Illinois sparks
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Very unhappy parent

Orland Park, IL

#1 Jul 6, 2012
Could someone please tell me why after playing for Sparks for years and help paying for the Bo jackson Dome. Now we have to tryout to make a 13U team. They doing away with a whole winning team and cutting kids that have played hard for this organization. While coaches kids will be safe and not cut. Not fair. Not Fair. Not Fair. p.s. does anyone know what to use to peel off the sticker off the back of my car window.
another unhappy parent

Midlothian, IL

#2 Jan 23, 2013
I just watched my son take infield practice with 50 other players. He took 8 ground balls in 45 minutes. Thats total BS. Our practice time at the Dome has been cut in half, but our team fee has not. How long must my wife and I keep drinking this cool-aid.
Sad very sad

Midlothian, IL

#3 Aug 27, 2013
Daddy ball but with a better resumé
fees

Tinley Park, IL

#4 Aug 27, 2013
Just curious...what are the costs for the Sparks these days?
A big fan

Chicago, IL

#5 Sep 2, 2013
300 for the uniform
500 to play in B level tournaments
1000 to have the right to share time at the dome with oya
10000 to play freshman ball at brother rice.
All to get a scholarship to a B level college.
Save your money from the lessons and the fees send your son to Sandberg. With all the money you saved you will be able to play for college on your own.
amen

Midlothian, IL

#6 Sep 2, 2013
Hahaha hahaha that is right on. Funny very funny. And true.
Top tier

Champaign, IL

#7 Sep 3, 2013
If you want to see a good travel organization go to toptierwins.com good bye daddy ball.
we love the sparks

Midlothian, IL

#9 Sep 9, 2013
We love the sparks. It has given my husband a second chance to relive his childhood. I know his baseball dreams were cut short by unfair high school coaches. And those mean college coaches did not know what a special player they had right in front of them. He is not going to let that happen to our son. He knew his sperm was meant for greatness. Greatness!!!!!!! Go sparks
TheTaxMan

New Lenox, IL

#10 Apr 22, 2014
It could have been worse...you could have fallen prey to the Prospects.
unbelievable

Chicago, IL

#11 Jun 2, 2014
Well just when I thought I have seen it all. This weekend the sparks 10u team played in a local tournament against some very good teams. In the second game while playing a very good Illinois hittmen team the young talented sparks boys lost the 22 to 1. The wheels just fell off the wagon. It happens they are just kids. But what happens next is one of the worst things that I have ever heard of. The head coach told the boys that he was embarrassed and that they did not have the right to wear the sparks jersey. So he made the boys wear plain white tee shirts and use a black marker to write their number on the back. Then they wore that tee shirt for the next game. But the coaches did not wear a plain tee shirt they wore the normal coaches shirts. This is shameful and embarrassing to a child. this guy should be coach of the year. What a joke. And the parents are a joke for letting it happen. The sparks once was a proud organization but know it is just a clown show.
classy

United States

#12 Jun 3, 2014
Well that's pretty embarrassing for those kids...what were the parents saying afterwards? Did he make them bring their own white shirts or did he at least buy them for them...lol
Entitled

United States

#13 Jun 4, 2014
unbelievable wrote:
Well just when I thought I have seen it all. This weekend the sparks 10u team played in a local tournament against some very good teams. In the second game while playing a very good Illinois hittmen team the young talented sparks boys lost the 22 to 1. The wheels just fell off the wagon. It happens they are just kids. But what happens next is one of the worst things that I have ever heard of. The head coach told the boys that he was embarrassed and that they did not have the right to wear the sparks jersey. So he made the boys wear plain white tee shirts and use a black marker to write their number on the back. Then they wore that tee shirt for the next game. But the coaches did not wear a plain tee shirt they wore the normal coaches shirts. This is shameful and embarrassing to a child. this guy should be coach of the year. What a joke. And the parents are a joke for letting it happen. The sparks once was a proud organization but know it is just a clown show.
He was trying to inspire his kids to play good baseball. His method may appear cruel but the message is not. These kids think because they play on a travel team that they are entitled to greatness. They show up with expensive bats, custom gloves and lots of attitude. They need to earn it on the diet. They need an occasional spanking....today's kids are coddled. Youth sports is a joke.
Seriously

Ellenwood, GA

#14 Jun 4, 2014
Entitled wrote:
<quoted text>
He was trying to inspire his kids to play good baseball. His method may appear cruel but the message is not. These kids think because they play on a travel team that they are entitled to greatness. They show up with expensive bats, custom gloves and lots of attitude. They need to earn it on the diet. They need an occasional spanking....today's kids are coddled. Youth sports is a joke.
Humiliating children by making them because they lost a baseball game. Grow up ass clown. It is called child abuse, mental torture and cruel and unusual punishment by bully coaches who feel a desire to live vicariously through their children and inflict pain on innocent boys...and I suspect want to punish those boys that are not as developed as the "coaches" kids. Mental cruelty....period.
unbelievable

Mokena, IL

#15 Jul 26, 2014
I was just told that this year's 9u tryout only had 9 kids show up. 7 the first day. That is crazy. Look the sparks have become a joke. And the whole having rosters up to 15 is just a sad way to get people to just cut themselves oof teams. Part time players at 9 10 11 and 12 really sad.
Anonymous

Chicago Heights, IL

#16 Aug 2, 2014
Lockport 9u team still looking for 2 players! Tryout August 13th at 5:30 PM...Dellwood Park in Lockport.
Inquisitive

Oak Lawn, IL

#17 Aug 13, 2014
Just curious, we live in oak lawn and are new to this full time travel. I was thinking the sparks was THE team to get our son on, after reading these, not so much. So what is a good full time baseball club?
Heresay

Chicago, IL

#18 Aug 15, 2014
Inquisitive wrote:
Just curious, we live in oak lawn and are new to this full time travel. I was thinking the sparks was THE team to get our son on, after reading these, not so much. So what is a good full time baseball club?
Inquisitive, you are going to find disgruntled people in every organization. I would not rush to judgment based on the comments found in this forum. You can tell from the tone of these comments that people are just bitter. For every one bitter person, you will find dozens of happy families that love the Sparks.

My son has played with the Sparks for 3 years and we couldn't be happier. Our boys compete at the highest level, my son has been able to play multiple positions, and the talent he is surrounded by is terrific. I do not coddle him, he has to compete to earn his position both on the field and at bat. Keep in mind that when my son plays another team, he typically faces that team's best pitching simply because they know they are facing the "Sparks". We didn't win every game, but we have been very successful. There have been games that we probably would have won if they were willing to compromise one of our young arms, but that is not the philosophy. A win means nothing compared to the health of the kids. They protect the boys, not take advantage of them. If you are a parent that is willing to let these guys develop your son, then he will prosper.

Keep in mind that most of the petty bull sh#$ happens at the younger levels. As the boys get older, those that are the true competitors will rise to the top. The Sparks' contacts at the collegiate and pro level are second to none in the area. Of the 2014 grads, 11 were drafted to the MLB and 30+ headed to play college ball. How many local teams have that talent year after year.

Just my opinion of course....;) Good luck.
Get real pal

Orland Park, IL

#19 Sep 18, 2014
Dear heresay
The sparks were one of the top programs a couple of years ago when David was coaching but not now. The guys after him not so good can you say daddy ball. So how many of these kids that play on the younger teams do think are going to get scouted by at collegiate or pro level not many when your teams are playing below 500 ball againist average teams and bye the way nobody pitches thier top kids against the lower age group teams anymore.
Heresay

Chicago, IL

#20 Sep 22, 2014
Get real pal wrote:
Dear heresay
The sparks were one of the top programs a couple of years ago when David was coaching but not now. The guys after him not so good can you say daddy ball. So how many of these kids that play on the younger teams do think are going to get scouted by at collegiate or pro level not many when your teams are playing below 500 ball againist average teams and bye the way nobody pitches thier top kids against the lower age group teams anymore.
"Get Real Pal"

It is obvious from your statements that you have not been around an elite baseball setting. Dave has been and still is one of the best coaches around the area and is highly respected on a national level. He currently coaches the 13u team. Your data is incorrect and outdated. It would be foolish to state that every kid who plays for the Sparks will be scouted and chosen for Collegiate or Pro Level ball, however, there is indeed a higher concentration of kids with the potential and talent for this level at the Sparks. Regarding the competition, our particular team plays whoever is available on the local level for weekly pick up games and local tournaments. We strive to sign up for tourneys that attract the top teams, but that not always fits into our schedule. We go out of town multiple times per season to complete against the top teams and have beaten many "nationally ranked" TBS, USSSA, Perfect Game, etc. teams and have earned bids to multiple national invite-only tournaments. I can assure you our record is well over 500 season after season. I will refrain from listing all the "trophy hunters" that like to see their team's names listed in these rankings and will pick/pull kids from other team just to win a tourney (to pitch!).

I do not like responding to these forums, however, I will not sit idle while somebody has a couple beers and grows a pair just large enough to bitch and moan about something they obviously know nothing about. Good luck to you and your son, even though he wasn't picked by the Sparks, there is always next year.....
Baseball King

United States

#21 Sep 22, 2014
Top Tier is the best out there.

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