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Houston Junior Baseball Dominate batters with Three Pitches

Tomball, Spring-Klein, & Cy-Fair Sports Associations

Carl Crawford's Little League Years May - June 2011 | Houston Junior Baseball 1

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May - June 2011 | Houston Junior Baseball 3

In This Issue: 5

Baseball Strength Training


Coach's Corner


My Baseball Story


Players of the Week


Dominate with 3 Pitches


Keep Pitching Simple


Carl Crawford's Little League Years

We want to hear from you!

Fan Mail Any Questions, Comments, or Suggestions for the upcoming issues.

Email us at 281.627.3585

My Baseball Story A short essay (300 words or less) about your favorite or most memorable baseball story. Send three pictures. (300 dpi/press quality) Any youth baseball player up to 18 can send in a baseball story. Emails us at: Team Spotlight Send: Team name, name of players, age group, a story and accomplishments of the team, one team picture and two action shots of a game. (300 dpi/press quality) Player Spotlight Send: Name, age, height, weight, grade, school, position, pitching record and era, batting average, favorite video game, tv show, movie, favorite mlb player, team, and your role model. A paragraph or two about yourself and what you like to do. Also send three pictures. (300 dpi/press quality) All stories, comments, and pictures may be used for publication. 4 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011

13119 Huffmeister Road Cypress, TX 77429 281.256.7887 Advertising & Sales

Michael Hammonds, Margaret Pirtle


Michael Hammonds

Art Director Seth Weinberg

Contributing Writers

Michael Hammonds, Tony Burtt Hayden Berger, Eric Krebs


Tom Green (Homestead Publishing)

Disclaimer: Articles and ads in this publication express the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/WR-Style/Houston Junior Baseball/Festive Texas/Festive Texas Resource Guide/Country Flair or its employees. Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/WR-Style/ Houston Junior Baseball/Festive Texas/Festive Texas Resource Guide/ Country Flair is not responsible for the accuracy of any facts stated in articles submitted by others. The publisher also assumes no responsibility for the advertising content with this publication. Any ad warranties, representations and endorsements made in the advertising content are solely that of the advertiser and any such claims regarding its content should be taken up with the advertiser. The publisher assumes no liability with regard to its advertisers for misprints or failure to place advertising in this publication except for the actual cost of such advertising. Although every effort is taken to avoid mistakes and/or misprints in this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for any errors of information or typographical mistakes. Under no circumstances shall the publisher be held liable for incidental or consequential damages, inconvenience, loss of business or services, or any other liabilities from failure to publish, or from failure to publish on a timely manner. This is not an official publication of your particular subdivision, and, your particular subdivision does not endorse, affiliate or associate itself or its affiliates with this publication. Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/WR-Style/ Houston Junior Baseball/Festive Texas/Festive Texas Resource Guide/Country Flair and it's Associate Publications/Business Interest, whether business or person, do not accept any liablility for the electronic, printed, or preceived value of any kind in relation to the functionality, integrity, performance or any assumed benefit of the QR Bar Code Readers/Bar Codes, etc. published in any of Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/WRStyle/ Houston Junior Baseball/Festive Texas/Festive Texas Resource Guide/Country Flair or it's affillate publications whether in print or electronic. All articles and photos in this publication are copyrighted. Published by: The Homestead 281.256.7887.

Baseball Strength Training By Tony Burtt

A baseball training program should incorporate a strength training component. Strength is crucial for baseball success. The two primary reasons for this are to develop explosive power and to protect against injury (especially arm injuries) In baseball training, little things add up to make a huge difference. If you add even a small increase in your power, your game will improve in all areas. Some basic guidelines for baseball training: 1 Use a variety of weight training methods such as free weights, body weight, medicine ball, kettleballs, and surgical tubing exercises. 2 Avoid pressing movements with heavy weights (risky for the shoulder) 3 Train lower body with heavy weights 4 Train upper body with lighter weights 5 Never forget to train your core (hips, buttocks, and lower back) 6 Take special care to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles using light weights (3-5 lbs)

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Cy-Fair Sports Association Cy-Fair Sports Association Baseball offers year-round baseball programs for all levels of play from Metro (entry-level) leagues all the way through Select, Elite, Premier and pre-High School. We are one of the largest baseball associations in the country, serving thousands of players each year – and we will continue to develop bigger and better programs as the Cy-Fair area grows. Currently, we are working on the development of our new Schiel Road facility located near Fairfield. This complex will be our showcase facility once it is completed and will have the capability to host college-level events on some of the fields. Coming up, we will be accepting registration for our summer baseball league. This is a recreational baseball league for those that want to keep playing through the summer months – games are held on weekday evenings to try and beat the heat! This year we will also be offering a short summer kid-pitch league for players that will be moving from coach-pitch to kid-pitch in the fall. CFSA also hosts many tournaments throughout the year at our 5 baseball facilities. In June we will have the Texas South Zone State tournament for 8U Elite, 10-11U Select, 13U Premier and 14U Select. Teams will travel from all over the state to attend this tournament for some great baseball. The Cy-Fair Sports Association is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization founded in 1968 with baseball and football and has grown through the years to include 6 sports – baseball, football, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball and wrestling. We serve over 10,000 kids per year between all of our sports offerings. For more information about our baseball programs or any of our other sports, please visit

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Tomball Sports Association Tomball is a small community of just under 10,000 residents, and even though Texas is known for football, Tomball excels and produces as many baseball players as anybody in the state. Tomball Little League is in District 28 and has a rich history of championships unmatched by anyone in the state. From Tee ball to the senior division, they have stockpiled trophies from district championships all the way up to state. How many championships you ask? To date Tomball Little League has won 26 district championships, 6 sectional championships, and 3 state championships. The senior league division won the Texas East State Championship in 1995 & 1996 and in 2007 when the 12 year old Major team won it and made it to the Regional tournament coming within 2 wins from advancing to The Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. TSA boast 7 fields which stay busy with youth teams practicing to win more championships. The fields are also available for rental. For more information about Tomball Sports Association, log in to

Spring-Klein Sports Association Spring-Klein Sports Association's goal is to provide a healthy environment for the youth of our community to learn and enjoy the great game of baseball and advance their baseball skills while teaching them key values like honesty, integrity, and respect. In the summer of 1955 Cruze Reynolds and Elmer Lemm put together a baseball team from the Spring and Klein area communities to play at the Cypress Fairbanks League. At the time, Spring and Klein was a very sparsely populated community. It took boys from both communities to field a single team and thus, Spring-Klein was born. Spring-Klein Baseball currently has a total of 21 fields (13 at Rothwood, 4 at Klein Park, and 4 at Collins). Over the past 52 year registration has grown to well over 3000 players per year. Over the years, Spring-Klein has become the home of many great World Series and championship teams. They are very proud of their league and all of the successes and look forward to you and your player adding to memories as they continue to move their league forward.

8 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011




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Hi, my name is Hayden, I play in Tomball, TX. I’m a first baseman, and a pitcher. I play on the Cardinals. I’m really big for my age, my dad and I always worked on scooping up the ball when it’s thrown to you and hits me a lot of ground ball for practice. Well we had our first game on the major field, we were losing 3 to 6. Well the batter hit the ball to shortstop (he throws really fast) and he threw the ball, it hit the ground and I missed it and the batter got to 3rd. I was down for the rest of the night. Well, 5 games had gone by, I never caught a ball like that until the sixth game. Cardinals vs Tigers, it was the third inning. A ball was hit to the shortstop, he threw the ball to me, and it bounced right in front of me. I focused and kept my eye on the ball. I watched it go in my glove. I CAUGHT IT! “OUT” the umpire said. We won that game 13 to 9. From me and my awesome dad practicing, I was able to catch it. I went home that day with a smile on my face. Hayden is an 11 year old and plays for the TOMBALL LITTLE LEAGUE. Way to go Hayden, practice makes perfect

10 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011

Email your baseball story to (300 words or less)

Cypress Select Player Sam Gotlieb

Age: 12 Height: 4’ 11” Weight: 103 Team: Texas Talent 13u Elite, Texas Nationals 12u Elite Position: Catcher, pitcher, third base. Batting average: 500 Current school: Spillane Middle school Future high school: Cy-Woods High School Role model: Yadier Molina Favorite movie: Benchwarmers, The Sandlot, Marly and Me Favorite TV show: Baseball Tonight, ESPN, Fox Sports Favorite Car: Bugatti Veyron Favorite things: I love to watch baseball, especially the Boston Red Sox. When they play the Yankees it’s the best baseball games. I also like to go to youth baseball games and tournaments with my dad even when I’m not playing. My dad takes me to Minute Maid Park to see the Houston Astros play. In his words: I like the intensity and pressure that’s put on you in a baseball game. When I come in to pitch with runners on base my goal is to strike out the batters and leave the runners on base and do my job. I love to play catcher and throw runners out when they try to steal on me. I also like to compete against really good teams and players teams so I can get better. I would love to play pro baseball one day. I love playing baseball year round.

Tomball Select Player Cameron Faulkner

Age: 12 Height: 5’ 2” Weight: 110 Team: Position: Pitcher, Short Stop Current school: Magnolia Jr. High Future high school: Magnolia West High School Role model: Grandpa "Pops" Favorite movie: Napoleon Dynamite & Facing The Giants Favorite TV show: Sportscenter Favorite Team: Texas Rangers Favorite Player: Josh Hamilton Favorite things: In his free time, Cameron likes to golf and snow ski. When he grows up, he wants to attend Texas A&M to play baseball or golf, and then get a degree in sports medicine. He would like to either play pro sports or open his own office in sports medicine. May - June 2011 | Houston Junior Baseball 11

Dominate With Three Pitches The ability to throw three pitches for a strike is desirable when you reach the high school level and two pitches are practically mandatory. The fastball, change-up, and some variation of the curveball are the most commonly used pitches at your level. Some pitchedrs throw a slider instead of a curveball because the release is perceived to be easier. Development of three pitches becomes even more important for the days that one of your three pitches is either not acting the way it should, or a particular team is crushing one of your options. Some days you’re unable to get the sharp break on your curveball or slider. Somedays your fastball is flat and you can’t hit the corners. Which ever pitch is failing, if you only havae one other option to go with, then a good team should quickly figure that out and make the adjustments to only look for that one pitch. Now you may have such a good fastball that you can get away with it that day, but if you are facing a quality team, or trying to pitch in the college ranks, you must haved at least two pitches you can throw for a strike, in any count, to compete. Most pitchers have the ability to throw a fastball for a strike or they wouldn’t be pitching at this level. Put a lot of time and effort into improving your curveball/slider and changeup.The change up is really the easiest pitch to learn and add to your arsenal of pitches. Once the grip is mastered, a straight changeup really is thrown just like a fastball. I am probably not telling you anything new, yet so many pitchers do not have a changeup in high school. The adoption of the pitch comes once you become comfortable with the way the ball feels in your fingers. The ability to throw the changeup in any count makes you a very dangerous pitcher, and one that can survive even when the breaking ball is not working because it serves as your off speed pitch for the day. If you have all three working that day, then you have three very different pitches. A hitter now must respect all of your options and react rather than sit on one particular pitch. Work on mastering three pitches and you will quickly see that you too can dominate a game.



Circle Change

The movement will be straight, the four seams out of your hand, 6/12 rotation. When you throw it, you'll feel like it's going to take off.

Turn the back of your hand toward the pitcher, and take a short stride. You want to feel like you're pulling the ball down, and try to make the ball spin as many times as you can. You want a 6/12 rotation for sink.

Arm action is the same as the fastball. The grip is not only for off speed, but can also cause the ball to sink with a little finger pressure. The pitch should be taught when kids are young, because it's all about repetition. You want to make it lock, like a fastball, coming out of your hand to keep the atter off balance.

(not for kids under 13 years of age, get professional instruction for proper mechanics)

12 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011

Keep Pitching Simple When pitching, there are a few simple things to try and think about. A pitcher wants to get into a strong position when on the mound. When throwing to the catcher you want to try to imagine you are throwing in a tunnel and take your body to the catcher and not fall off of the mound. You want to keep your elbow up and stay on the top of the ball, this will prevent you from pushing the ball and will result in better control and pitch quality. Having strong legs is very important in being a quality pitcher, you get most of your power from your legs not your arm. Keep your mechanics simple at a young age and focus on taking a decent stride with your lead foot facing home plate. Baseball takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become good, you might be born with talent but you have to work hard to maintain it and work to perfect it. You need to stay healthy and work to stay strong to compete at the top of your game.

For more information and tips on pitching call/text Eric Krebs



Eric Krebs:

Graduated Tomball High School


Drafted by Kansas City Royals


Drafted and signed by Pittsburg Pirates


Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers May - June 2011 | Houston Junior Baseball 13

Carl Crawford's Little League Years by Michael Hammonds

When Carl Crawford was born in Houston, in 1981, he didn’t have baseball academy’s or pitching coaches. Instead he learned to play the 0sports of baseball and football in the streets near his Northeast Houston Home. With support from his uncle Jack, who was a semi pro baseball player and his athletic mother Leisha, he worked hard learning the games. While most kids saw football as the cool sport, it was the baseball uniforms that won Carl over. “To get a baseball uniform was a big deal,” Carl told me. “When you are young you don’t really know too much about the game, you just see the uniforms and all the bright colors. I remember my uncle Jack took me to one of his games, and I saw other kids in uniforms, and I wanted one; that’s when I really wanted to play bad.” So because of brightly colored uniforms, Carl began his baseball career. His starting team was sponsored by the Salvation Army and Carl was their star player. At one of the games, Ray Bourn, was watching the kids play and scouting for another local team. The game unproductive, but he watched as Carl hit two doubles and a single. As Ray was leaving the game, he wondered “ if that kid is going to get another hit.” He stopped by the fence as Carl came up to bat and watched as he hit a triple to score on the pitch. It was then that Ray knew he wanted Carl on his team. Ray’s son Michael, and Carl played ball togethr for the Mt. Zion Angels in Smokey Jasper Park in Humble. Michael batted first and Carl batted third. As a coach Ray tried to find ways to open new experiences for his little league team. At a batting cage the owner refused to let the ten and eleven year old’s go into the major league cage because the machine threw eight-five and was afraid it was too fast for the boys. But Ray convinced the owner to give his kids a chance. Carl stepped into the cage and hit fifteen of the fifteen pitches. Michael was up next and he hit fourteen out of fifteen pitches. Ray laughed and said, “ We got the cages for as long as we wanted.” Carl went onto become a star in high school athletics. As a senior at Jefferson Davis, he hit 563 and stole 29 bases and was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. Crawford was offered scholarships to play basketball as a point guard at UCLA. He also had an option to play college football as an Nebraska, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, and Tulsa. He had originally signed a Letter of Intent to play football for Nebraska but he turned down both offers in favor of a baseball career. Crawford was drafted by the Devil Rays in the second round (52nd overall) of the 1999 MLB Draft. Carl Crawford just signed a 7 year, 142 million dollar contract with the Boston Red Sox. 14 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011

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16 Houston Junior Baseball | May - June 2011

Houston Junior Baseball  
Houston Junior Baseball  

May-June 2011