Tampa, FL - Coaches, parents and players that follow travel baseball in the southeast and nationally probably know Chain Baseball, what they probably don’t know is that Chain has been around officially since 1984.
In 1972, Buddy Meyer owned and operated Chain Supply and Specialty, Inc, based out of Savannah, GA. Meyer started Chain Baseball in 1984, running and coaching teams until the early 2000’s.
Over that time, Meyer coached and mentored approximately 341 players that received college scholarships and 200 players that ended up playing professional baseball.
One of those players, current Chain President, Andy Burress played for Chain’s 18U 1985 team and was a 6th round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds. Burress played 7 seasons in the Reds system before retiring in 2002.
As the years went by, Buddy Meyer started coaching and running Chain Baseball less and less as he approached his early 60’s in age. That was in the early 2000’s.
At that time, former players like Burress started to reach out to Meyer in an attempt to keep Chain Baseball going. In 2006, Burress called Meyer and asked, “what would it cost for me to purchase Chain Baseball?” Meyer replied, “for you, not a dime, helping players like you was one of the main reasons I started Chain Baseball.”
Still to this day, Meyer’s quote on Chain’s homepage is still the organization’s motto. “Helping Produce Scholarships for Gentlemen Playing Baseball”
Sadly, Buddy Meyers passed away in January of 2014, but his efforts will never be forgotten within the Chain family and the travel baseball industry.
Burress took over Chain Baseball in 2006 and began running multiple age groups with Chain National and Chain Select. Since 2006, Chain has continued to grow and compete and win at the national level.
Fast-forward to December of 2015 and the Chain Mafia is branching out into Florida.
We asked Burress, “Why a Tampa, Fl tryout, since Chain is a Georgia based program?” Burress replied, “Well, our younger feeder program, Team Florida ran by Rob Ciaravino works out and practices at Rob’s Tampa and Clearwater facilities, The Hitting Academy.” “My son Drew has been playing for Rob since he was 9 years old.”
Chain’s teams start at 15U, so it’s a perfect fit that Team Florida starts at 9U and stops at 14U.
Check out The Hitting Academy's site, www.thehittingacademy.com
Burress also added, “The Tampa area produces great baseball players and some of the florida travel programs get a Tampa kid here or there, but nobody really owns Tampa and the best players, they always seem to get spread out with travel programs.”
Burress’ goal is to use Florida, Tampa specifically to continue to build his Chain National and Chain Select teams.
Chain is already one of the best programs in the country, now using another hot bed like Tampa to recruit players, their talent year in and year out will definitely be, “Off the Chain!”
The ‘Off the Chain’ Camp at Steinbrenner Field, in Tampa starts tomorrow morning at 9am. Some of the colleges that will be working the camp are Louisville, Clemson, University of Alabama, Auburn, Charleston Southern, East Carolina University, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Ole Miss, USF, FAU and FIU.
There’s still time to register, visit www.chainsports.net
We’ll have full on field access for our social media coverage via Twitter/Instagram: @prospectwire and prospectwirebaseball #ExposureMachine #ChainMafia