Remembering Ruben Rivera

Baseball Little Known Facts

Facts about the baseball:

  • Weight: 5 to 5.25 ounces
  • Size: 9 to 9 1/4 inches in circumference
  • Producer: Rawlings
  • Where manufactured: Costa Rica (since 1990)
  • One cowhide yields eight dozen baseballs
  • There are 108 stitches on every ball
  • More than 300 yards of yarn are used
  • There are four different types of yarn, wound around a central cork pill
  • It takes about 15 minutes to sew a baseball
  • Horsehide was used before 1974, but after a shortage in horses, baseball switched to cowhide covers.
  • Midwest Holstein cows are used because they have clean, smooth hides

Miami Baseball Player

New NCAA Rules


Coach Rant of the Year

High School Baseball Question

In high school, if you pinch hit for the pitcher is he allowed to go back to the mound and throw?
I know you can take him off the bump, have him play another defensive position, and put him back on the bump, as long as he doesn't come out of the game. But I'm not sure about the pinch hit rule.

- Answers: NFHS 3-1-2
"A player may be removed as pitcher and returned as pitcher only once per inning, provided the return as pitcher does not violate either the pitching, substitution or charged conference rule."
In fact a pitcher can be taken off the bump, sent to the dugout, and return to pitch later. It's OK to come out of the game, provided the pitcher started the game in some capacity, and pitch one additional time.
Doesn't matter if the team is on offense or defense at the time of the substitution.
Of course if the pitcher didn't start the game, he needs to stay in the game at some other position in order to pitch again.

- The pitcher, if he is one of the nine starters, has reentry privileges. If a player pinch hits for him, he may reenter. If he is removed from the game he may reenter. If he is removed from the game as pitcher as a result of the fourth charged conference he may not return as pitcher but if he is a starter he may reenter in the same spot in the batting order.

Metal Bats vs Wood - A Different Perspective

The use of aluminum bats in both high school and college must be stopped. I am a 16 year
umpire for some D1, but mostly D2, D3, NAIA, JUCO, and High School. I also filled in
briefly for the Midwest League of Pro. Baseball.

During the summer I work the Prospect Collegiate league which is all wood bat along with
American Legion Wood bat tournaments.

While the focus of aluminum bats usually in in the danger to the fielder/pitcher, the real
danger is what has been overlooked. That is that the pitchers at all levels hardly ever pitch
to contact (like Greg Maddux) but pitch to strike out a hitter or nibble on the corners. Why is
this important to look at? It is important because if you study the increased injury to pitcher's
arms and shoulders, I think you will find that the real danger is in the way a pitcher now pitches.
The number of throws he has to make.

Not only does a pitcher throw many more balls, he throws harder (fewer change ups) and he
throws many more breaking balls. Because of this, the arm injuries have exploded.

Go watch a JUCO or High School game. No one can pitch to contact. Even the OUTS are
not easy.

Look at the scores. I worked the CCIW college D3 conference. Go to their baseball web site and see the
scores. -i.e. 15, 12, 17, 22, 16, 13, 11, and some of these were loosing scores. Look and
see how the game is now a travesty. Little Johnny, 5'0 tall can hit one 375 feet on a non
windy day. I see pitchers that throw in the low 90's in college. Makes no difference. They
get hammered. Watch a D1 on TV. Same thing, high scores, long hits, long games.
I work about 80 games a year of all levels.The game is horrible. The metal bat needs to go.
It swings to easy, too balanced. Its barrel is too big. The pitchers have no chance.

Please feel free to contact me if you like. It is time that you survey the umpires around the
country. They know the game. They know what is going on. I would bet that 98% would
agree that metal bats are bad for the game, let along a kids brain. Most important,
survey the college and high schools. My guess is that 99% of the pitchers want them gone,
98% of the hitters. Yes, just ask them, they tell me it is STUPID.

John Jaggi 217-520-9522, Forsyth, IL. 62535

Skills in the Dugout

Pitchers Check List

Sliding at Second Base

Reported As Baseball's Greatest Play

York College Baseball DII - Omaha Nebraska

Pocket Radar Devise

18 Pitch At Bat lasted 10 Minutes

Don't Try This at Home

New Law Enforcement Ordinance

Move Over
New Law: If a patrol car is pulled over to the side of the road, you have to change to the next lane (away from the stopped vehicle) or slow down by 20 mph. The Law states (if you are able) you are to change lanes or SLOW down. Recently a police car (turned out it was 2 police cars) was on the side of the road giving a ticket to someone else when a young driver slowed down to pass but did not move into the other lane. The second police car immediately pulled him over and gave him a ticket. The driver had never heard of the law. It is a fairly new law that states if any emergency vehicle is on the side of the road, if you are able, you are to move into the far lane. The cost of the ticket was $754, with 3 points on his license and a mandatory court appearance.

Duffle Bags Dot Com

NCAA Clearing House for Baseball

Mudcat Grant New Book

Live Like You Were Dyin'

San Mateo's Own Bill Neukom

Coach Bob Roselli R.I.P. 1931 - 2009

History of Bulldogs 17U

Through the Eyes of Coach Bobby Sarge - Dawgs History

2002: First year in existence; Manager is Danny Harris.
2002-2004: Team qualifies for the Area Tournament and is eliminated after 2 games each season.
2005: Mangager is Bob Sargent.
Team wins league with 16-5 record (27-16 overall) to qualify for Area Tournament -Team loses 1st round game, then wins 1st-ever Area Tournament game. Team wins 2nd game...then completes a DH sweep by beating Menlo Park 18-11 and top-seed Oakland Smoke 16-13 in wild day to advance to Championship Game. Team loses Championship Game to eventual State Champion Deer Valley.
Team wins league with 20-1 record (31-12 overall) to qualify for Area Tournament.
Team wins 1st round game...loses to Deer Valley...then overcomes 8-0 deficit to win 9-8 vs. Brentwood. Team has 15 mins to prepare for next game and gets behind 7-0 to Clayton Valley in the bottom of the 7th...scores 6 runs and has men and 2nd and 3rd before last out is made in Semi-Final game.
Silvio Rocha takes over in 2007 and 2008 – Coach Rick Lavezzo in 2009 and Mike Edmunds for 2010.

Derek Willis

Derek Willis of San Mateo is as comfortable with a hockey stick in his hands as he is with a baseball bat or a football. In his first year as a wide receiver, Derek Willis scored 103 points, including 14 touchdowns, three two-point conversions and 13 conversion kicks. Derek Willis plays football, baseball and hockey, too. Talk about your three-sport athletes. Derek Willis seems to have found a way to mix football pass-catching, ice hockey puck passing and baseball pitching in the same school year. After all, what's a little winter stay in Boston crammed in between football and baseball seasons in California? As soon as Aragon High's playoff-extended football season is over, Willis will hop a plane to Boston to join the Boston Junior Bruins, an elite 19-and-under hockey club to which he won an invitation with a spectacular showing at a summer camp in Long Beach. The Junior Bruins were so taken with Willis' athletic potential that they wanted him to go to Boston a couple of months ago and forgo football, especially since he had had knee surgery less than a year earlier for a football injury, but he just couldn't do it. He felt he had to play his senior season with his buddies at Aragon. He then plans to return in the spring for two reasons - to graduate with his friends and to pitch for the baseball team, after missing that opportunity as a junior while rehabilitating his knee. Willis, a personable, low-key young man who exudes a quiet confidence, says that as long as he stays healthy, he won't have any trouble with the three-sport program. "No problem. I've always liked best whatever sport I was playing at the time,” he said. "I just don't like being caught up in the hype. I just love the competition."Willis has enjoyed an advantage not many youngsters have when it comes to the athletic genetics and versatility, personal discipline and advice about travel. His father, San Mateo resident Don Willis, has worked for two decades as a juvenile ranch counselor in La Honda, trying to help teens in trouble with the law straighten out their lives. He saw more than his share of the athletic world as a late 1960s Sequoia High football and boxing star who played football for three colleges and in two now-defunct pro leagues. Aragon School administrators said, "We've got it all arranged," the senior Willis said in reference to Derek's stay in Boston and his temporary switch to a high school there. "We've talked with administrators, and he'll be able to play all three sports as long as he keeps his grades up." Derek, who has an extensive background in youth hockey in Belmont and Redwood City, showed flashes of baseball brilliance for the San Mateo American Legion team last summer after his long athletic layoff, going 5-for-5 in his last game. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound whippet has enjoyed more than his share of big moments for Aragon's football team, so he still doesn't know in what sport his future lies. If Willis enjoys hockey as much as he expects he will this winter, he might enroll in a Massachusetts junior college next year. "But I still want to continue with football and baseball,” he said. His football numbers have been excellent this fall, especially considering he had to make the switch from quarterback to wide receiver, but they haven't surprised anyone familiar with his athletic ability. At Aragon he averaged 17 yards per play Willis, who has been clocked at a quick 4.47 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had 29 receptions for 542 yards and 23 rushes for 326 yards in Aragon's 10 regular-season games, meaning he averaged nearly 17 yards every time he touched the ball. He scored 103 points, including 14 touchdowns, three two-point conversions and 13 conversion kicks. Not bad for a first-year wide receiver. Willis added the first three touchdowns of Aragon's 49-0 victory over El Camino in the opening round of the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs last Saturday, including a breath-taking 51-yard scoring catch on the game-opening play. The Dons will play in the semifinals Saturday night at Sequoia's Terremere Field against Woodside, which beat Aragon 32-23 in the regular season to deny the Dons a share of the Bay Division title with Jefferson in the Peninsula Athletic League. "I'm really pumped for Woodside," Willis said. "I know a lot of those guys because I began playing football in the Redwood City Pop Warner League. That game will mean a lot to me." Willis didn't play high school football until his sophomore year at Aragon because he wanted to play his final year of Pop Warner ball for the Redwood City Junior 49ers when he was a 14-year-old freshman. He threw 25 touchdown passes for the frosh-soph team as a sophomore and began last season as Aragon's varsity quarterback before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the third game. Willis astonished onlookers at the San Mateo County Colt Sectional as a 16-year-old a couple of summers ago. He not only played a superb center field and hit a 340-foot home run, but also was clocked in the mid-80 mph range as a relief pitcher. It's no wonder he doesn't want to give up any of his three sports. He already has had to give up track and field, in which he was one of the PAL's best hurdlers as a sophomore. Derek also was an outstanding tennis player as a youngster. Willis probably would be pretty good in basketball, too, if hockey weren't so important to him. Derek readily acknowledges he dreams of becoming one of a handful of African Americans in the National Hockey League. He said he has endured occasional racial slurs on the ice, but he just looks at them as another form of trash talk. "You can't let that kind of stuff bother you,” Derek said. "You just have to shake it off and show what you can do. That's exactly what Willis did at the Long Beach camp, where the Boston Junior Bruins (not affiliated with the NHL team) spotted his talents and coach Peter Masters Jr. offered him such an attractive opportunity. Willis recalled how, with Masters looking on, he skated rings around one verbal tormentor while collecting four goals and three assists in one scrimmage. "Derek's speed really shows in hockey," his father said. "He seems even quicker on the ice than he is on the football field." Don Willis, who played linebacker, defensive back, tight end and wide receiver at various times in his football career, wasn't slow, either. An outstanding amateur boxer, he also was an all-leaguer on Sequoia's undefeated 1967 football team as a senior - “we were ranked first in the state,” he recalled. Don Willis laughs when anyone asks Derek what his favorite sport is. "I've been asking him that for 10 years, and he still won't tell me," the elder Willis said. Now it may not be too many more years before they both find out.

Metal Bats versus Wooden Bats

The Article below is from a well researched WebBall staff:
The battle of wood vs aluminum is far from over. In a previous Insider I
expressed my opinion about the negative coverage which followed New York City's adoption of wood for next season. At the time, or so I thought, my opinions were just that - based on personal experience, the kind of field observations we have all made, but not supported by the scientists and engineers involved in bat testing.

Not so. In fact the true facts, the limitations and omissions in current testing procedures have been known for some time. Back in 2002, The America Association of Physics Teachers accepted for publication a peer-reviewed article by Professor Alan M. Nathan, Department of Physics, University of Illinois. Since that time, Prof. Nathan (Ph.D Princeton 1975) has continued to explore and write on the field of baseball and physics.

Just this past weekend we were granted permission by Dr Nathan to re-post a couple of his articles on the subject of bats. He is prolific on many topics related to sports physics having done previous assessment of, among other things, the gyroball (which I think also approximates what we've said before on that topic.)

What's most relevant on the wood/metal bat issue are the points in his studies and papers about momentum of inertia (why wood is harder to swing) and on what might be some limitations or compromises in the BESR testing because it is based on the coefficient of restitution rather than collision efficiency. His studies have also looked at BPF, the standard which Little League is adopting for 2009.

You can review selected articles by him on WebBall which should be posted by the time you read this... You can also follow links that will be posted to the originals and other articles on his own site.

But the bottom line for our discussion is this: the original BESR determination was with a 70 mph pitch and a 66 mph bat speed with contact 6" from the end of the bat, with an exit speed limit set at 97 mph. This was inexplicably set 1 mph higher than lab tests with wood, but there's more to it than that. His work shows that even the modified NCAA method is not reflected in the field under game conditions in which metal has a far wider sweet spot, is easier to swing, and has a trampoline effect. Fact is, even corked wood bats don't come close to the performance of alloys. Besides, the 70/66 speed differential is far from the reality of any age group I know - it's usually faster pitching and slower bats.

If you want to do your own field tests, get yourself a Swing Speed Radar and a Glover Radar or Bushnell Radar Gun and see what real bat speeds and pitch speed at the same age are like. And while you're at it monitor the small percentage of hits that happen exactly 6" from the end of the bat.

Now I know there are a more than a few anxious parents (and coaches) out there who might favor the easier metal option. I just hope none of you are the parents of pitchers.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Yes, before you write, I am aware of 2002 Consumer Products Safety Council testing and report. Yes, I am aware of the low incidents of critical injuries from all hit balls, regardless of the bat. Yes, I know what Little League International has said, falling back on the 2002 lab results. Yes, I know that Collegiate Baseball News takes a very pro-metal stance in both advertising and editorial.

And yes, I also have heard about the team(s) that chose wood on principle in leagues that allowed metal, and of at least one of those teams winning their championship. Plus of course I have heard from those involved in the few critical/fatal injuries in which the bat has been blaimed. I have heard it all, from all sides.

"Trampoline effect" by definition means a bounce back disproportionate to the contact speed actually required. Robert Adair, the dean of baseball physicists has recently stated that the trampoline effect with metal bats is real. The articles cited above explain why, and explain the limitations in testing - all of this has happened AFTER the 2002 CPSC tests - new data, new conclusions, new concerns.

But this "campaign" is not only about the validity of testing (about who can we believe?) - or about injury - it's also about the quality and equity of the game, and about success, too..

You see, aside from any other factor, young players don't have to learn to hit as well when they use metal. And no one has more access to high-priced metal alloys than our American kids. Pause to consider that in the wider context of where players come from these days to fill major league ranks. In fact, check out the listings in June on the WebBall calendar for ML team tryouts. At every one of those tryouts, for kids 16 and over, they have to swing with wood. Period. If they have no prior experience with wood, they are going to be in for a shock.

My final thought on the subject: if there was no real difference between wood and metal - why such opposition to the switch back? why does anyone complain when forced to use only wood? why do college players choose metal? in fact why does any player believe he can hit farther with metal? and why wouldn't Major League Baseball allow both types in the game in there was no difference? I will continue to celebrate every jurisdiction, association and team that opts for wood. I hope some day that you are among them.
Richard Todd

Serra High School Baseball Records

MLB Players Born in California

Tony Patch

We are saddened to report the passing of Tony Patch, on June 27, 2009 while umpiring summer baseball. Tony will be remembered for his dedicated commitment to Bay Area youth sports and will be missed by his fellow NCUA members, coaches, players, many friends, and his loving family.

" Energy "

Why is it that good teams sometimes don’t win? Why is it that mediocre teams sometimes win consistently? What are the ingredients for success? While there are no easy answers for these questions, there are certain ingredients to a winning team that are not seen on paper. One of the most important of these intangible ingredients is energy. Winning teams bring a high level of energy to the ball field, exhibited by their intensity and desire.

From the moment a team steps onto the diamond, it determines the pace and intensity of the game. From stretching and warm up, to pre-game infield and sprints, athletes should be moving quickly and crisply. It is the responsibility of the coach to have a structured plan for the athletes to keep them from standing around and give the team the opportunity to bring their energy level up.

Once the game starts, energy can be seen from the first pitch to the last. Every inning, athletes sprint on and off the field, showing the other team that they are in charge. On offense, the dugout is into the game, encouraging their teammates and cheering appropriately. Athletes are aggressive in the box and on the bases, and attitudes are confident and unrelenting. Defensively, the pitcher’s pace is quick and efficient and the ball moves crisply around the diamond after a groundout or a strike out. The team’s energy level implies, “it’s only a matter of time before we win.”

A high energy level assists in "taking the game." These teams keep a constant pressure on the opposition. Whether it makes an opposing infielder throw tentatively across the diamond, or a pitcher think twice and aim his breaking ball, this pressure becomes the 10th player. Inevitably, this team will find a way to win because "they just don’t stop coming at you."

Playing with energy is something that can be worked on. Different teams have different identities, and some groups will need to be pushed more than others. Raising the energy level can help to mold a talented team into a winning team.

Ryan Evangelho-Sierra College Baseball


The winning pitcher knows when he takes the mound there will be events beyond his power and he has learned to cancel them out, to ignore them, to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Here are some things over which he has no control:

> The weather- hot, cold, damp (no control)
> Umpire's calls- he should learn to completely ignore the umpire. As he matures the pitcher should learn an umpire's strike zone early in the game and work within that strike zone.
> What the hitter does-he may hit your best pitch; it happens, that's baseball. All pitchers give up hits.
> Teammate's errors-doesn't become upset at errors; he continues to focus on his job.
> Crowd noise- Learns to concentrate and block it out.
> A win- a pitcher cannot control if he wins the game.
> He can ONLY control how well he pitches so focus on that.

These are items a pitcher CAN control:
>> Nutrition- how he eats. He can give his body proper fuel.
>> Conditioning- he can be in his best possible shape.
>> Thinking process- he can develop the right attitude.
>> Interaction with teammates- he can learn to respect their abilities.
>> Appearance- he can look like a winner; uniform neat and clean.
>> Practice habits- he can control his dedication and how hard he practices.

This is another step in a pitcher's maturity process.
By concentrating on events within his power, he will raise the level of his game.