Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Huge Loss For Travel Ball

RT Staff Note: We received an e-mail directly from Steve Cosgrove yesterday stating that The Boys of Baseball National Travel Team will no longer exist. We have been saying all week how much time and dedication it takes an athlete to succeed and play next level baseball...Well coaches and organizers like Steve Cosgrove took it to the next level year in and year out. They spend crazy hours away from family and friends to help give top athletes the type of direction, instruction and exposure that will make them better players and get seen by recruiters and scouts. His BOB-NTT teams have been a fixture of youth baseball for over 12 years and we have to give him major props for putting together some of the best conglomeration of athletes from around the country, year after year. Some of his alumni include Prince Fielder, Colby and Corey Rasmus and Hank Conger from SOCAL. He has had 8 of his former players on the USA Youth National Team, 5 on the Junior Nationals Team and 4 on the USA National Team. Eight players are in the pro's and over 120 have gone on to play college ball. The Boys of Baseball were on our 2007 Top 5 Travel Teams in America List last October and it's going to be strange to not include them in our 2008 edition. Good luck to you and your family Steve. You will be missed. The following is the letter he sent out to his players and the media.

Players, families, fellow coaches, and friends September 3, 2008

This e-mail is like none other I have crafted or shared since I created BOB-NTT, July 1, 1995. But, it is one that I am putting forth at this time…it is shared with you directly and personally because I care about you, and want you to hear this from me.

Effective September 1, 2008, the BOYS OF BASEBALL – NATIONAL TRAVEL TEAM no longer functionally exists…pursuant to current legal steps, the not-for profit, 501©(3) IRS tax-exempt status and publicly-supported organization is being dissolved.

Here’s how come:
*Expenses associated with today’s travel baseball have exceeded BOB-NTT capability.
*Today’s travel baseball is going in directions that BOB-NTT cannot enjoy or support.
*Way too much emphasis on winning at all costs…not anywhere close to BOB-NTT.
*Too much time, energy, and personal/domestic expense required from me.
*Need and want to devote more time, energy, and resources to my wife and family.

This decision is one that I have considered thoroughly…and, one that I feel good about without any remorse, hesitation, and question. So, the decision to end the BOB-NTT is one that I come to with a clear mind, a clean heart, and prayerful confidence that this is the appropriate direction that I choose for BOB-NTT…just like when I decided to start it.

Literally, 1000’s of kids, families, fellow coaches, friends, admirers, communities, and organizations have directly participated with the BOYS OF BASEBALL – NATIONAL TRAVEL TEAM since its inception 13 years and two months ago….players/families from 45 states and three provinces of Canada…296 age-group tournaments...1868-184 overall W-L record…58 tournament championships…49 trips to Cooperstown Dreams Park (five championship games)…2005 NATC Champions…2006 NATC Semi-finals…2007 NATC Semi-finals…2008 NATC Runner-up…the only program to be in the NATC final four this many times…30 players selected to USA BASEBALL national teams…tournaments in14 states, including Hawaii, Cuba, and The Dominican Republic.

The BOB-NTT impact upon kids/families is well-recognized as positive and meaningful…the fond memories and wholesome friendships spawned by the BOB-NTT will endure over their lifetimes, surely. And, that is the legacy that is most cherished. Hopefully, the BOYS OF BASEBALL – NATIONAL TRAVEL TEAM has made a difference…A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE…in the lives it has been so blessed to touch.

I will continue to offer STEVE COSGROVE BASEBALL SCHOOLS wherever they are supported…I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your joining me on this exciting BOB-NTT journey…may The Good Lord keep you all happy, healthy, and forever committed to leaving each person, each dugout, each ball park, each situation, each neighborhood, and the world in better shape than we found them.
There are no regrets with this decision…I have poured my heart into BOB-NTT.

STAY BALANCED in all things! -Steve Cosgrove, Founder BOB-NTT


John Starling said...

I have had the great fortune to know Steve and BOB-NTT for 4 or 5 years. My sons have benefitted greatly from Steve Cosgrove and all he represents. Not only are they better ballplayers -- they are better people and will be better husbands and fathers in the future. Thanks to Rounding Third for publishing this tribute to Steve.

John Starling
Nashville, TN

John Murfee said...

I've known 2 people in my life that had the effect on kids in the way that Steve Cosgrove does...

One was my swimming coach that grew me into a responsible athlete in my own right. He was the kind of man that, when he spoke, you listened. And you wanted to listen. He was to be learned from, and every kid he coached recognized that.

Perhaps that is why I was a fan of Mr. Cosgrove from the moment I spoke to him. He has that 1 in 100,000 way about him. My son loved meeting him, and I hope he has other opportunities to spend time with Steve and contribute to Steve's efforts with young ball players.

I know I speak for hundreds of people when I say that if we had a Steve Cosgrove in every young person's life, the world would be a much different place. He is the kind of guy that never asks for much, and always gives more than anyone expects.

My list of heroes is a short one. And Steve Cosgrove is on it.
I wonder if Joe Morgan or Peter Gammons have ever heard about Steve Cosgrove, but ESPN should do a story on him. They really should.
John Murfee

Joe Wheeler said...

Steve Cosgrove has touched thousands of young lives, through his unique ability to connect with players and motivate them to become the very best ballplayers, and the very best people, they can be. Boys of Baseball - National Travel Team, a labor of love for Steve and something he has devoted tremendous personal energy and resources to building, was a unique calling for a truly unique person with the biggest heart we have ever known.

Not only has Steve taught and enabled hundreds of players, but he founded BOB-NTT on the mission of providing opportunities for those who otherwise could not afford them. Remarkably, throughout the course of its existence, no family or player was ever turned away from Boys of Baseball-National Travel Team for lack of resources or financial capability.

Through his generosity and example, Steve taught us all to be better people -- in our faith, in our relationships and dealings with others, and in learning the lessons of life. I know I speak for everyone in the Boys of Baseball Nation, when we say that we love and admire you so much, Steve. In that familiar refrain, you truly have left "each community, each ballpark, each situation, each other, and the world, better off than you found them."

May God continue to bless you, and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Coach,

"…may The Good Lord keep you all happy, healthy, and forever committed to leaving each person, each dugout, each ball park, each situation, each neighborhood, and the world in better shape than we found them."

Nothing else needs to be said. You taught thousands to live by the above, however if only one chose to run down this base path; BOB-NTT was an overwhelming success and a chapter in your to be oh so proud of.

Our very best regards,

The Skiltons
Money Mike
Ron W. Skilton


We are so grateful for our experience with BOB-NTT and the chance for Jason to be involved with such a wonderful, positive and quality person like yourself. I am certain that Jason and I are both richer because of it. It sounds like this is a bitter sweet decision for you and I believe one thing is for certain, whatever Steve Cosgrove does you can expect it to be done with quality and integrity. We and all the families that you have touched are blessed to be able to have a shared experienced with BOB-NTT and you Steve. You have provided not only Baseball lessons, but life lessons that I believe will stay with us forever. God bless you and your family. Please stay in touch with us.


Art Martin

Our life has been touched by you and yours. We are interested in camps you may still offer so keep us on the list.

Blessings to you and yours,
Keith, Trinchua and John Dukes

Dear Coach Steve,

I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat after JUST NOW reading this informative e-mail. I don't know exactly if I am crying for the way you have inspired both of my children (Jake is working out MORE than EVER before as he is trying to get his DREAM to come true...and Nikki is trying out for the Broadway production of Mary Poppins in New York City on September 12th because of how she has been effected by your program. Both children got the MESSAGE of how important it is to work hard and dedicate yourself to make dreams become reality. The Boys of Baseball-National Travel Team has been more inspirational than you could possibly imagine to Mark and me personally as well. "Numbers" and I try and use so much of what we have learned from you and the instructional schools in our classrooms, inside our home, and inside our hearts. It is not just another program, but a more meaningful life-style. It is not just about baseball. It has been everything and more to so many! I am so sorry to see this happen, but of is completely understandable.

I had an idea two days ago that I told Nikki about as we were walking through the mall. It was a BRAINSTORM of an idea. I actually almost text messaged it to you on the spot...but decided that I would think it through a bit more before presenting it to you. I had no idea at the time that it was all coming to an end. Well, the idea can still be used for the Steve Cosgrove Instructional School. Here's the idea anyway...Perhaps you could have sleep-away camps hire you for special "baseball days". You would come to the camps, and do exactly what you have been doing with the BOB-NTT regarding baseball instruction and life-lessons. Only...most kids would not be as serious (not having the experience or YET desire). It could be a good way to earn money and you would still be able to inspire kids the way you have been doing all along. I hope that you do not find it in poor taste for me to share this idea with you NOW...but I could ask my sleep away camp if they would be interested, and my friend Debra Gluck's kids' sleep away camp as well at some point in time when you are ready.

For now, I can only tell you that I have made the dearest of friends through the family has been blessed with you , the other fine coaches, and all players and families. I know that we are all going to miss you and what you do for all of us. You have given 100% of yourself for the benefit of all of our children ongoing. We had better never, ever lose touch with you or your amazing family. We love you, Sheree, Coleman, Jenna, Kyle, & Grandma Violet. We love Coach Scott "Bubba" Luke, Coach Jimmy, Coach Bert...and too many to mention. Family to family we love them all. We are all going to have to go onto FACEBOOK just to keep in touch.

I will forever cherish all of the friendships that were created through the BOB-NTT and my very special Outstanding Service Award that I proudly have displayed in my living room. EVERYTHING Boys of Baseball that has offered opportunity after opportunity to so many...makes me smile have seen. Today is a really difficult day for so many of us. The everlasting impression that you and BOB-NTT has made upon our hearts makes mine personally sing...Thank you for giving so much of yourself to so many. You truly are one in a billion...and will be missed. You are amazing in every regard.

Lots of hugs & baseball gloves 4EVER,
Kimberly, "Numbers", "The Snake", & Nikki

Hey Coz... just got your letter... thanks so much for your honesty and integrity. As Joe Willis has already said, it has been such a privilege to know you and be a part of your life up at Cooperstown. I count it a special blessing and privilege to have been the Umpire Crew Chief on the dish for your 2005 NATC Championship...and... on the dish for the Semi with the walk off in the B6th to win it for the coach who YOU had coached... that was awesome!

I always share this with the men I counsel in my private practice here in Jax:
"Fear not that you fail... only fear that you succeed at all the wrong things!" You, my friend, have succeeded and are now succeeding at all the right things!

Continue Coz to STAY THE COURSE and LIVE OUT OF YOUR HEART... I know I will see you on the field in Auburn one day again...

Jon Krug
Boundary Pointe, LLC
Jax, FL

I would like to sincerely thank you and your family for everything that you all have given. You have sacrificed so many things to help those around you, and it never goes unnoticed. I know you mean a lot to my family and I as you would do anything in your power to help us in any way. I only had a chance to play for one BOB-NTT, but it was an unbelievable experience to learn from a great guy. Im sorry to hear it has to end, but the positive effect it has had on others will live on. Thanks again, and tell your family I send my best.

Jake Sullivan
I send my best.

Thanks Steve. The Governor would understand.

Stan Boyd
Birmingham, AL / Pensacola, FL

Where do I begin ... Thank You.
Thank You first and foremost for giving Dylan an opportunity in 2005 . An opportunity that has since opened many doors for him . Thank You for your care and concern since 2005 for him as well . The time that he and I spent in Cooperstown 2005 with the B.O.B. team ranks among some of our greatest baseball memories and it will never be forgotten I will assure you. Thank You ...
You - Steve Cosgrove have done something for kids that most can only dream of and for that you will always be my friend and someone I have absolute respect for. You inspired me as well as many others .
Thank You again for what you have done for all kids and the game of youth baseball, go spend the time with your family, you all deserve it .
Good luck and God Bless you in the future.
My number is below if you ever need me, I am only a call away.
Shannon Ivey

It has been my honor to know you and a your fabulous organization for the past few years. Having only played one tournament with you, I am confident in the values you have instilled in your players throughout the years. they definately left better young men because of your coaching philosophy and dedicated staff. I just want to say thank you for your years of devotion to this game we love so much. and yes, I agree, alot of organizations have adopted a "win at all cost" attitude. But, the game desperately needs wonderful coaches with your perspective: develope young men first, baseball players second. I am confident the coaches that have served with you will carry this ideal on.

My family wishes you much happiness as you enter this new frontier in life. Go... enjoy your family and godspeed.

Kim, Darrell, and Dalton Davis


Sorry to see it come to an end. I really enjoyed my time spent with you and the BOB-NTT family. You have certainly made a big positive impact on me and my family. I could always tell that you put your heart into what you do and I admire that. Enjoy the time with your family and all the best.

Mark Struss


Our love for you and your program are off the charts. That love must extend to your family for their care and understanding when you were up and away sharing your love for the game and your Christian values with all of us who have had the privilege to know you. I cannot begin to convey in an email how your love has have affected Brandon and our family and will for years to come. Our BOB NTT experience will forever be a guiding light for the future.

We Love Ya'll

Brandon, Mittie and Rick Compton

Hey Steve,

Well, the Clanton family is defiantly heartbroken with this news. However, I totally understand why. I of course have not told “Cornbread” yet. Please know, that when you have any of your baseball schools, Austin would love to help you with them. That is something we had talked about after Cooperstown, and he stated he would love to help you with those.

If there is EVER anything the Clanton family can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact us. We love you and have gained so much knowledge from you. By that, I mean all of us as a family. We will miss the BOB-NTT experiences that we might have encountered later with you, but I cannot thank you enough for the experiences we have already encountered. Our Cooperstown experience is one that we will never forget!!!!

We love you and will always cherish the time we have spent together as a BOB-NTT family.

I am sure Austin will be responding to you individually as well, so look for it!!!!

Wanda W. Clanton

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child....

Well done Steve. You have done a lot of good in this world through your commitment to these boys of baseball. I am proud to call you a friend. War Eagle.

Clark Cook

In some respects it is difficult for me to describe the loss I feel after reading this but I have some comfort knowing that you have found peace with your decision.

Speaking for my family (including AJ), it is with deep regrets that the BOB-NTT has completed its final chapter. I saw the passion and love you gave to your organization and the families you invited to be part of the BOB-NTT from the very first day we met. About six years ago (where does time go) you invited AJ to be part of your organization and, more importantly, your family. Since that time, you and your organization have been a very big part of his development, first and foremost as a young boy who has now developed into a very young man and secondly as a baseball player. The founding principles you embedded in the BOB-NTT have made my son and I better individuals because of them.

I can't even begin to define all of the benefits you provided to my family since so many of them are difficult to quantify. You and the BOB-NTT have afforded us opportunities that I would never have realized in any other way. You have enabled my family to be part of something that was very special. We have made many friends that I will never forget. We have traveled to various parts of the country as a family only to come away with new memories, new friends, many pictures, and endless positive experiences that will last a lifetime.

How do you measure the results of new friends, lasting memories from Gainesville, Ft. Myers, Cooperstown, Maryland, or PA, your child's personal development, or lessons you taught that were sincerely founded with respect and Christianity? They could never and should never be measured by wins or losses. I'm very proud to have been considered a friend and member of your BOB-NTT family and I cherish the respect and trust you showed me when you allowed me to coach one of your teams along the way.

Your vision greater than 10 years ago has truly touched many lives and you should be very proud of what you have been able to accomplish. If a man was measured by how they touch a child's heart, you would be a giant. Your words, vocabulary and pronunciation lessons, your hugs, high fives, arm around the shoulders just at the right time have all been immeasurable.

It has truly been my family's pleasure to have met you. We wish you and your family all the health and happiness anyone can receive. The legacy of BOB-NTT will be around forever.

Jeff Koscelansky

Dear Steve: For the short time that we have been associated, it has been good for the Spaulding Family. We are sorry to see Boys of Baseball fold, as I am sure that you and the teams have been enjoyable and inspirational to the boys. However, we wish you and your family all the best and God’s Blessings in whatever you choose to pursue from here on.

God Bless and Thank you
The Spaulding Family (Jhulian) from Florida

Unbelievable. The first thing that comes to my mind is Gary Cooper as Lou Gering taking himself out of the line up after 2,130 games in the movie "Pride of the Yankees". It's an end of an era, Steve. I'm sorry to hear this news and I know the BOB-NTT will be missed. I do feel good knowing that YOU feel good about this decision.

Keep in touch. I know you will be receiving a lot of e-mails and phone calls. Take care, Steve.

Andy Dixon


I am inexplicably moved by this news. I am very proud of my son's
participation with the Boys of Baseball and the wonderful opportunities
it has presented. The game is a central part of our lives, and the BOB
way has made it a fun and family affair. The memories and experiences
are etched, but also serve as valuable life lessons we should all hold
dear. Stay balanced indeed.

Thanks for everything. I trust your contributions and involvement in
the lives of others will continue. Ballparks or BBQ... see ya around!


John T. Folmar and Family

Thank you for all that you/Boys of Baseball have done for me in my life. The relationships that we have made, the kids that I have been fortunate to coach, the places that we have gone...has all been a lifetime worth of experiences. As a coach, the most enjoyable thing to watch is these kids grow and develop as baseball players and as men. My time with the BOBNTT is priceless!

The BOBNTT may not play another game, but the BOBNTT family will live on. Friends come and go in our lifetime, but the BOBNTT family is still there for me. On a constant basis, I still talk to Michael Guy, Bryan Gobbell, Jerry Murphy, Clark Jinks, Pedro Roman, Scott Luke, and the list goes on and on. These people are part of my life, and it is because of the Boys of Baseball. When I struggled in my life, the BOB family came through for me! One of the biggest lessons I learned that I carry with me on a daily basis, is to appreciate what we have, rather then what we dont have. Sometimes we get caught up in what we want, instead of appreciating what is there for us!

I am not very good with words, and there are not many words that can explain my time with the BOBNTT, but it was sure in hell worth it!! When the BOBNTT was done with me, it made me a better person then what I started as! Thanks for Everything!

Jimmy Kolaitis

The Jennings family will be heart broken but whole heartedly understand your decision and the reasons behind the decisions. We've had MANY good times with the BOB and have made life long friends. Thank you for enhancing our boys in the game of baseball but more importantly the game of life.

Laurin M. Jennings


We know that this had to be a tough decision, but you have to do what's right for you and your family! We will forever remember and appreciate all you have done for the Busschers! Keep us updated on how you all are doing!

With gratitude and concern,
Linda, Pat, Patrick & Matt Busscher

Coach Steve Cosgrove,

I'm sorry I haven't been in touch, and I hate that it had to come to this, yet, I support your decision. Your schools and philosophy have changed my outlook on baseball, and I used that while I coached at New Brockton High School the past two seasons. You have been a great inspiration to me, and I hope to still keep in touch. I have actually planned to transfer to Auburn in the Fall of 2009, and hopefully we can get together while I am there. Once again, I support everything you do, and if I can be any help to you, just let me know. Thank you for everything.

Stephen Hines

Thanks for sharing this most difficult decision on your part. I'm sure it's bitter/sweet, but if it will help you to spend more time with family, that's a good thing. I'm very glad that AJ had the opportunity to enjoy the BOB-NTT experience. He is a better young man for it.

I'm glad I got to know you over the past few months, and I hope our friendship will endure.

Stay in touch.

Henry Balta

Dear Steve,
Good luck to you and your family and thank you so much for the beautiful memories I have of the time my family spent with the Boys of Baseball at Cooperstown Dreams Park!
In gratitude,
Jennifer Soterakis (mother of Dylan Henderlong, Miramar, FL)

This is a sad day in mine and Davis’s life as well , as he truly learned that Steve can take anyone and make them a family. It’s not your ability to play ball, it’s your ability to touch another person’s heart in a positive way that makes the difference at the end of the day. We didn’t win them all, as it wasn’t our goal, but we had a lot of fun with our new friends and family with each tournament and CDP trip and I wish there a way to continue as so many have learned how to be better sportsman, leaders, athletes, friends and family by knowing Steve and BOB. My youngest Patrick has been bidding his time to get to be old enough to play for you and I am sorry he will miss that opportunity. I wish there were a different way as I know that a piece of me will be gone too. Thank you Steve for you and BOB

We Love You - Chris, Davis, Leslie and Patrick Agle

God Bless Steve "COZ" Cosgrove!
I'm so very thankful that my son and I had an opportunity to meet and learn from you, Steve. Without your support, my son and I would not have had the opportunity to live the cooperstown dream. You provided the support and inspiration to make this trip happen for us and I will not forget that. There's not enough guys like you in this world. I'm sad to know that BOB-NTT will no longer be represented in Cooperstown, NY. Please know that your hard work, organization and dedication to helping people is admirable. Being in your presence helps children (and parents) build character, confidence and self-esteem. Just honored to know you! We wish you all the best in life. Steven and I are very thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the BOB family.

Steven Garrett and family

Dear Steve,
You do not know how sad we are to read that BOB-NTT is folding up. Lourdes and I actually shed some tears over the news. We spent 8 GREAT years with you and have met wonderful people throughout those years. We have made life long friendships. Furthermore, the memories that we have will last forever. I am very proud of seeing PJ and the other boys and girl growing up and becoming the leaders of tomorrow, people of goodwill, faith, and respect. We thank you for all that you have done. Our doors are and will always be open for you and your wonderful family. We love you and respect you tremendously.
Pedro Roman & Family

Thank you for all you have done for kids and for the game of baseball. You are a class act and more people appreciate you than you will ever know. You have touched my life and my son's. For that I am especially appreciative.
You are always with us!
Tim Wentling

Steve, thank you for love, the positive example you set, the lessons you taught us all, and the tremendous impact you’ve had in the lives of everyone you’ve touched. In my mind, you continue to be the coach and teacher I try to emulate the most whenever I take the field or speak to the kids.

I try to count my blessings every day and having met you and experienced the Boys of Baseball, my family was most certainly blessed.

Best wishes and prayers to you and your wonderful family!

A million thanks!

Andy, Jen, Dylan, Marisa, Sara, and Natalie Soterakis


I know I speak for Nik in telling you that we feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet you and for Nik to play with BOYS OF BASEBALL - NATIONAL TRAVEL TEAM. You have touched our lives and we won’t forget you.

Warmest personal regards,

Darius Nevin