | Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM Location: Gilman (middle school gym) | Address: 5407 Roland Avenue Guest Speakers: Larry Sheets and Russell Wrenn, Gilman Coaches
Date: Sunday, March 4 | Time: 12:00 – 3:00 PM Location: Boys Latin (middle school gym) | Address: 822 W Lake Avenue Guest Speaker: Bill Greenwell, Boys Latin Coach
Date: Sunday, March 11 | Time: 2:30 – 4:30 PM Location: Friends (wrestling room / gym) | Address: 5114 N. Charles Street Guest Speakers: Impact Sports founder Brett Linnenkohl and Coach Dave Meile
Bios of our Trainers
(and a few Cameo Appearances)
Brooks Kerr Calvert Hall Varsity Coach
A 1987 Calvert Hall graduate, played varsity baseball as well as basketball and football during his years at Calvert Hall. After graduating from The Hall, Coach Kerr attended Frostburg State University and was a 4-four year baseball letterman and captain his senior year. He is among Frostburg State’s leaders in on-base-percentage, stolen bases and fielding percentage.Coach Kerr joined the Calvert Hall coaching staff in 1992 as the first Freshmen Baseball team Head Coach. He then became the Head Coach on the Junior Varsity in 1993 and won 5 MIAA championships from 1993 to 2000. Coach Kerr became the assistant varsity coach in 2002 and currently is a Guidance Counselor at The Hall. Frostburg State Univeristy – B.S.
Joe Palumbo Archbishop Spalding Varsity Coach
As a high school player, Joe Palumbo provided the spark that drove DeMatha to three straight WCAC baseball championships. When Archbishop Spalding named him as his father’s replacement as head coach on June 19, it was Palumbo’s competitive fire and winning ways that once again set him apart.At DeMatha, Joe was always a coach on the field, says DeMatha Head Coach Sean O’Connor. He was a great two-sport athlete. I am really happy for him and I think he will do a great job at Spalding.In 2004, the All-County shortstop was the Stags’ co-captain and co-MVP on the baseball diamond as well as the valedictorian of his senior class. Palumbo’s efforts earned him a scholarship to the University of Maryland where he went on to play. At Maryland, Palumbo earned All-Academic ACC honors and was known by his coaches for his leadership abilities and clutch hitting.
As an alumnus of Spalding and being Joe’s brother I’m excited, said Dan Palumbo, head coach of the 14U Chesapeake Baseball Association champion Southern Maryland Red River Dogs. Spalding baseball is in good hands. As far as a transition is concerned, Joe will carry on many of my dad’s traditions at Spalding and the players will benefit greatly from that.Continuity in the hand-off between father and son will be a key element in the Cavaliers’ continued success. After winning the MIAA A championship in 2011 and coming close in 2012, Jeff Palumbo, Joe’s father, stepped down from his position at Spalding this spring and accepted the job of president and principal of Pallotti High School in Laurel.Joseph will be great for the players at Archbishop Spalding, says Jeff Palumbo. He is intensely competitive with a great knowledge of the game. He understands what it takes, on and off the field, to compete at the highest levels of high school and college baseball.
In college, Joe Palumbo faced some of the ACC’s best talent, including future big-leaguers Matt Wieters, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun and Buster Posey, but big challenges have never daunted the 26-year-old Bowie native. When it comes to baseball I’m very similar to my father, says Joe Palumbo. We’ll play aggressive baseball at Spalding. We’ll take some chances on the base paths. We’re going to create runs any way possible. At the plate we’re going to be a team of tough outs. We’ll play with passion and it will be my job to put my players in a good position to succeed and win games. Read more
Larry Sheets Gilman Varsity Coach
Born December 6, 1959 in Staunton, Virginia, and is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter who played for the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Seattle Mariners from 1984 to 1990 and 1993. He also played one season in Japan for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales in 1992.Sheets attended Eastern Mennonite University, where he played basketball. He was named to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s all-conference second team in 1980 and to the first team in 1982. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite in 1984. He was named to Eastern Mennonite’s athletic hall of fame in 1988. Sheets currently operates a youth sports facility in Westminster, Maryland, and serves as Gilman School’s head Varsity Baseball coach.He has a son named Gavin in the Chicago White Sox organization. Read more | Stats
Russell Wrenn Gilman Varsity Coach
Coach Wrenn was a three-sport athlete at Gilman. His senior year, he played on the 1996 A Conference championship baseball team; Gilman’s first A conference championship in baseball. Wrenn went on to play baseball and football at Washington & Lee. Wrenn’s college coaching career started in 2000, when he coached football and baseball at Dickinson College. Wrenn next moved to Johns Hopkins, where he worked for legendary baseball coach Bob Babb for two seasons, before returning to Dickinson as the head baseball coach from 2003-2006. As the youngest full-time college baseball coach in the country, Wrenn led Dickinson to their first (and only) conference playoff appearance in his first season. The program established eight school records during Wrenn’s tenure.
Wrenn spent a decade coaching at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta before returning to his alma mater Gilman in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster baseball teams experienced unparalleled success, culminating in the school’s first baseball state championship in forty-one years in 2016. Wrenn’s Westminster teams won two region titles and advanced to the state semifinals or finals four consecutive seasons – no other school in the state of Georgia accomplished this level of sustained success from 2013-2016. Wrenn was named the state coach of the year in 2013 and 2016, Atlanta Braves Metro Coach of the Year in 2016, and the America Baseball Coaches Association’ Regional High School Coach of the Year in 2016. Wrenn helped mentor Westminster baseball players who went on to play for LSU, Georgia Tech, Duke, Missouri, Notre Dame, Harvard, Wofford, Butler, Mercer, Richmond, W&L, and the 2016 1st-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians. Russell is married to Erin Wrenn, a lawyer in the state Attorney General’s office, and they have three children, Ronan (8), Cormac (6), and Cavan (4). Gilman News | Read more
Bill Greenwell Boys Latin School of MD Varsity Head Coach
MIAA B Conference (Champions 2017 and 2016)
1992-2012 Grand Slam USA Owner and director of instruction
1999-2001 Seattle Mariners Associate Scout
2001-2003 Park School Varsity Head Baseball Coach
2004 Harford Community College Assistant Baseball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
2008-2013 Diamond Pros and Fowble Foundation Head Coach
2011-Present Boys’Latin Head Baseball Coach
Brett Linnenkohl Founder of Impact Sports Baseball
Former Friends School Varsity Baseball Head Coach (MIAA B Conference). Impact founder Brett Linnenkohl always had passion and talent for sports. His dedication took him from little league all-star teams to all-state awards in high school, successes which made him the envy of top Division-1 programs like University of Washington, Oregon State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Dartmouth, NC State, and Washington State University.In 2004, Brett was a projected 7th round draft pick by MLB.com, but decided to attend Wake Forest University and become a Demon Deacon. Between seasons at Wake, Brett played on college summer circuit, including the notable Alaska and Cape Cod Leagues. An unfortunate injury in 2008 extinguished Brett’s playing career, but sparked a fire for coaching that still burns today. Impact Baseball | Baltimore Sun | College Baseball
Dave Meile Impact Baseball Instructor
Coach Dave played at Shepherd University on scholarship, playing infield and providing the power in the middle of the lineup. Dave continued his career as a coach a Frostburg State University, assisting the team to their first CAC championship. He has worked with numerous kids in surrounding leagues through Impact and has earned the reputation as one of top youth development coaches in the area. Coach Dave is an expert not only in the game of baseball, but a true expert in inspiring athletes to give their all in every workout, while making it fun and enjoyable. Read more
Mike Gottlieb Former Towson University Coach
Mike Gottlieb has been associated with the Towson baseball program for nearly four decades. Gottlieb came to Towson as a player, before joining Bill Hunter’s staff as an assistant coach. He took over as the Tigers head coach prior to the 1988 season. Since taking over, Gottlieb has led Towson to 713 victories, three conference tournament championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.Gottlieb made an immediate impact in his first season as head coach, leading the Tigers to their first appearrance in the NCAA Tournament. He guided Towson to a 30-17-1 record, including capturing the East Coast Conference regular season championship with a 12-2 record.
Junior Brady Policelli led the CAA with a .375 average on his way to earning First-Team All-CAA honors. Policelli would be drafted in the 13th round of the Detroit Tigers. Under his guidance, Gottlieb has had 16 players selected in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, while a handful of other players have signed professional contracts. Left-hander pitcher Chris Nabholz became the first Towson player under Gottlieb to make it to the majors. Nabholz made his major league debut for the Montreal Expos on June 11, 1990, after being selected by the Expos in the second round of the 1988 draft. Nabholz is still the highest drafted player in Towson history.
Casper Wells became the second player from the Gottlieb era to make it to the majors when he made his debut with the Detroit Tigers on May 15, 2010. Wells was selected by the Tigers in the 14th round of the 2005 draft. Gottlieb is also responsible for recruiting and coaching all eight All-Americans and all three Freshman All-Americans in school history. He has also coached seven Academic All-Americans and 18 Academic All-District honorees. Read more
Rob Slade Strength & Conditioning Trainer
As owner and developer of the Sport-Speed-Strength Training Program, Rob Slade is the true keystone of S3 Training Center. As a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S) NSCA, Rob has been training sports teams and individual athletes as well as Police and Firemen since 1981. Rob was awarded the Division 1 Collegiate Conference Strength Coach of the Year (Two times) NSCA. Rob’s past training experience also includes being the former strength and conditioning coach as well as the Assistant Track Coach for UMBC. He also was the former Strength Coach for the USA Sailing and Chessie Racing Teams. Rob has personally trained and provided fitness training for several Police and Fire Departments including Howard County, Maryland State Police and Baltimore County. He is a graduate of Towson State University and is from the Baltimore area. Rob is the physical education instructor for several schools in the area. Finally he holds several patents for the design of exercise equipment used in training. Facebook
Joe Orsulak Private Instructor
Joe’s career spanned 1983 to 1997, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, and Montreal Expos. Orsulak, who threw and batted left-handed, played mostly in the outfield, although he played some games at first base. On the basepaths, he had better than average speed, until a 1987 knee injury slowed him down. His strong arm helped him lead the league, in 1991, in outfield assists. In 1992 he made the first out at the Orioles’ new Camden Yards ballpark, going on to lead the team that year in batting average. Despite his relatively long career (with five major league clubs), he never played in the post-season in the Majors. Wikipedia / NY Times / Baseball Warehouse
Sam Snider Private Instructor
Sam was with the Baltimore Orioles from 1980-2007 serving as the batting practice pitcher, bullpen catcher and bullpen coach. Sam was hired full time with the Orioles by Cal Ripken Sr. in 1987. In his time with the Orioles he threw batting practice to Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. and warmed up greats such as Jim Palmer, Scott McGregor and Mike Mussina in the bullpen. After the Orioles, Sam went on to coach in the Atlantic League alongside Orioles Hall of Famers Chris Hoiles and Tippy Martinez for the York Revolution. He briefly managed the team in 2009. Sam has 30 years of professional baseball experience and is a wealth of knowledge in all areas of the game. Facebook
I would like to thank Kurt Overton, Bill Greenwell, Rob Slade, Andrew Wolfe, Chris McCullough, Tim Holley and all the Athletic Directors for making this happen and letting us use their indoor facility!
Also, special thanks to ALL the Trainers, including Brett Linnenkohl for providing solid support to RPBL for many years and making a big impact on the development of some outstanding baseball players.
These events are a direct response to some of the feedback from our parents during the 2017 Spring In-house season. We heard your voice and want to make RPBL better. Instructors will include the very best in the business – high school, college and MLB professionals. Also, be sure to check-out some of the “Ripken Way“ online videos and RPBL Coaches’ page. +
Picture above is from our 2016 season. Congratulations Blaze! Notice the guy to my right is Tippy Martinez. He along with catcher Rick Dempsey, and the starting pitcher Scott McGregor—were to have leading roles in the Orioles’ World Championship of ’83. Read more.
May-June is an exciting time of year for all the school championships. At all levels- high school and college, the game begins. Pressure. Intensity. Cheer for your local team or perhaps you have a relative or neighbor playing this month?
Currently, our team is in the “FINAL FOUR”. 2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? Remember that cheer? Win or Lose, this is where TRUE sportsmanship comes in. Our team has made REMARKABLE progress this season. Great players, coaches and parents!
I spent some time the other day looking up the MLB League Leaders (see below). Notice Manny Machado is #1 in three categories (read more). You might also want to read about Dexter Fowler. However, what is more extraordinary, is the Chicago Cubs record of 25-6. That’s a winning percentage of .806.
Compare that to the 1st place team in the AL East Orioles 19-12, you’ll have an appreciation how amazing that it is. Also, remember last year’s “Back to the Future” crystal ball reference that in the movie with Michael J. Fox, the Cubs were predicted to win the 2015 World Series. They came on strong during the playoffs winning the wild card race, but fell short to the Mets in the National League who eventually went on to play the Royals.
Well, if you like competition, the NCAA College World Series DI Championship will be held on June 18-28, 2016 in TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Nebraska. This was very exciting last year when University of Maryland had an incredible year and lost to UCLA. University of Virginia went on to win the National Championships. The teams to watch in 2016 are Florida and Texas A&M (read more).
It’s pretty cool watching amateurs play at the highest level. Even if you don’t like baseball, you can tune in to see the very best compete in Tennis, Golf, Lacrosse, Track & Field, and many more sports.
Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura were both ejected Tuesday night following a bench-clearing melee that was precipitated by Ventura throwing at Machado (read more).
With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Orioles leading 5-1, Ventura’s first pitch to Machado — a 99 mph fastball — hit the Baltimore slugger in the back. Machado charged the mound as Ventura prepared for the confrontation by taking off his hat and glove. Machado threw a punch at the Kansas City starter and slammed him to the ground.
With the crowd at Camden Yards chanting, “Man-ny, Man-ny,” both benches and bullpens flooded the field. Machado was restrained by teammate Chris Tillman after the initial contact.
I was thinking about this as it relates to how I might react today? What should I tell my kids?
All I can think of is the following: Filter comments and actions according to:
Is it truthful
Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?
I love reading about Brooks Robinson. However, most pictures of him show him posing for the camera. I’m coaching young 9-10 year old players and it is VERY important the kids get into the proper fielding position on every pitch. This is something I’ve been trying to explain for years to my son (read more).
Also, found a funny video of Brooks and his self-deprecating personality (click here). It’s interesting what Buck Showalter said about the situation. Also, notice at the end who is standing next to him. It’s Bobby Dickerson, another favorite coach of mind.
Nevertheless, I like how Manny turned and took the ball on the back. I would argue, as big as he is, it probably did not hurt that much. It stung for about 5 minutes, tops. Notice how out of breath he after the brawl.
I will never forget this commercial growing up => ABC Wide World of Sports featuring Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali.
ABC’s Wide World of Sports is an American sports anthology television program that aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from April 29, 1961 to January 3, 1998, primarily on Saturday afternoons. Hosted by Jim McKay, with a succession of co-hosts beginning in 1987, the title continued to be used for general sports programs on the network until 2006. In 2007, Wide World of Sports was named by Time Magazine on its list of the 100 best television programs of all-time. Read more
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves. In ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics.
The important thing to remember is that we win and lose as a TEAM. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” –Babe Ruth Read Sportsmanship
Brewers topple Reds 12-2 @ St. Helena Park (300 Willow Spring Road Baltimore, MD 21222). We remain undefeated, with 3 Wins and Zero (0) Losses. Our current standings would have more games played if it weren’t for all the bad weather. Unfortunately, we had over 5 weeks of rainouts and holidays so we have a lot of games that need to get made-up. For more info, visit www.over40baseball.org
Well, if you have been following my “web logs” AKA blogs, then you would know I came out of retirement three (3) years ago. As a matter of fact, I am playing “Major League Rules” baseball with my old high school glove (over 30 years ago). It’s a very small infielder’s glove that is broken in and I love it! I also acquired a newer glove to play softball for US Army – Aberdeen Proving Ground team back in 2010 which is a little bigger and I use for pitching.
We are required to use wooden bats and most little league and high school folks don’t understand why? The simple answer is power. A wood bat’s sweet spot, although usually quite smaller than composite or alloy, may perform as well as a certified bat. Also, wood bats are heavier to swing compared to aluminum and composite. Interesting side story: last year my son lost his little league glove (left at the field of the Essex Father’s day tournament). Obviously, a baseball player’s glove is “irreplaceable” and arguably the most important piece of equipment. It generally takes a few months to break a good Rawlings glove in properly.
So, to make a long story short, if MLB used aluminum they would have to build larger ball parks. Home run fence would need to be extended at least another 100 feet. The “Green Monster” is a popular nickname for the 37’2″ high left field wall at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox baseball team. The wall is only 310–315 feet from home plate.
Nevertheless, the main reason for starting this article is because of my very poor performance this past weekend. Even though we destroyed the Reds, I batted 0-4. Batting lefty, I hit 4 ground balls all to the 1st and 2nd baseman. However, one of them I hit on the “screws” but infielder made a nice play. I need to start hitting line drives. Hopefully, next weekend, Jun 12 when we face the Royals @ Martindale Park (990 Homberg Ave Baltimore, MD 21221), things will be different. Last year I had two stand-up triples and anybody who has ever played the game KNOWS there is no better feeling.
Why tracking your Batting Average is HURTING your Batting Average
Every season, players and coaches set goals based on how they want to perform over the course of the season. Hitters want to hit .300. Pitchers want to have a sub-3 ERA. Coaches want to win 20, 30, 50, or 100 games, depending on the level of play. These measurable stats have existed since the beginning of baseball, and in particular the batting average has become the go-to number to illustrate a hitters success.
But is batting average, hits, or strikeouts really the way to measure the success of hitters throughout the course of the season? When they line out to the shortstop and see “0-1” in the stat book, is that a way for them to build confidence as a hitter? It’s probably the way for them to LOSE confidence as a hitter. Because according to baseball history, an out is the definition of a failed attempt. Which is crazy, because so much of this is out of our control!
Think about it, you did everything right over the course of an at-bat. You visualized hitting a missile in the on deck circle, and strolled up to the plate with a slight smirk knowing you were about to do DAMAGE to this baseball. You had a simple plan of attack. To HUNT the fastball, be on time for it, and LET IT FLY. You were focused, relaxed, and calm.
As you saw the first pitch fastball seeming to move in slow motion to your happy-zone, you did exactly what you had planned. YOU LET THE BARREL FLY! The barrel met the baseball with so much speed and pureness, that it sent it sizzling on a line…directly to the shortstop, whose momentum took him 2 steps back after catching the baseball at such a high speed…0-1
You’re not terribly mad at your at-bat, but you are disappointed you didn’t get the end-result. According to baseball you failed. According to the stat of all stats (batting average), you are a worse hitter than you were going into the at-bat. Which is starting to weigh on your head. Because going into the last month of the season, you’re hitting .308…and your average has been steadily declining over the last couple weeks.
If the mental aspect of the game is really 90% of success in baseball, then why not approach the game with a mindset that enables consistency? If consistency is the ultimate sign of a great player, why don’t we change our mindset to allow it to happen? Read more
Bryce Harper’s Hitter’s Mentality
Do you feel “lost’ at the plate? Have you had that feeling like there is nothing you can do to get a hit no matter what you try? Does self-doubt overtake you when you step in the batter’s box?
Sometimes, a string of bad at-bats can overwhelm a hitter. You may even start thinking that you are in a “slump” and feeling that you can’t hit anything. The fact is that you can’t hit every pitch, nobody can. The only way a string of bad at-bats turns into a slump is if you buy into the “slump” mentality.
Bryce Harper, 21, is the youngest player in the MBL, despite being in his third season in the big leagues. Harper hit .143 through the first five games for the Washington Nationals. Harper even showed signs of frustration slamming down his helmet and throwing his bat at a few bad at-bats. Harper started to think he was in a “slump.”
Harper said he received some good advice from his fatherwho coached when he was young:
“Man, you need to stop thinking so much. Just go out and hit the baseball. Plain and simple… It’s sometimes where you start slow and that’s just part of the game and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just have fun, smile, laugh, just be as happy as you can all the time and good things will happen.”
Harper took heed to his father’s advice and it paid off with an eight-game hitting streak and a jump in his batting average to .340.
Harper started to trust his abilities, stopped over-thinking when in the batter’s box and knew the hits would eventually come if he focused on the process…
Maybe you had swung at some bad pitches… so what? Learn from the at-bat, have a calm mind, trust your swing, and move forward.
Adopt a hitter’s mentality: Take charge of your mental game. Focus on quality at-bats instead of your hitting average. This can help you focus on the process. (Read more).
I was going to title this blog, “Day at the Ballpark”. But in Baltimore we call it the “Yard”. How many other teams use the same name?
A baseball park, also known as a ballpark or diamond, is a venue where baseball is played. A baseball park consists of the playing field and the surrounding spectator seating. While the diamond and the areas denoted by white painted lines adhere to strict rules, guidelines for the rest of the field are flexible. The term “ballpark” sometimes refers either to the entire structure, or sometimes to just the playing field. A home run where the player makes it around the bases, and back to home plate, without the ball leaving the playing field is typically called an “inside-the-park” home run. Sometimes a home run over the fence is called “out of the ballpark”, but that phrase more often means a home run that clears the stands and lands outside the building. The playing field is most often called the “ballfield”, though the term is often used interchangeably with “ballpark” when referring to a small local or youth league facility (read more).
The following is a list of Major League Baseball stadiums, sorted by capacity, their locations, their first year of usage and home teams. The newest MLB stadium is Marlins Park in Miami, home of the Miami Marlins, which opened for the 2012 season. All except eleven MLB stadiums (Angel Stadium of
Anaheim, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Kauffman Stadium, Marlins Park, Nationals Park, Oakland Coliseum, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Turner Field, Wrigley Field, and Yankee Stadium being the exceptions) have sold the naming rights to their stadiums to corporations. Turner and Wrigley are named for the individuals and not the corporations; Kauffman is named for Ewing Kauffman who brought baseball back to Kansas City; while Fenway is named for the neighborhood and realty company at the time of ownership. This list will decrease to ten when SunTrust Park opens in 2017 as Turner Field’s replacement (read more).
The next time I visit the yard, remind me to thank Lawrence Berry, usher next to dugout. I don’t know if my son Blake appreciates how cool it is to see Manny, Chris, Adam and others so close, but I certainly appreciate their long road of hard work! Some of the pix above are from our 9-10 little league team, “Blaze” for Roland Park Baseball and I was excited to see good turnout, in spite of the rainy weather. Also, note the “Kids run Bases” which some of our players participated in and I’m sure it was a lot of fun!
Unfortunately, the games I attended on Saturday and Sunday (4/30 & 5/1/16)against the White Sox ended in losses. However, it was a nail bitter, where the lead changed 3-4 times. Thus, all this back-n-forth made it suspenseful. Moreover, the best part was the 2 out bunt by the CWS which turned out to be the game winning run. It goes to show, any way you can get on base counts. What was very monumental about this offensive strategy is Orioles closer Zach Britton sprained his left ankle while trying to field a bunt single by White Sox leadoff hitter Adam Eaton (read more). This was after Zach struck out the first two batters. Thus, CWS went on to win the game in the top of the 9th inning.
On Sunday, we saw another very unusual play defensively when Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy found an inventive new way to get an out at first (read more). A ball hit by Chicago White Sox’ Todd Frazier gets by Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado during the fourth inning of a baseball game, but shortstop J.J. Hardy, was able to get the ball and throw it to first to get put out Frazier on the play (read more). Orioles third baseman Manny Machado has a knack for making incredible diving stops down the line, but sometimes it’s nice to have some help (read more). Check out the box score.
I would be remiss if I did not include some stories about my daughter. She is turning 12 next month and I’m so proud of all her accomplishments. In particular, she has done exceptionally well in school and extracurricular activities like Piano, Dance and Theater.
When it comes to sports, there tends to be a big “misperception”. My wife found this video and it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.
Chelsea is an excellent runner and swimmer. This is her 7th year playing soccer and continues to excel with great success. This spring she is playing lacrosse (2nd year) for the Roland Park Middle School “B” Lacrosse coached by Sarah Layng and Kelsy Mugele. Read more
Personally, I played baseball my whole life so I was not familiar with some of the skills she needed to develop. Thankfully, her coach suggested the following sites that has proved to be very helpful from the Denver, Colorado Women’s Lacrosse Team: