Oct 8, 2012 7:01 AM
To All Involved In Travel Baseball:
I am writing this because as a longtime coach, umpire and parent of youth travel baseball, for the most part the experience has been a great part of my children’s lives both as a place to learn a game they so love, but also a place they have made so many close friends. I must say overall for theinvolved in making sure some of the larger events are a success, I can honestly say I have over the years developed a great appreciation for some of the better directors who try so hard to stay on schedule, provide prepped fields, decent umpires, awards and just for providing a great family friendly yet competitive atmosphere for our kids to grow.
That being said, I was a parent whose kids played in a Triple Crown Event in Santa Maria ran by a director by the name of Wayne Parker this past weekend. Why Triple Crown would allow this
gentleman, actually gentleman is far from the right terminology, but in order to keep this respectable, I cannot say the adjectives that actually describe this so called man, to run any tournaments
at all is beyond me. In the 14 years I have been involved in youth travel baseball, I have never experienced such a poorly ran tournament. If you played the first game of the day, you
would have enjoyed a fairly nice prepped field. But as the day went on and especially if you were scheduled a game in the evening, you played on a torn up field, with no chalk lines for
batter boxes or foul lines. The dirt infields were rutted and full of a day’s worth of beating and believe it or not, when a few of the teams asked about prepping fields, this director's exact comments were "we do not have to prep fields if we don't want to."
Let me tell you something Wayne, there are at least 3-4 teams that will neveragain for
one of your events. I even watched you kick out a coach because the incompetent help you had chalked the batters boxes facing shortstop and when both opposing sets of coaches decided they would take it upon themselves to try to help and wipe out the lines which all the players felt hugely impacted
playability and even volunteered to redo the lines, you simply stated these were your fields and they
had no right wanting to do anything to them. Then when questioned, without reservation or cause, you actually kicked one of the teams coaches out of the game they were about to play all over the field prep.
If I am not mistaken, isn't this supposed to be about the kids? These coaches spend their time volunteering to help try to make these life experiences the best they can for these kids. In the case of the team that lost their main coach, the only ones hurt are the kids. But, it’s easy to see especially in our world here in California, where there are lots of choices as to who's tournaments you want to play in, that there has been a significant push with the likes of NCTB, TPR in the central valley, All World Baseball who is popping up all over and even with some of the smaller organizations such as Big Timer Baseball in the Aptos/Santa Cruz area, to make teams feel more welcomed and certainly more appreciative of teams who decide to spend their $500-$600to play in their tournaments. I know this for I have coached, umpired and/or watched my kids play in everyone of the above mentioned places and have seen this first hand with great appreciation for the efforts they have made.
So to see firsthand the lack of care for the teams, players, coaches and playing conditions not to
mention the rudeness with which these issues were addressed when questioned this weekend in the one Triple Crown event we have paid for and appeared in the past 5-6 years was disheartening to say the least. As I drove home all I could think of was how I might save others from wasting their monies too, especially if you were like us and had to travel and stay at a local hotel, on any of your future events. I can say without question, my children will never play in one of your events again even if their travel teams decide to. I will pull them from the event before spending a dime for such lack of integrity and care even if it means losing their spots on their teams. Honestly, Triple Crown Baseball should be ashamed to have the likes of a Wayne Parker as a tournament director running tournaments under their good name.
So for all you NorCal teams that may support an event or two run by Wayne, I have to ask you this. Given all the hardworking directors right here in Northern California who you can support, why would you waste your money or time supporting an environment that only displays greed. Only shows it’s about the money and certainly not about creating the best environment and playing conditions for our kids to experience as they grow in this great game of baseball and as they grow into young adults. When my kids say to my wife and I how bad it was on the way home, it’s hard not to notice when forever they have just loved playing tournaments and not once before had any opinion whatsoever.
Do yourselves a favor and support your NCTB's, All-Worlds, TPR's, and Big Timer Baseball's of the world. No they may not be perfect, but at least if you really sit back and observe, you see effort and for me, this effort is what makes it okay even if things didn't go perfect for us every tournament. It is a far cry from the experience my family had this past weekend. And, currently given the state of our economy and how hard it is for some to still find a ways to keep their children involved in travel baseball, value is everything and I see zero value in the Triple Crown Tournaments or I should say to be fair, the Triple Crown Tournaments in which Wayne Parker is director. This man is a disgrace to the youth travel baseball community and to all the other directors who actually at least try to show improvement and who actually care. I can only hope this message is heard in our baseball community which without a doubt has played and hopefully will continue to play such a significant role in my children’s lives. And, now more than ever do I realize how lucky we have been to have such access to some great venues without much travel because of some hardworking individuals who yes are running businesses, but still haven’t lost sight of what it still is all supposed to be about, our kids. Kudos to all who do such a great job and I can only hope the bad apples such as you Mr. Wayne Parker and Triple Crown Baseball never take over in our backyard.
Hope You Are Listening,