Has time passed for high school summer baseball?

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The growth of travel teams and showcase events throughout the country has decreased the importance of high schools playing baseball in June and July. The top individuals play very few games with their high school teams until a week or two before the summer state tournament when coaches demand their presence. The players traveling around the country are exposed, in most cases, to very good competition along with college recruiters and professional scouts. The absence of the players does provide the varsity newcomers and the reserves from the previous season with an opportunity to impress the coaches and earn a roster spot. A lot of those players, however, will not see the field in the spring if fortunate enough to make the roster. The summer games lack intensity and emotion. Hustle on and off the field? Forget about it. That would not be tolerated in the spring. Even the coaches at times seem bored. It’s considered a plus if an umpire shows up. Players also miss games due to football and basketball camps. Teams without depth struggle to find the minimum nine players to start a game, and in those instances, it can be brutal to watch. Summer baseball 25 years ago was a different animal. A player would never even think about missing a game. Do it and good luck making the team in the spring. In those days travel baseball was just emerging on the scene and high school coaches held all the power. Baseball is quickly catching up to basketball where AAU play in the summer may be considered more important to the players than their high school season.

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