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I was not at game Sunday, Easter Sunday and being a pastor, my son came in to pitch against Alabama.  I sat there overwhelmed with surreal moment of son pitching as, essentially, a first year player playing against SEC teams.  He is a bullpen guy with 24 innings and 25 K's and 2 walks.  Had .000 era before a homerun Friday and another Sunday which gives him.750 now.  I realized that my son had surpassed in his first year anything that I could have imagined.  He had a great HS career and played in some great travel ball moments for years but this year is so much bigger maybe because he is playing the best and is successful.  I know the bad days will come but it is still going to be great.

He had a dream of playing in SEC/ACC but when he committed to UT they were really not that good.  Now they are #4 in the nation.  I just realized I never truly expected my son to be one of the main guys playing against the best in the nation.  I'm really not trying to brag but just share the reality that my son exceeded any expectations I ever had for him.  I had this moment with my middle son in college and my older son as a HS varsity basketball coach when he defeated his arch rival that he used to coach with as an assistant.  Just a reminder for dad that at some point all of that money, long trips, practices, and one on one time is worth it.

So my question is how about some of you guys/gals that have watched your son's compete at the highest level.  Give us your stories of when it clicked your son had completed one of his biggest dreams.

Last edited by PitchingFan
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PitchingFan,

Congrats on your son's success.  This is certainly going to be an interesting thread, because I think expectations, talent, and high water marks vary dramatically among our kids baseball abilities.  Achievement and great moments happen everywhere.

What is most interesting about my son's moment wasn't so much about him throwing a no-hitter against a conference rival with the most potent offense at the time...it was my son's  reaction to throwing a no-hitter.  My wife and I, teammates, coaches were going crazy.   He just walked off the mound like nothing happened.....like it was any other ball game that he pitched and he had something better to do.  I think it took a couple days to get a smile from him on his pitching achievement.    I was thinking about it the other day as it has been 9 years.   

I think he put the Dartmouth first base coach to sleep during the game......that is a big yawn.

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Last edited by fenwaysouth

I’m in a weird spot, as I have so much confidence in my son, as I get more excited than nervous, when he pitches.  Though, I think he’s surpassed my expectations of him so far.

His first outing as a freshman was our first series last year against South Carolina when he struck out 6 in 3 IP.  That included coming in relief with 2 out bases loaded, where he struck out the batter on 3 pitches, The only run he gave up was a solo HR to Wes Clarke.  Given how well Mr Clarke has been playing, I think that’s a nice momento😃

Although he’s only had 3 starts this year, he’s actually top 5 nationally in ERA, WHIP and hits/9.  He pitched 5 no hit innings his first start, gave up a solo HR in the 7th his 2nd, then a 2 hit shutout his last start.

I expect bumps along the way, but hope he continues to play well and surprise us along the way.

No matter what college, conference, or division, you really don't know how your kid stacks up on his freshman opening day.  Son's freshman year, his mid-major opened at Ole Miss.  Good grief.   Tons of tradition there with the Beer Shower, etc.   This is what his team was up against:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiH9cSptm5g

And, since they were the visiting team, W&M batted first.  The coach puts son first in the lineup.

My moments were lessons learned that ultimately have played well in life, post college.

My son got seriously injured the first weekend post junior (hs) summer. He was expecting early summer offers. With resilience and a tough mental attitude everything worked out. He got to college ball. Freshman season he was starting by mid season after others failed. In the fall he returned to find a JuCo All American at the position he expected to play. He subbed on Friday night and Saturday. He started and got two hits Sunday. He started at a different positions the rest of the season. The next year there was a Gatorade POY at the primary position he played. The previous season’s first weekend experience played out again. He proved he could play. More importantly he proved he was resilient (a life lesson of mental toughness).

My daughter was a four year fourth outfielder. She thought she was better than one of the starters three of the years. But she did her part and played a lot. She was a sometimes starter. It takes a certain mental preparedness to be ready for one pinch hit, pinch run or a couple of defensive innings.

Eventually, after graduating from law school she was promoted to prosecuting violent crimes. One of her first trials was a smug, wealthy, military academy athlete charged with rape. When she called to tell me “I nailed the bastard to the wall. He’s going away,” I could picture a fist pumping kid who had just won a championship.

I see the lessons learned in sports play out continually in my adult kids lives.

When my Kid was 7 & 8 years old, we played “Guard the Line” a lot.  Essentially he’d play defense standing in front of a line on a field (usually at a football field), and I’d hit grounders at or near him and he’d try to stop them.  And we’d keep score.

One time, just to mess with him, I hit a ball way over his head.  He threw his glove up in the air, a good ten to fifteen feet over his head, and the glove caught the ball!!!

Its all downhill from there.  He could hit 3 HR’s in a college game, and it will never live up to that moment in Guard the Line.

Last edited by 3and2Fastball

I'm sure there are others and hopefully there will be more, but one that jumps out at me is his first practice on a pretty good national fall team. He went to a tryout and the coach came up to us to personally invite him on his platinum team and said he liked his versatility and how he plays the C position. We must not have reacted the way he was expecting because he followed with a soft, "uh, we're pretty good". They held a practice for all the FL kids on Labor Day weekend. I see these kids walking up to the field and all I can think is "I think we outkicked our coverage with this team". He held his own at the practice and actually stood out. After seeing he could play and would be a nice addition to the team some of the returning parents made their way over to me to welcome us to the team. I always thought he was a good player, but until that point he hadn't really had to compete with top level talent for playing time.

Overall, it was a great experience. They played 4 of the top 10 teams in the country that fall and a bunch of top 50 teams. They went 2-2 against the top 10 and faced some amazing players.

My son has been in baseball for a long time. There have been times when we have been so proud of his accomplishments and other times when we have been like "what the heck"?!

You will go through those good and tough moments, but always remember you love your son for who he is and not because of his baseball accomplishments.

This advice comes from one of the top baseball coaches in the game.

His first college game was the season opener against the #1 team in the country on a Friday night. 8th inning of a tie game. Bases loaded, no outs, and he was brought in to pitch to who I believed would be the Golden Spikes winner. I was just hoping he'd get an inning to make the trip worth it, couldn't believe he was in a game that close and couldn't believe it was this situation and batter.  We couldn't see the bullpen from our seats and we had no clue he was coming in until it showed him running in on the video board.

Last edited by PABaseball

Baseball Is Fun

I posted not long ago that I knew my son was something at age 4.

About 6 years later, my son told me to knock it off. In another 4 years he was getting a lot of recognition and I was working overseas. He actually was something and I found most of the good stories on the internet. Since his mom and I were divorced, she was the main influencer and enabler for his journey and she excelled at this.

Around that time I found HSBBW and through the help of many of the wonderful posters onboard, I was able to understand the various decisions, paths, ups and downs that lay ahead for my son. I learned about the big PG tournaments and showcasing, agents and advisors, college or accepting draft selections, etc. and had a ton of fun along the way. This place will always be special for me and I am forever thankful for its members.

My biggest surprise is that his dream has come true.

...and he is still living it 27 years later.

Well my son is still in 8th grade, but i'm going to post anyway. He was just asked to join a very talented Select team and I was worried that he might not be quite at their level. Tonight they started him as pitcher-First Inning: He threw a perfect  inning( 11 pitches for 3 Ks, only 2 fouls balls). Second Inning he struck out the first batter, walked two, then struck out the next two. No batter ever put a ball in play from his pitches. All this from the kid that couldn't even get his pitch to home plate on his first Pitching try-out( Minors Little League).

Keep posting folks-I love to read about these great success stories-however its defined.

@TMM_Dad, I love it! I was the same way when my son was 7. 😂 As he got older and started playing against higher level competition I was (and continue to be) amazed by the talent out there! And it’s made me realize just what a big deal it is to be able to continue playing at any level after HS.

Also Like you, I was overseas for some of my son’s coolest moments recently as well. This summer, he hit back to back grand slams at the East Coast Pro against some of the top high school pitching in the country (both of which were game-winning although not walk-offs). I was watching live streams in Mozambique so there was a delay. For the second one, I got a text from my husband saying “He hit another one” before I got to see it. It was surreal.

But I have to say, after crushing a bunch of home runs at the beginning of this (high school) season, PTWoodson has been struggling. March was a rough month. As fun as it was to see him succeeding this summer, he’s impressed me even more with how he’s handled struggling. He’s calm, he’s there for his teammates, he’s still playing within himself and that maturity and humility has just blown us away.

Last edited by PTWood

I just thought back to a moment when my son was a freshman in high school. It wasn’t something he did in the moment. It was a question he asked ...

Dad, in any of the sports you played did the game ever seem like it was moving in slow motion and you had all the time you needed to make the right decision? It seems this way in all the sports I play.

He had always shown 6th sense intuitive skills from the time he took the field/court. When he asked this all I could think was  .... yes!

Last edited by RJM

My son back in 10u travel baseball single elimination playoffs. They are down by a run late in the game with one man on. He's up and first pitch he rips a deep line shot bullet just foul....if fair, would have been a home run down the left field line. As he makes his way back to the box, I'm figuring he's disappointed and I'm thinking the rest of this at bat may not go well. Very next pitch he hits a bomb homerun over the left centerfield fence for the go ahead run and they end up winning the game.

Great thread and great stories..I love this stuff. There are several moments that i recall but will share a few key ones move the needle for me.

Getting the opp to play for Clemson in the ACC.

Freshman year he started and no hit UGA through 5 innings and got the win (they elected to NOT recruit my son)

His draft day.

My kid is a grinder and loves the sport. I know I did everything to test that and sometimes in not so nice ways, I have no diplomacy skills. I am most proud of his resiliency and to excel from it. There has been and currently are injuries that have cost him opportunities to promote himself (at least he thinks that) and I get frustrated by his own perception considering where he finishes and how well he is regarded by his teammates, coaches and organization he plays with/on. I guess that is part of his motivation.

My most fondest memory is at 12U, he found a travel team and reached out to the org head on his own and asked for a tryout. He played a couple of games in the fall, batted last as they had a full squad. He knew one kid barely but went through winter workout and it was loaded as any preteen small field team could be, I joking called them the Dominican all stars and my son. Fast forward to spring and in their first tourney they hit him in the bottom of the lineup, and he was good about it. The second game is played against a rival org with former players on the team so there was a lot of drama. The team is down by 3 late in the game, kid is up with bases loaded lefty vs lefty, he works a full count and everyone is screaming, the coaches giving instructions in English, Spanish and Spanglish. I was the iscore dad and was also feeling the pressure of the situation. Kid hits a homer left center, everyone is going nuts, 1st base coach is jumping up and down the dugout coach runs out and high fives the 1st base coach. I am screaming too and my son is crying on his way to home from 3rd, I guess the pressure release was too much.  They moved him up in the line up and he never looked back. It was a team with a lot of potential, a couple players went back to the DR and got drafted at 16. The parent drama killed the team, the tragedy of youth sports.

Last edited by 2022NYC

I think I need to change my name - I am now a 2024 Righty dad.  I had joined under the name 2017Screwball or something like that.  Well, 2017 hung them up after one year in college after getting red-shirted.  Still waiting to get the full story, but that may take a few more years.  But once again, I am being surprised by my own player.  Have a freshman playing JV and doing quite well - both on the mound and at SS.  I thought I had sort of learned how to "spot talent" a few years ago, but 2024 is a true surprise.  He loves baseball, seems to love school, so I am once again thinking about his potential to keep playing after high school.  Learned great lessons her about fishing in the right pond, but I really think it will be another 12-24 months before the right pond reveals itself.

Many familiar names - thanks again for all the info last time and I hope to get to tap back into the wealth of info again.  Maybe this time he'll make it to college summer ball - something I missed out on with 2017.

Interesting thread. There are some specific situations that come to mind like son striking out Kody Clemens with The Rocket sitting behind home plate. But in general I will say the fact he played at LSU, seeing him perform in game 1 of CWS against the eventual champion UF in 2017 and being drafted by the Rockies in 2018.

This year has been potentially the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I can't say I was surprised at the highs, more surreal I guess, like he actually just did that, even though I knew he had it in him. Son was given the opportunity to start the first series game (had always been a reliever when pitching in college) against the #3 ranked D2 team on the road. Pitched a complete game 5 hitter, we won 3-2, struck the last batter out with the tying run on 2nd. So now he's the the solid #1/#2 starter. Picks up another win the following weekend as a starter. That's the high. Now the low. His elbow had been hurting specifically when he pitched since summer of 2019, but since he was originally going to be a position player last year, didn't think much of it, didn't hurt in normal position playing. The next game he starts, he goes 3, but his elbow is killing him. Time for an MRI, and after MRI, his UCL is partially torn. He's been throwing with it like that for almost 2 years, just pushing through it. So now we're awaiting a doctor's recommendation, surgery or PRP (if it's an option). Should know tomorrow. About as high and low as one can be in a span of roughly 4-5 weeks haha! But it's all a part of a plan, even if we don't understand it at the time.



Love hearing the stories, keep them coming!

Not high level as specified in the OP, but....

In HS I was happily surprised that he could play at all and become an impact player. He had a shoulder injury that required him to relearn how to throw as a short, side-arm thrower.

Another surprise was when he transformed himself as a D3 freshman from a contact type hitter into a masher.  When he came home on Thanksgiving we couldn't believe how much bigger he was. I was a little worried, but he said, "Coach wants me to drop tanks."  He lead his team in HR that year.

There have been many occasions where my son has surprised me by his baseball plays and results, both highs and lows, good and bad.  To this day the one thing that continuously surprise me is how he conducts himself during interviews and this thought process.  I've never heard him publicly say anything negative about other players, teammates, the team, and even about himself.  It's always a positive spin.  People have called or come up to me asking how did we teach him growing up to be the person he is today, humble, polite, positive, humorous and interesting.  I think every parent couldn't be prouder of their kids when we hear such words.  And yes, I give all the credit to my wife!!

My son never played at the highest level, though he got a sniff of some top notch college ball. He definitely exceeded expectations his senior year of high school. He was something of a late bloomer. For instance, he was not the best player in his Little League, and really may have never been the best player on any team he played on. He got to play in an elite high school program that has won something like 10 state championships in 20 years. He was a pitcher only pretty much the whole time he was in high school, and pretty much every one knew he could be really good. The question was would he be good enough to be one of the top guys.

It looked like things were set up for him to get significant innings his junior year. In the fall of that year though he suffered a severe knee injury. His junior year of baseball was in jeopardy. He made it back to the field that spring but it was on a limited basis. Again, his senior year it was looking like he would have a chance to make big contributions. In short, he was lights out. Was very good. Set the school record for strikeouts in a season. Was named the area's player of the year and was named to a high school All-American team. Hard work and preparation meeting up with opportunity. 

My son is a RHP at Iowa. During his freshmen year, we decided not to travel much because we figured he'd spend most of his time on the bench. So we skipped Florida and Hawaii, listened on the radio as he struck the side against Marshall (my dad's alma mater) in his first appearance. He'd call and tell us how people would stop him in the airport and ask for his autograph just because he was with the team. It all seemed a little weird and distant.

We finally decided to go to a series at  Oklahoma State, which was then ranked No. 19. He went in in relief with two or three guys on base and it was sort of raining, sort of icing. I just remember for the first few minutes he seemed to really be struggling with the signs and was sort of looking around in a panicky "help me" way. Then the catcher came out and talked to him and he ended up allowing one hit and fanning five over three shutout innings and got his first career win.

I had always worried about him overreaching and going to a bigger baseball school than he was ready for. That was the first time I really thought, wow, he made the right choice. He has had ups and downs, but he's learned to compete against the best. That's a life lesson that can't be beat.

I've felt guilty for not responding here.  It's hard to come up with one time.  There have been so many times that I have been surprised and unbelievably proud.  This journey is hard.  It breaks your heart and it gives you the highest highs.  Right now we are in a hard part, but I am so thankful for the way it brings our family together.  This is the first year that my son hasn't been home when he is going through challenges or disappointments and its difficult to gauge.  My son has been a pretty highly ranked kid since sophomore year of hs.  Summer after jr year, he started with a "lights out" performance at the PG National, followed by mono which took him out the rest of his summer.  He started training for the Super 60  in November and then got pneumonia, which set him back 3-4 weeks.  He started a great senior season 12IP 26K, 2 H, 1BB.  I sat in the stands, feeling almost surreal.  Total control, amazing to watch.  He had 10-15 scouts in the stands every time he pitched. I would listen to them talk about him on podcasts, and read his write ups.  Those were some of the highest highs. Covid shut things down, they reduced the draft to 5 rounds,  and he decided he should go to college.  He got to college and within a few weeks they found out he had a syndrome in his arm and changed his arm slot.  Spent last fall relearning how to pitch.  Spring starts and he gets in several times and does ok, but he isn't the dominate kid he was last year.  The coach tells him to go back to his old slot.  He spent a few weeks trying to relearn what he tried to forget and at his last outting, throwing against his team, he said he killed it.  Felt great.  The next day he got a severe sprain in his ankle.  But he just keeps pushing on. My heart breaks for him...more adversity than he deserves, but through it all, he has a quiet confidence that lets me know he is going to be ok.  It is not an understatement to say that I feel extremely honored to be a witness to his journey and to be the person he calls to talk through disappointment or celebration.  I know a lot of parents feel that way.  He surprises me everyday.  I get to say, "that's my kid" a lot, not just for his talent, but for the kind of person he is.  

Last edited by baseballhs

My 2015 played in many national travel ball tournaments, had an excellent high school career and had a very productive D1 college career.  He played against the likes of ACC, SEC and other power teams while meeting many friends along the way.  My proudest moment, however, is how his he handled all the adversity that goes along with playing baseball, the challenges of a HA student/athlete and going through a career ending injury.  When I saw him handle all these situations with focus and perseverance, I knew the game of baseball prepared him for  what ever life will bring him!

Last edited by JABMK

Thank you guys.  He did well.  One of those moments this thread is about.  His first SEC interview, his first SEC save, and team is playing real well right now.  Right fielder robbed at least a double if not a Homerun that saved him and the team.  No real stars just a bunch of guys playing together really well.  Had to drive home after the game to be at church this morning.  Got home after 2 AM.  But it is worth it.  Why we do what we do as parents.  Thanks again.  We might not always agree on everything but this site is pretty special to some of us.

My son is still in HS and the jury is still out if he will have a successful post HS baseball career (or even if he will have one).  But there's already lots of memorable and surprising times on the basefield field though.  However, the one that stood out the most, and surprised me the most is something he did outside of the baseball field.

A long time teammate's brother died in a car accident while the team is in the middle of a tournament.  The brother was a mainstay in the bleachers during games and has developed good relationship with lots of the boys on the team.  The coach knows the boys are hurting and gathered them together in a room to talk about it.  Some of the dads spoke but the room full of teenage boys sat stone cold quiet.  When it was clear that no one is going to say anything, coach asked for a volunteer to pray.  My son volunteered and started crying midway through his prayer.  The floodgates opened for the rest of the boys.

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