Be a better neighbor. Sign up for EveryBlock to follow and discuss neighborhood news.

Sign up for free →

Added Mar 13 2014

We are going to enroll our 6 year old in a tee-ball league this year. He's never played organized baseball before, but he's reasonably athletic. Thinking about the Portage Park league, but I've heard it can be pretty intense. I know the Jeff Park Cubs Care league is another option (my older guy did it). Any thoughts?

  • Loulu Me

    Years ago Kilbourn Park was known for having a really good program. Not sure if it's still that way, but you may want to consider finding out, depending on where exactly you live. Being close to home is always a good thing.

  • . . .

    Dunham is an option.

  • I second Dunham

  • Mike Q. Portage Park resident

    We have our 5 year old twins signed up at Independence. First year at that park.

  • ArleneA Portage Park

    Dunham park has a really nice program. This will be our 3rd year.

  • Sean Schultz proud lifelong citizen of 45

    Dunham is pretty awesome, had my nephew there

  • Harmless, really... ...but you never know.

    Dunham is a nice program, but does get intense as they get older, so be prepared. The Cubs Care park district programs are a joke. Not that they aren't fun for the kids, but they depend on parents to step up to coach at the last minute, rather than having coaches established up front. It is likely that your son will not learn much at all about playing baseball if he plays in a Cubs Care program. The privately-run leagues, like at Dunham and Portage, cost a bit more than Cubs Care, but you get what you pay for, and your son will actually learn the game and have some genuine coaching and leadership provided to him. I am an 11-year-veteran parent and sometimes coach of the Edgbrook-Sauganash Athletic Association program. One of my kids started in a Cubs Care t-ball program, and it was a joke. Moved to ESAA and never looked back!

  • LoveGod RockMaster

    This will be our second year of T ball at Jefferson Park. Cubs care provides the t shirts and the trophys at the end. My son is 5 and he loves it. Yes, the parents do coach. Last year I was an assistant coach for the first time and it was a lot of fun! I definitely saw improvement from these 4 to 6 year olds!

  • I coach for the Cubs Care league in Jeff Park and disagree with the above. All my kids had a great time and we drilled fundamentals at every practice. They improved every week and by the last couple of games played like a real team. Every other team in the league had committed coaches that showed up at each game and practice, lots of parents helped out. It is more diverse than the private leagues, which I think is a good thing, and its an incredibly good deal for starting your kid off in organized sports. I played college baseball and coached little league for two seasons. There are good coaches and great parents in the Cubs Care league. If you want a spot on my team, message me and I will call Kevin to make sure your child is with us.

  • My oldest played Tball and then baseball at Gompers Park. This will be his 4th year. They run a great program.

  • JD

    Thanks for the input everyone. We'll likely go with Portage or Jeff Park since we're closest to those two. JeffParkJohn, it doesn't look like I can message you directly. (I think you have to set that in your profile.) You should be able to go to my profile and email me, though.

  • Harmless, really... ...but you never know.

    I have heard great things about the program at Gompers Park!

  • Harmless, really... ...but you never know.

    Maybe it was just the Cubs Care program at Peterson Park that was lacking, then. There was no leadership there whatsoever, but that was 4 or 5 years ago now. Hopefully it has improved. I'm glad to know that the program is successful elsewhere.

  • I have my boys playing at Kibourn park. My youngest was in T-ball last year and had a blast.

  • Michele Jefferson Park resident

    My son played at Portage Park last year. He was 6 and super excited about baseball. By the end of the season, he was burned out, didn't think b-ball was fun anymore and said he didn't want to play in the league again. Some weeks he practiced 2 times with a game on Saturday. Other weeks there was practice 3 days plus a game day. Once or twice we had baseball 5 days a week- to make up rain days. It was a lot for a six year old. He often brings up the time he had a game and they didn't cancel it when it started raining. He was cold, shivering and played to the end of the game. I personally think it was too much but a lot of other parents didn't seem to mind. This year we have him signed up for Cubs Care at Jeff Park. Hoping it will bring the fun back for him.

  • jeb Portage Park resident

    Independence Park is great for beginning sports. I also like the Gompers Park league. My kids played at Portage too. They liked it, but boy do I have stories...

  • Why is the Portage Park program so unpleasant? I'm confused as to what makes the program less desirable than other park programs. Is it something that can be addressed?

  • Harmless, really... ...but you never know.

    I think it depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for something that is more instructional and relaxed rather than competitive, the park district programs are probably better for you. If you think your kid is the next Jenny Finch, Frank Thomas, or Kerry Wood, then the private leagues are probably a better fit.

  • jeb Portage Park resident

    Lady Dawdler - the program itself is fine. Pretty competitive and intense, which was great for one of my kids, okay for the other two. From t-ball through to Pony, we were fortunate to have good coaches, except the last year my kid played - the coach was a 25 year old guy who swore at the kids and threw tantrums. We didn't have much recourse since he was on the board. If your younger child is not totally bought into playing baseball it can be rough, since there are a lot of games (25ish?) and practices. My rule with my kids and sports teams is that if you have join a team, you have to finish out the season. That's why I liked park district classes and teams when they were younger - they tend to be less demanding of your time.

  • Take your kid to the beach,swimming pool,any other fun summer activity.When
    he's older and still has an interest in playing baseball then look into signing him
    up for a competitive league.

12 neighbors are subscribed to this conversation.

Posted to Portage Park

This was posted to Portage Park

What's the news in your neighborhood? Search for your ZIP code:

e.g. 60615