JoltinJoe wrote:My summer job in college was that I was the Director of the Union County Baseball Association Summer Baseball League. We were a county sponsored league that played all our games in Warinanco Park, which is adjacent to the Elmora neighborhood of Elizabeth that is home to the Elmora Little League.
It was an annual ritual trying to confirm these kids' ages. In time, I learned all the tricks about how a kid's parents can falsify an age record.
One summer, in our Senior League, there was this kid that everyone was telling me was 17. "He drives to the games," some people told me. But I couldn't bust him. His credentials were too good.
Then one day, I was waiting at a light at Broad Street and Jersey Avenue in Elizabeth. A driver pulls up on my right like he's going to blow me away when the light turns. I look over at the driver. It's this kid. So I pull my car up a bit and then turn at 45 degrees, so I'm blocking him. He starts yelling at me to "move my car." And then he sees my face. And he goes, "Oh, shit!"
Some years back, my son was playing U12 soccer and we had a game against an Elizabeth team in Warinanco Park. This team had five kids who were 5-foot-6 or more! That means that they had five kids who were in the top .3% of the growth chart for 11 year olds. Yea, right.
Long ago, I learned that when a kid is "off the growth chart" for his age group, the most likely explanation is that he's too old.
My son was off the growth chart until he was about 14. He played machine-pitch as a 9 year old and crushed HR’s in every AB. By the time he was 14 most kids had somewhat caught up and he wasn’t such an outlier....but to assume they’re “too old” just because they’re bigger is quite a statement.
I didn't say you can assume that they are too old. I just said that when a kid is "off the chart" for his age group, the most likely explanation is that he is too old. In my job, this explanation held in well over 50% of the cases.
Let's say, in a given year, we had about 100 kids playing in our 12-13 age group. You should expect, at most, one kid who is 5-foot-7 or taller in a generalized population. Because this is a sport, perhaps you can expect two more or so. But we'd have maybe seven or eight. The odds of that happening are astronomical.
Here, the Elizabeth team is probably selected from a pool of about 80 kids in the age 12 bracket. So it is possible, I think, for two to be "off the charts" out of that pool given that this is a sport. The final roster from the Elmora Little League obviously represents an "All Star" team from that league, so it is possible that the two outliers made it onto to that all-star roster.