East Cobb is a big hit in baseball
Astros try for 110th national title at AAU Junior Olympics
When you check their AAU Junior Olympics track record in baseball, you can certainly see why.
The powerhouse Astros, managed by team founder Guerry Baldwin and coached by Jeff Guy, have won the last six 11 of the past 12 AAU Junior Olympic tournaments in the 16-year-old age division.
Last year's Astros team wound up with an incredible record of 90-6 on their way to the AAU championship. All told, East Cobb has won a staggering 109 national titles in various competitions since its inception in 1985.
Obviously, East Cobb is one of the favorites again in the baseball competition, which kicks off an eight-day run today at several venues across East Tennessee.
To say East Cobb is a baseball factory would be right on the money.
It has an unmatched combination of facilities, coaches and players.
"East Cobb baseball has been in existence since 1985," said Guy. "It was always Guerry's dream to have a facility in East Cobb for the kids to play out of."
That dream came to fruition in 2001.
"We had an individual whose son played in East Cobb who likes to remain anonymous," continued Guy.
"We built a $13 million baseball complex with eight fields, he paid for it all. We now have the largest amateur program in the country with 67 teams ranging in age from 8 to 18."
"We have somewhere between 900 and 1,000 kids in East Cobb baseball. All of the teams are travel teams and all are privately owned."
Joe Barth, the head coach of the Tri-State Arsenal team from Cherry Hill, N.J., recently took his squad to a tournament at the East Cobb Baseball Complex.
Barth said it's understandable why East Cobb is so successful.
"We just made our first trip there with four different age-group teams and it's so impressive," said Barth.
"They do a great job and have such a great organization. It all reflects back on their founder. Guerry has helped some of my kids get scholarships and I'd like to think we've helped some of them out, too."
Barth said East Cobb's facilities are second to none.
"We played on all eight of their fields while we were there every one of them was better than anything we have back in New Jersey."
And top-shelf facilities attract outstanding players.
"The basis of East Cobb baseball is to make better baseball players and help get them to college," Guy said.
"We've had 15 or 16 first-round picks (in the Major League draft) and we have 12 or 13 players in the big leagues that played at East Cobb like Corey Patterson with the Baltimore Orioles."
"The last two years the (Atlanta) Braves" first picks in the draft both played at East Cobb. We have an average of 30 to 40 kids a year from East Cobb get college scholarships."