Will we ever again see a city school win a state title???

playboi12

Active member
Honestly, the Dock said it better than I will.

It's a process that has been evolving for years. The baseball landscape is much different now than a generation ago. I look at all the gear the players at my school are toting around in the spring, and I can see it as an immediate barrier to entry for poorer kids. They got their cleats, they got their gloves, some have not 1 but 2 bats, and they have a fancy bag to carry all the stuff in. Lord knows how much they paid for their sunglasses that look really good resting atop their baseball caps. Again, it's not on the level of financial outlay that golf or tennis is, but it's not like running where all you really need is a pair of shoes or basketball where all you really need is a ball and a pair of shoes.

Organization is not cheap. As baseball has become more organized, it has become more costly. Why is the organization deemed necessary? As population becomes more transient, people don't know their neighbors. If you don't know your neighbors, it's harder to round up enough kids to play ball. Organization is needed to bring the ballplayers together.

Also, where are you going to play in the inner city? Ballfields and old-fashioned greenspace in the inner-city has been disappearing for years, and a portion of the existing ones are poorly maintained or simply too dangerous to play on (broken glass everywhere). One vacant lot I played on as a kid was turned into a block of houses. Another where I played "home run derby" is now a parking lot. Different sport, but I think back to Tim Duncan. He was reportedly an excellent swimmer but had his swimming career come to a screeching halt after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only pool available to him back in '89. Gotta have a place to do it.

Lastly, as the Dock stated, baseball isn't viewed as "a way out" for inner-city youth like it is in Latin America, or like soccer is in West Africa or running is in East Africa, or like cycling is in Europe (which is ironic because cycling is an expensive hobby in this country). In this country, basketball and to a lesser extent, football and track & field are the "way out" - the way to get to college, the way to maybe land a pro contract, etc.
You’re right about that. Personally, I never understood how expensive tennis is when all you need is a racquet and a pair of shoes?
 

ringer2

Active member
Travel baseball has killed the sport. City schools have no chance in baseball, softball, volleyball or soccer at this point.
 
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Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
You’re right about that. Personally, I never understood how expensive tennis is when all you need is a racquet and a pair of shoes?
When I was in HS, I remember hearing 1 of the assistant coaches making some disparaging remarks about a couple kids who played with "Kmart rackets" during team tryouts.
 
The best public school baseball programs are still the ones with good community based Little League programs - not travel ball. Yes, a few kids play travel ball on top of the community league, but it takes a good Little League (9-12), Coach Pitch League (7-8), a 13-15 League to produce the number and quality of players to be constistently competitve on the HS level. This is not true for Private Schools who may not be associated with a community and gather students from all over. They depend on travel ball for players.
 

Philly_Cat

Well-known member
The best public school baseball programs are still the ones with good community based Little League programs - not travel ball. Yes, a few kids play travel ball on top of the community league, but it takes a good Little League (9-12), Coach Pitch League (7-8), a 13-15 League to produce the number and quality of players to be constistently competitve on the HS level. This is not true for Private Schools who may not be associated with a community and gather students from all over. They depend on travel ball for players.
I don't see what you're saying play out in SWO. I can't speak for the rest of the state, but in Cincinnati little league has no affect on the high school programs. Otherwise Hamilton would be making every other high school IN THE STATE look silly every year.
 
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thavoice

Well-known member
The best public school baseball programs are still the ones with good community based Little League programs - not travel ball. Yes, a few kids play travel ball on top of the community league, but it takes a good Little League (9-12), Coach Pitch League (7-8), a 13-15 League to produce the number and quality of players to be constistently competitve on the HS level. This is not true for Private Schools who may not be associated with a community and gather students from all over. They depend on travel ball for players.
A solid, local rec program with strong numbers can go a long way in producing a long standing, successful program at the HS level, I concur with that notion at least at the public school level. Private schools by nature are different and need to consistently 'seek' or round up talent. At the public level, a solid rec level can be very important in sustainability. That, of course, counts on a never ending volunteer coach involvement, mostly dads.

It behooves HS coaches to have some sort of involvement as well

Many folks look at the top couple players of a team. Sure, a sure fire stud pitcher can take you a long way and he may play some sort of summer travel and such, but a solid sustainable program is more than just a stud on the mound every so often.

The ideologies and experiences vary dependent on your own experiences. Many rural areas see kids stay local and play on their rec teams, and form a tournament team to play in a few local tournaments (which cost wise pales in comparison to what the city folk experience).

I am a rural guy, and when I talk to folks in the city areas about what their kids do in terms of baseball in the summer it is just insane. The cost, travel, jockeying for positions/teams, kids accepting to play on a "better" team only to play out of position of what they would normally play, more and more dads getting mad at PT so they form other teams, etc. Last two summers I have been asked by a couple of dad's to break off from a current team and form their own and it is just insane the round and round nature.

Baseball used to be a fairly inexpensive sport for a kid to play. Buy a glove that lasts a few years and new spikes every year or two, and that was just about it. That is long gone is so many areas and it is quite sad.
 
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*67

Member
Travel baseball, like so many other things, isn't about development of the kids. It's a status symbol for parents. Earlier in the thread someone said parents demanded an out of state trip. Why do you think that is? Because the best players are somewhere else, or because the parents got a reason to rent a 14-person AirBNB in Myrtle Beach for $1,300 a night.

It ain't about the kids. It's about the parents. It makes the parents feel warm and fuzzy that their kid is playing on an "elite" team, spending ridiculous amounts on travel, and they get to pretend like they're helping their son earn a scholarship to a sport that at best might pay for half your tuition.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
A solid, local rec program with strong numbers can go a long way in producing a long standing, successful program at the HS level, I concur with that notion at least at the public school level. Private schools by nature are different and need to consistently 'seek' or round up talent. At the public level, a solid rec level can be very important in sustainability. That, of course, counts on a never ending volunteer coach involvement, mostly dads.

It behooves HS coaches to have some sort of involvement as well

Many folks look at the top couple players of a team. Sure, a sure fire stud pitcher can take you a long way and he may play some sort of summer travel and such, but a solid sustainable program is more than just a stud on the mound every so often.

The ideologies and experiences vary dependent on your own experiences. Many rural areas see kids stay local and play on their rec teams, and form a tournament team to play in a few local tournaments (which cost wise pales in comparison to what the city folk experience).

I am a rural guy, and when I talk to folks in the city areas about what their kids do in terms of baseball in the summer it is just insane. The cost, travel, jockeying for positions/teams, kids accepting to play on a "better" team only to play out of position of what they would normally play, more and more dads getting mad at PT so they form other teams, etc. Last two summers I have been asked by a couple of dad's to break off from a current team and form their own and it is just insane the round and round nature.

Baseball used to be a fairly inexpensive sport for a kid to play. Buy a glove that lasts a few years and new spikes every year or two, and that was just about it. That is long gone is so many areas and it is quite sad.
Silly season at the end of July/beginning of August when teams hold tryouts, parents shop around, and all the hurt feelings that have been brewing all year bubble to the surface during the last tournament when it's 95 degrees in the shade is something to behold.
 

nupanther

Well-known member
I also want to emphasize what others have said in passing on this thread.
In inner city schools the best athletes gravitate to track. Yes there are school that have successful track and baseball teams, but unfortunately in a lot of inner city schools you dont have as many willing participants to have both teams successful. Also with more females as head of households in inner cities you'll have less kids being thrown a baseball in the yard
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Two routes i see:
1. Most likely, but not preferred:
Influential coach attracts talent from around the city that currently attend other programs.

2. Less likely, but more in the spirit of HS athletics:
Great coach, likely a standout baseball player in his day, has a son and is an integral part of the program as he the kid goes through the system. He fosters an environment of fundamentals and getting kids to come out and play at a young age. This influences other kids and families that baseball is a legit path and stick with it throughout their formidable years.
 

Iroquois

Active member
It's a sad situation. I'm from the Columbus area, so I can talk about it and give some detailed info.

I don't think a Columbus City League baseball team will ever compete for a state title. Those days are long over. I see so many kids now days who's dad's were very good baseball players in the 80's and 90's at a City League School that have son's who are currently playing at one of the four Olentangy schools, Dublin's, Westerville, Worthington's, UA, DeSales, or one of the Southwestern schools (Grove City area) and i'm sure i'm missing a few.

Most folks have moved out of the City into the burbs, very very few families have stayed.



Columbus City League schools that were state Champions.

Central-1929

South- 1932

North- 1940

East- 1969


West- 1975
 

Loescher3

New member
You are right. Celina did beat Start in the Regionals at Indian Lake in 1998. Being from Defiance I remember that year well. Celina beat Defiance in the Sectionals in Lima after Defiance blew an 11 run lead, yes I said 11 runs. It was Coach Insleman's last game at Defiance. Defiance had just run ruled Celina a week earlier in a league game.
I remember going over to IL to watch that game since Celina had eliminated us that year and it was a short drive. Figured Start would roll but Grimes shut them down.
 

Iroquois

Active member
Who are the top City teams now days in Toledo, Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati ?

Do any of these cities have any decent city schools that compete outside the city and do the extras?
 

Mr. Red Raider

Active member
Who are the top City teams now days in Toledo, Akron, Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati ?

Do any of these cities have any decent city schools that compete outside the city and do the extras?
As far as Akron, Firestone High School made it to the District championship game, and I believe won the City Series championship in 2019. They finished 20-8 on the year and IIRC, it was the furthest a City Series team has gone in the OHSAA postseason. As long as they have the talent, they have the potential to make a deep run and catch some of the big teams off guard.

As far as the Cleveland area, Rhodes High School won the Senate Athletic League baseball championship four years in a row until John Marshall won it last year. The deepest a Senate team has gone in the postseason in recent memory was when Lincoln West went to Districts in 2011. They had a player by the name of Bryan? Ruiz that was drafted by the Indians later that year too IIRC. They had a close loss to the eventual District champions, Midpark.

But the talent gap is VERY wide. Rhodes was in the Strongsville and Baldwin-Wallace Districts for the past three years, and even in the years that they
advanced to the sectional final, they've run into St. Ignatius. AFAIK, John Hay has tried to up their non-conference slate.

And the gap between Rhodes, John Marshall, and John Hay and the other CMSD schools is even larger.

I covered a game between Ravenna and Glenville a couple years ago, and Ravenna won 15-2. Glenville made it to the Senate Playoffs, but had only played eight games coming into the tournament, and didn't have a team the following year. The problem is that a lot of inner-city teams don't get the chance to play as often as their suburban counterparts.
 

Iroquois

Active member
As far as Akron, Firestone High School made it to the District championship game, and I believe won the City Series championship in 2019. They finished 20-8 on the year and IIRC, it was the furthest a City Series team has gone in the OHSAA postseason. As long as they have the talent, they have the potential to make a deep run and catch some of the big teams off guard.

As far as the Cleveland area, Rhodes High School won the Senate Athletic League baseball championship four years in a row until John Marshall won it last year. The deepest a Senate team has gone in the postseason in recent memory was when Lincoln West went to Districts in 2011. They had a player by the name of Bryan? Ruiz that was drafted by the Indians later that year too IIRC. They had a close loss to the eventual District champions, Midpark.

But the talent gap is VERY wide. Rhodes was in the Strongsville and Baldwin-Wallace Districts for the past three years, and even in the years that they
advanced to the sectional final, they've run into St. Ignatius. AFAIK, John Hay has tried to up their non-conference slate.

And the gap between Rhodes, John Marshall, and John Hay and the other CMSD schools is even larger.

I covered a game between Ravenna and Glenville a couple years ago, and Ravenna won 15-2. Glenville made it to the Senate Playoffs, but had only played eight games coming into the tournament, and didn't have a team the following year. The problem is that a lot of inner-city teams don't get the chance to play as often as their suburban counterparts.

Good info Mr. Red Raider, thanks !
 
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