Super25 : : General
Thursday, April 03, 2014

An Arsenal of potential champions

Matt Rodriguez        
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. - To say that Mid-Atlantic Super25 Director and Tri-State Arsenal President and Director Bob Barth is excited about Perfect Game’s new Super25 tournament series would be a vast understatement. The titans of Mid-Atlantic travel baseball plan on making an immediate impression on the national level through Super25, with roughly 35 teams signed up to participate in an estimated 141 Super25 events. Imagine what the calendar of a Tri-State Arsenal player looks like these coming months.

“I saw an opportunity for my kids to increase the level of competition they play against in our area,” said Barth about his draw to the new tournament series. “Win, lose, or draw, I think that’s better for my kids than anything else we’ve ever competed in. We work really hard to try to get better as clubs and go and compete at the highest levels we can compete at.”

“Perfect Game’s created a model where we put the best teams together week in and week out and try to create the competition level we all want to play. I think the overall governing body is what travel ball has been missing for a long time and I feel like Perfect Game has stepped up and created the model to allow the baseball people to create that governing body in their own areas,” said Barth about the Super25 concept. “When push comes to shove, what Perfect Game has basically done for travel baseball is created a legitimate governing body that carries out things with one-hundred-percent integrity. It fits our model for the Tri-State Arsenal.”

Barth expects a lot out of his storied program that has reigned over the Mid-Atlantic for quite some time and hopes to have an Arsenal team in the Super25 National Championship for each age group.

Why should he expect anything less? After all, since its inception in 2002 Barth estimates around 3,600 college scholarship players, 900 minor league players, and 136 major league players have worn the Tri-State Arsenal “A”, which resembles the one worn by the Oakland Athletics.

“My kids are very fortunate that past history and past players have paved the way for them to be recruited by college coaches and followed by pro scouts,” said Barth.

“We’ve had a few first-round picks. The apple of our eye is Mike Trout. Rob Kaminsky went in the first round last year out of our program. Both those guys were the best players on Tri-State Arsenal teams built with guys around them that they played with all the way up,” Barth said. “They stayed with their hometown team and that’s the kind of environment we try to build. We try to take that integrity and loyalty model into travel ball. That’s what we believe in. Loyalty, honesty, integrity, commitment – that’s our model.”

Barth is eager to see his Tri-State Arsenal program model adopted by more and more travel ball teams as Super25 continues to grow, giving every travel ball organization a chance to get involved with Perfect Game.

“Combining the legion model with the travel model to produce a team travel model is unprecedented. Perfect Game has enabled every team in the nation to be able to start getting involved with that model. So if you’re the type of guy who’s in baseball for the right reasons, now there’s a platform in every way for you to take your kids where they’re looking to try to go and help them reach their goals,” explained Barth. “Tri-State Arsenal is the perfect organization for the Super25.”

As the Super25 Director of the Mid-Atlantic, Barth sees the unlimited potential the new tournament series has and hopes to see positive change in travel ball for the good of the game. Barth has already started seeing some good things brought on by the Super25.

“A lot of organizations are hosting qualifiers and stuff as fundraising for their programs and it has really empowered a lot of people in my region. I’m really proud to be a part of it and kind of lead the region and lead the fight to empower these guys,” said Barth.

“I feel like the three-to-five-year model of this will be the hottest thing, not only in my region, but across the country.”

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