StitchHeads, we’ve now gone through four days of the 2017 Area Code Games. One more day to go. In case you are keeping count we have had just one tie game of the 15 that have been played thus far. And better yet, we still haven’t had our first rain delay. (Yes, I’m kidding. It doesn’t rain here in August. Silly me.).
As I’ve probably over-mentioned the last few days, the quality of players that come through the Area Code Games can’t be undersold. In fact, during the broadcast of today’s first game, the broadcasters (sorry, I didn’t catch their names but their twitter handle was @MostlySport, so look ‘em up) mentioned that seven of last June’s top 11 draftees in the MLB draft were alums of the Area Code Games.
Today was the second day of the much ballyhooed Area Code Games. How ballyhooed? To repeat a tweet from the ACG twitter feed there were 535 professional scouts in attendance at yesterday’s opening day. My gawd. Just a side note here, I am glad I am not a highly-regarded, 17-year old baseball pitching prospect because I’m pretty sure I’d get out there on the mound and throw my first pitch about 53-feet. That’s a LOT of pressure on these poor high schoolers.
As many of you StitchHeads out there who have been reading my garb and following me for years know, the Area Code Games is one of my favorite events. It’s no big deal really though, I mean it’s not the College World Series or the Houston College Classic or anything. But it is a bunch of high school All Americans who gather in one place to play five days worth of games for scouts from every MLB team and a whole gaggle of college baseball coaches.
You StitchHeads out there have a right to be hacked off at me. I spent five months documenting the college baseball season from my perspective and writing all about what was going on with our sport. Then, after the College World Series was done, I shut down. Usually I like to put out one last column that tells you guys about my favorite moments and least-favorite experiences to sort of put a bow on the season.
Okay StitchHeads, here we go. The field of 64 has been announced and big wigs of the sport have been given the red carpet treatment while the angst and anger of those mistreated ones has begun being aired. (Don’t worry, I’ll join in on that below). For starters let’s put on the tweed jacket with the patches on the elbows, get out the red pen and grade the NCAA Selection Committee on their layout of the Big Dance for 2017.
(To check out more of my work, a whole bunch of it can be found four times a week on D1baseball.com)
Okay StitchHeads, we are now fully immersed in the month of May. In other words, it’s put up or shut up time in college baseball. From here on out the season becomes like a hard-driving Metallica song, brutally honest, incredibly raw and no excuses for crybabies.
You’ll hear an awful lot about National Seeds, No. 1 seeds, at-large bids and of course, the omni-present bubble watch that kicks into high gear. So lets put our toes on the end of the board and dive into it.
This season is already flying by, ain’t it? I’ve been doing a little bit of flying myself, making it out to some far flung locations to see as much college baseball as I can in this early part of the season. And here are a collection of some of my favorite images I’ve been able to snap in these first five weeks of the 2017 campaign. Hope you dig ‘em.