This week out in Peoria, Glendale, and Goodyear Arizona, USA Baseball takes advantage of the amazing facilities provided by the Cactus League – Arizona's marque, spring training league. At professional baseball facilities used by the LA Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, and Cincinnati Reds 64 teams from around the west coast compete to win a National Championship.
But lets be honest, there are LOTS of youth Baseball National Championships. If you can afford the fee, there are tournaments that will reward you with a nice trophy. The real attraction out here is:
- The level of competition
- The opportunity to be selected to the national team.
Lots of tournaments boast having scouts. But only at the USA Baseball tournament might a scout pull you aside and ask you if you have a passport. The poster child for being selected is Bryce Harper who in 2008 played for the San Diego Show. He went on to play for two National teams.
While, it is exciting to think of being selected, it is a staggeringly rare occurrence. It feels like Big Foot sightings. He might really be out there but none has seen one. And so the real value of a tournament like this goes back to the first reason, competition.
To play at a high level, you need to play at a high level. The potential of a National Team selection draws the best players on the best teams. And that makes for some great competition. The strange thing about baseball is that there appears to be no better way to get better at Baseball than to play better and better competition.
So despite the heat, and the astronomical odds against being selected, they come and compete in the heat. If you want to see the future of baseball, it is here, in the desert, playing for the dream.
Dreams do come true
Write after i wrote this one of the players in Matts team was pulled aside by two scouts and told he was “in the pool” of players being considered for the national team.
and coaches congratulated the young man. Being recognized for your performance is always a great feeling.