oak forest baseball association
Angry mom

United States

#41 Oct 8, 2009
To "He is still laughing" - excuse me but I don't have rose-colored glasses on. If anyone does, it's all those parents out there who think their kids are the greatest players on earth when in reality they're not that good. Don't get me wrong, everybody should think positively about their child but you can't sit there and tell me that every single kids that tries out should make it. Not to mention that if you were a coach for the full-time or part-time travel and your son wasn't that good, that you wouldn't put him on there since you were the coach. Is it right? No, it's not but face it - life isn't always fair. The point I'm trying to make is that everybody is quick to point fingers and name names and condemn the board as a whole when that's not right. Do you have solid evidence against this man (or anyone else on the board) or are you and everybody else just going on gossip and hearsay? And unless you attend meetings and ask questions, why is it any concern of yours why Mr. Kipp resigned? As "Being Real" wrote, go to the board and ask to see the financials - he did and there wasn't a problem. Don't just sit, complain and badmouth people when you're not willing to step up to the plate yourself!!!
Being Real

Chicago, IL

#42 Oct 8, 2009
Not looking to discredit anyone, it is just that is alot of misinformation posted in these threads. And no I am not a board member.
I saw what went on years ago, and see what is going on now. I'll take the new board any time.
After all it is the new board that is making changes.
He is Still Laughing

Fort Atkinson, WI

#43 Oct 8, 2009
Angry mom wrote:
To "He is still laughing" - excuse me but I don't have rose-colored glasses on. If anyone does, it's all those parents out there who think their kids are the greatest players on earth when in reality they're not that good. Don't get me wrong, everybody should think positively about their child but you can't sit there and tell me that every single kids that tries out should make it. Not to mention that if you were a coach for the full-time or part-time travel and your son wasn't that good, that you wouldn't put him on there since you were the coach. Is it right? No, it's not but face it - life isn't always fair. The point I'm trying to make is that everybody is quick to point fingers and name names and condemn the board as a whole when that's not right. Do you have solid evidence against this man (or anyone else on the board) or are you and everybody else just going on gossip and hearsay? And unless you attend meetings and ask questions, why is it any concern of yours why Mr. Kipp resigned? As "Being Real" wrote, go to the board and ask to see the financials - he did and there wasn't a problem. Don't just sit, complain and badmouth people when you're not willing to step up to the plate yourself!!!
Clearly you are of the same mindset of many current and past board members because you believe it's OK to put a kid on a team just because of who is managing. You hit the nail on the head! When you are establishing a team of players through tryouts, you pick the manager after the team is picked or you find a manager who will not have a child on the team. OFBA does not work that way...again, certain managers and coaches early on figure out how things work and position themselves to be in key positions to ensure their child is on the team roster regardless if the kid deserves to be there or not (it's called back-door politics and manipulation, not simply unfairness). You are correct that nobody said life would be fair but that does not mean that it shouldn't be when it could be - especially when it involves adults having a say over youths! Also to be clear, I never said that every kid should make the team. "And unless you attend meetings and ask questions, why is it any concern of yours why Mr. Kipp resigned?" Angry Mom...please re-read that last sentence that you wrote. Do you understand the concept of an elected board? It is the boardÂ’s responsibility to be honest and fair to the organization and the people it represents regardless of who shows up at the meetings. How many people sit at city council and school board meetings? Not many but we all expect those boards to act appropriately. As for being involved, I've coached and managed for years and have been at numerous board meetings to see first-hand how things operate. I've seen the back-door vote counting and heard the foul-mouth tirades of board members. I'll end by again making my point that OFBA has more work to do in proving to the community that it is striving to be a fairly run, economical organization that puts the interests of the kids before the self-serving interests of parents. To any and all OFBA board members who might be reading this, regardless of Angry Moms belief that if people don't show up in person to complain that they don't have a say, please prove to the Oak Forest community that you are who you say you are by truthfully and fully explaining the rumors and half-truths circulating around regarding Kipps resignation.
The right direction

Forest Park, IL

#44 Oct 8, 2009
From whats written in these posts it sounds like the baseball board is trying but it also looks like they need to be more open about this kipp guy.
Crazy About OFBA

Chicago, IL

#45 Oct 8, 2009
Angry mom wrote:
To "He is still laughing" - excuse me but I don't have rose-colored glasses on. If anyone does, it's all those parents out there who think their kids are the greatest players on earth when in reality they're not that good. Don't get me wrong, everybody should think positively about their child but you can't sit there and tell me that every single kids that tries out should make it. Not to mention that if you were a coach for the full-time or part-time travel and your son wasn't that good, that you wouldn't put him on there since you were the coach. Is it right? No, it's not but face it - life isn't always fair. The point I'm trying to make is that everybody is quick to point fingers and name names and condemn the board as a whole when that's not right. Do you have solid evidence against this man (or anyone else on the board) or are you and everybody else just going on gossip and hearsay? And unless you attend meetings and ask questions, why is it any concern of yours why Mr. Kipp resigned? As "Being Real" wrote, go to the board and ask to see the financials - he did and there wasn't a problem. Don't just sit, complain and badmouth people when you're not willing to step up to the plate yourself!!!
Why talk about the kids at all in this discussion, leave them out of it and you may get the point.

This is a forum of discussion and I think you will find that many of the items you find here are true and many are false, but I think it is the point of this discussion to find out for yourself.
Did you know that at one time the OFBA organization had a large bank account in reserve to make sure they could run their league and the building that they had agreed to partner with the Park District in building?(Where did it go?) Did you know that the Former By-Laws of OFBA were constructed utilizing PONY Organization Rules (look it up)and were worked on with the Park District? Did you know that in the past Traveling Teams, fulltime or part time were on limited budgets.(Compare that with where we are at now!)
Did you know that the last meeting I attended seem to have more of a flavor or city politics than I have ever seen in OFBA.
Surely times have changed and parents with all their heart and desire want their children to succeed, but they don't always want to volunteer their time. It is a strange thing to be debating items of a youth organization, but I have been to those meetings and I never seem to see the kind of questions asked that are in this forum. Also, in asking some pointed questions to this board in the past I have been made the villian and not be given any answers, so let's not mix the issues about the children and their crazy parents versus how this organization and the Board in general choose to handle them.
You just can't have it both ways, if a person any person does what is in this forum that should have been questioned a long time ago. It would not be the first time that a person left OFBA to another organization, and I say let them go. It also is wrong to bring into this discussion that there are other forces at work trying to control OFBA, that this organization should not be involved in, but as I see it they are!

Let's get back to the orginal priciples of this organization and if it means less families then great, so be it, but let's also hold the Park District responsible to police this and every other organization in Oak Forest Park District jurisdiction, let's hold all organization, especially the "elite" ones to the same standards as we would OFBA.

At one time the Park District had named OFBA as its baseball organization and if you look in the Park Catalog you only will see OFBA as that group, not any others. So whether you want to believe this or not the Park District Board needs to be involved to make sure the direction of OFBA is in standing with the principles of the Park District.
HELD ACCOUNTABLE

United States

#46 Oct 8, 2009
He is Still Laughing, Very well put. I myself have seen these tactics of nominated board members in the back room counting votes, and also the foul-mouth tirades actually by a board member protecting Mark Kipp. When some of the current board members were confronted about these situations, they declined ot comment on this. As far as the budget and fianncials when asked to show them they were about as vague as possible and written in pencil. What kind of Board does this? I first hand know one of the ladies on the aux. board who works her but off, her son is a decent baseball player, however he has been cut from every 9yr old and 10 year old team all star, and travel becasue she is not part of the coach and assistant coaches click. They have put kids on the tem who were first off only 8 trying out for a 10 year old team and secondly less deserving, but they kissed the coaches butt crack, now he is one of the main board memebers. Nice system!
Roll Over Rover

AOL

#47 Oct 9, 2009
The Oak Forest Park District has ALREADY rolled over on this subject! C Sopko knew all of what was going on & decided to "SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG" !

OFBA Board members have a thing called "FIDICUARY DUTY" to report "irregularities" or funds that were "MIS APPROPRIATED" or "EMBEZZLED" ! more to the point is "Did the EXECUTIVE BOARD know" ? My guess is YES they did & looked the other way ! What happens if you are EVER SUBPOENAED ?

Equipment that cost $70,000.00 ???

Details at ELEVEN !
Self Entitlement

AOL

#48 Oct 9, 2009
What about Tony Wrenn aka Mr Militiant ??
Crazy About OFBA

Chicago, IL

#49 Oct 9, 2009
Roll Over Rover wrote:
The Oak Forest Park District has ALREADY rolled over on this subject! C Sopko knew all of what was going on & decided to "SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG" !
OFBA Board members have a thing called "FIDICUARY DUTY" to report "irregularities" or funds that were "MIS APPROPRIATED" or "EMBEZZLED" ! more to the point is "Did the EXECUTIVE BOARD know" ? My guess is YES they did & looked the other way ! What happens if you are EVER SUBPOENAED ?
Equipment that cost $70,000.00 ???
Details at ELEVEN !
So it is even more concerning to me that the Park District Board Member knows about these concerns and may not have done anything about it, is that true? If it is then if one Board Member knew then the whole Park Board probably knows about the dealings that are going on there! C. Sopko is also a city employee, with all the problems about misappropriation of funds at the Fire Department I would think he most of all would know better than any of these Park Board Members that this should be looked into and fixed quickly! Park Board President is also a city employee and an investigator I would think he would have the ability to find out what is going on here?

Fiduciary Responsibility is the key phrase here in this whole discussion, if board members are doing their jobs about watching the funds then it is time to call in someone that can make the necessary changes to this organization. Park District meeting was last night I think did they have any discussions about correcting these problems? Anyone on the OFBA Board more than a few years need to come clean about what they know and how they plan on correcting this situation. Just doesn't seem that the Park Board members are strong enough to do it or maybe they have other agendas on their plates!
shocked

Forest Park, IL

#50 Oct 9, 2009
I can not believe the bashing going on here! Just like the articile said in the Star it proves on reading this blog who is really acting like children. Get a grip people do not be bashing kipp or wren next time take the time out of your schedule and go vote when election time comes up for the board. I'm not on the board I'm just a mom watching my children enjoying baseball and volunteer when needed. Yes I do agree that the teams are not balanced and it is unfair, but what is the board going to do? they take care of there own. but don't go bashing peoples names on here is you do not have the facts, they have children. now don't act like children.
Not So Shocked

AOL

#51 Oct 9, 2009
I've seen some subtle KOOL AID DRINKERS in my day but this takes the cake ! You are in my opinion "related" to somebody mentioned here. That to me is obvious.

So you don't think these steps have been taken already ? Teams being unfair is NOT the issue here. Missing money from a YOUTH ORGANIZATION is ! These issues have been brought to the attention of the Oak Forest Park District. The only outcome is that a certain Park District member has been rewarded for "sweeping this under the rug" !

Let's be very clear here, the park district has no jurisdiction over OFBA. Except they play on the property OWNED by the Park District. So if they really wanted to get OFBA to do something, like let's say implement some type of ACCOUNTABILITY PROGRAM they could. But unfortunately they haven't and "SWEPT IT UNDER THE RUG" and now somebody got a promotion in the fire department!

What really stinks about this is this is a Youth Organization. These kids are NOT STUPID and we are supposed to be an EXAMPLE to these kids.

Shocked I guess my point to you is simple: don't be condescending to these kids, they know ! The other point is the board can do plenty, so please lay off the KOOL AID & let's keep it REAL !
Yikes

Tinley Park, IL

#52 Oct 9, 2009
Shocked, you must be new to OFBA if you are watching kids ENJOY baseball still, they must be young yet.
Angry mom

Midlothian, IL

#53 Oct 9, 2009
Well put Shocked - people are naming names on here and do they have any solid proof against these men or are they all just going on hearsay and rumors. Do any of you know any facts at all associated with these men? Probably not, but it's a good way for you to once again, just sit on the sidelines and complain. If you don't like who is on the board and think you can do a better job, then give it your best shot. I think you would find that those board members have to put up with a lot of garbage and they don't have it as easy as you all think they do. Again, my main point is that you can't condemn the "whole" board and say that they all knew what was going on. Bottom line here is get your facts first and make sure they are the correct facts before you start saying things like "they ALL knew what was going on." As I stated earlier, some men on that board ARE there for the right reasons!!
Oak Forest parent

Oak Forest, IL

#54 Oct 10, 2009
It's very sad to see what OFBA has become over the years. In-house baseball is there to teach the kids the fundamentals of baseball and how to play the game. "Instructional" is the key word. Full-time travel is for the kids that can play at a higher level and already know the fundamentals therefore playing against better competition.But when kids are picked to play for the full-time travel teams and they belong playing in-house, that becomes the issue especially when other kids are much better and get cut because those coaches are the ones who have kids who should have been cut. OFBA needs to look at restructuring EVERYTHING about the organization from in-house drafts to full-time and all-star tryouts. Stop picking the managers before the teams that way EVERY child has an equal opportunity to play at whatever level the parents see fit. Also stop allowing these in-house teams to be "stacked". Hey guys this is in-house ball not the major league baseball playing for the World Series rings!!!!! Teach them about baseball and not that winning is what is most important!!!!
Realistically Speaking

Chicago, IL

#55 Oct 10, 2009
Oak Forest parent wrote:
The park district is too busy creating programs (C. Sopko) to benefit his own kid. The park district doesn't have any rights and it's funny that some of these park district board members have kids that played in OFBA and never said a word. These park district board members just like anyone else in OFBA had to oportunity to throw their hat in the ring and get nominated for OFBA board positions but they didn't have time. The park district will never get involved and that is a good thing. It is now up to the current OFBA board members to start making a positive impact in the community and start doing the right thing. The first thing should be to criminally pursue Kipp. Make him the example and set the standard NOW before it's too late!!!!!
<quoted text>
Isn't it the Park Board's "job" to create new programs for children in this community. Get real and stick to the issues you're really bothered by and move on......
Oak Forest parent

Oak Forest, IL

#56 Oct 10, 2009
Realistically Speaking wrote:
<quoted text>
Isn't it the Park Board's "job" to create new programs for children in this community. Get real and stick to the issues you're really bothered by and move on......
Indeed you are correct. It is the board as a whole to create new programs for ALL the children in the community. Instead of creating a program to benefit his own child, why doesn't he start a baseball program that would keep costs down and hand pick a board that is truly for the kids and the families of Oak Forest? Would your kid rather play lacrosse or baseball? There has never been anything stopping the park district from starting their own baseball league......
another mother

AOL

#57 Oct 10, 2009
Almost every board member has an agenda, and that is to get the most for their kid, and their friend's kid. Almost every full time travel team is picked before try-outs. It an "old boys club" on the board and they know it. How many on that board do NOT have a kid on a full time team? Hmmm, not many. And the ones that don't, they will when their kid is of age, just watch. There should be perks for serving on the board, there is a lot of work to be done. But your "perk" should not benefit your child. Our bank statements should be open for all OFBA members, they are not a private club, this is our money, we should know where it goes. You can not tell me we are getting $280 worth of baseball from OFBA. We are one of the highest in house leagues in the area.
Interesting Thoughts

Chicago, IL

#58 Oct 11, 2009
another mother wrote:
Almost every board member has an agenda, and that is to get the most for their kid, and their friend's kid. Almost every full time travel team is picked before try-outs. It an "old boys club" on the board and they know it. How many on that board do NOT have a kid on a full time team? Hmmm, not many. And the ones that don't, they will when their kid is of age, just watch. There should be perks for serving on the board, there is a lot of work to be done. But your "perk" should not benefit your child. Our bank statements should be open for all OFBA members, they are not a private club, this is our money, we should know where it goes. You can not tell me we are getting $280 worth of baseball from OFBA. We are one of the highest in house leagues in the area.
If this is true and the Board Members are only there for their own kids, then it would serve this league to go back and have it that Board Members do not Manage teams! Also it would be in the best interest of the league to question how much money is being raised for the Travel Teams, like the Cooperstown team! Then you could really ask why you are playing so much for 18 to 20 games with your child only getting the uniform they get versus the types of uniforms and special consideration that these travel teams get!

If you want tpo stop the bleeding here then the current Board that is telling people here about change would be changing the inequity that is occurring with Cooperstown and the Travel Teams. It used to be that the All-Stars and Travel Teams had some limitations placed on them, do they have that now or is it anything goes? Once this league instituted the Cooperstown experience then all sense of reality left the group. So if this new group is telling everyone that there is change for the good, they would be best to cancel the Cooperstown experimentand get back to the basics of teaching baseball. Cooperstown is only for a chosen few anyway and at 12 years old, who is to say who should be chosen!
another mother

AOL

#59 Oct 11, 2009
Why is the Board not stepping up and calling an open meeting? Either clear up all the rumors or press some charges. You can not let rumors run wild. This Board needs to act NOW!! Don't let this continue until spring. If you really do have the best interest of the kids in mind, then act like it and talk to the parents. An open, honest discussion is all we want and need.
Words and Actions

Forest Park, IL

#60 Oct 11, 2009
From what I can tell, the next OFBA general board meeting is Wednesday night, November 4th, 7:30 at the senior center. To all of you who have posted and to those of you who have simply enjoyed the banter, it's time to show up at the next general meeting to let your feelings be known in person.

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