By: Will Cheatham - August 9, 2017
The Palmetto Games of 2017 has finally arrived this coming Saturday. This event continues to grow to be the premier All-Star game in the state of South Carolina. There is always a buzz in the air come July when the list of invited players is posted.
As Tony Osterman and myself run around Founder's Park making sure everything is moving smoothly on the field, we love getting to watch the high level of talent compete against each other. It is fun for us in the dugouts as we joke back-and-forth over who is winning the games and we motivate each team to play their hearts out so that I do not have to listen to TO give me grief for the entire calendar year.
After all the smack talking is settled, TO and I get to sit down and watch as each kid has an opportunity that ultimately can change their future. That is one thing about this event that is different than most. There have been many kids that have showed up to this coming weekend and pitched just one inning and doors have opened because of it. Just one at bat or bp round, one play on the infield, one throw from the outfield, just "one" something could potentially change your future.
Recently, fellow DP staff member Randy Carlson put a statement on Twitter that hit home to me as I am sure it does the rest of our staff and coaches around the country. "When you realize you get as excited for someone else's success as your own, that's when you know you were meant to coach." This is the attitude that you see out of some of the best coaches in our state that have lifelong baseball coaches and giving back so much to our "community." This hits home with me and you will also see this on display over the weekend as coaches travel from all over the state to watch their players participate in the event.
The stands will be packed with parents, coaches, fans, and scouts all there because they have a love for the game or a love for a specific player, and everyone is there to be a major support system for kids that will ultimately be leaders in our communities one day.
I have continued to keep a running tally of statistics from the first day of this event. They are laid out in the chart below. In the past I have tried to use stats and the previous years State Champions to make a prediction as to which team has a chance to win. What I gathered from my analysis from this year is that we are not necessarily predicting the winner of the Palmetto Games, but the winning team of this game is going to give you the following year's State Champion.
Southwest wins for the first time in 2015 and Summerville wins the title in the spring. 2016 did not work out as perfect as the previous year but with the NE winning you had a heavy load of Greenville/Spartanburg area players which all these schools had deep runs into the playoffs as well. The Midlands area has the most PG wins with three and you also have teams like AC Flora that have won the AAA and the AAAA last year many times. So instead of trying to predict a winner in this years Palmetto Games, we could possibly take this information and determine who our 2018 State Champions will be.
This year’s alumni spotlight goes to Charlie Barnes (right)
What is your fondest memory from your times at the Palmetto Games?
I think my best memory would have to be getting to play with all the different guys from around the state and creating friendships as we went onto play at different colleges. Those friendships are still in place today.
Who was the toughest hitter you faced at the PG’s?
I honestly can’t remember who was the toughest out because it was a few years back but all the hitters there were extremely talented and some of the best players in the state.
What has been your biggest transition from Sumter HS to Clemson University to now the Twins organization?
I think the biggest transition once you move up levels is just how the competition increases. Every step you take in your career the competition gets harder so you have to make adjustments to the different level you play.
Any words of advice you can give to this year participants?
My one piece of advice would be to enjoy the moment. These are times that you will remember for years to come and you don’t want your memories to be slamming helmets or throwing gloves. Just go out and have as much fun as possible and enjoy the time out on the field with your friends.
2012 Stats ERA W/L IP H R ER BB K
Charlie Barnes 0.00 1-0 3.0 1 1 0 0 4
- Best Change Up Accolade
- Most Improved Stock 2014 class
2013 Stats ERA IP H R ER BB K
Charlie Barnes 0.00 2.0 1 0 0 0 4
- Most Outstanding Pitcher Overall
All we need not is a gift from above, with some beautiful weather and to have an injury-free weekend. These two days are a lot of fun for everyone that is involved. There is a large amount of planning, organizing, phone calls, emails, etc. that goes into planning this. Let the Games begin!