Menomonee Falls' Weber pitches his way onto NOW All-Sub team
Humble star also all-state
"Anything he's gotten in this life, he's gotten on his own."
Menomonee Falls sports and coaching legend Dave Weber said that about his astoundingly talented baseball phenom son Ty, who just finished a remarkable sophomore summer for the Indian baseball team, earning NOW All-Suburban and second-team WBCA All-State honors as a pitcher.
There was no manipulation, no svengali, just a kid exercising and stretching a great deal of natural ability with a lot of the old man's honest "Shucks, I just want to make the team better" attitude. In talking to the son, you get a clear idea that he is smart enough and capable enough to make his own decisions.
Dave said both his sons (the older Cal and then Ty) came around to ballpark to hang around with him and have fun before starting on their own sporting ventures.
"He's always been a real nice coach," said Ty of his father. "He let me take it all in and then let me do my own thing. Everything is my own decision, but he is there to help me when I need it."
And the 6-foor-4 University of Illinois recruit may need some help in decision making down the line if he stays healthy and continues to progress the way he did this summer.
He carried a big bat this summer (hitting .430) and brought along his dominating arm.
Ty was 8-1 with 83 strikeouts and just 16 walks. He had a 1.30 ERA and 1.045 WHIP (baserunners allowed per inning). He beat Greater Metro Conference co-champ Marquette, GMC co-champ and state semifinalist Oak Creek and eventual state champion Brookfield Central. He threw three shutouts, including two post-season starts and had five games with double-digit strikeouts.
His only loss came in the WIAA sectional semifinal to Homestead when he was battling an ill-timed and nasty ear infection, which greatly hampered his balance.
Dave said he was "very proud" that the coaching staff trusted Ty enough to pitch in the biggest of games. Ty also worked hard to gain the trust of his teammates.
"After the third or fourth start this year I started gaining confidence," said Ty. "It was a big challenge (becoming the team ace). I just wanted to help the team win because we had a lot of good players who had worked hard.
"Baseball has always been a team sport and I've always been a team-first kind of player."
His dad appreciates that attitude. It was one he exemplified all through his playing days.
Veteran Falls coach Pat Hansen, who's always very careful with his praise, was effusive in talking about Ty.
"We talk a lot about whether you're getting better or getting worse," Hansen said. "In Ty's case, it was hard to do much better than he did. He can pound the strike zone with three different pitches (fastball, curve and change) and you look at his mound demeanor. You never see him act any differently whether we're up or we're down and he trusts all his pitches in all counts.
"He's simply as good as I've ever seen."
That's what will happen when you improve at an astronomical rate.
Weber lettered as a freshman for a talented, senior-dominated Falls team in 2013 slowly getting better and making a name for himself as his ground-zero Falls Athletic Hall of Fame and former NFL draft choice father watched carefully as an assistant coach.
Dave had co-coached his son through the Junior Indian ranks. Ty is at the head of a talented class that traveled a bit in the summer. That team lost the championship of a fift- grade tournament in Bloomington, Ill., but had the good fortune to make contact with the coach of the team they lost to, Mike Brown, who is also an assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan University.
An arrangement was made with Brown and for the next three summers, Ty Weber's baseball travels alternated between trips with the Falls Jr. Indian team and the Bloomington (Ill.) Renegades.
"We would sleep on couches in other player's homes, my wife would pack food to take along," said Dave, "but the important thing was that he got experience with a new team and new players. It really helped him mature."
Ty agreed as also he struck an agreement with the Falls football coaches to also played fall baseball in the "I-94 League."
"Playing those out-of-state teams really helped me gauge how I was doing," said Ty.
By the time he hit high school, he was ready to make a move. He had hit his Dad's approximate height and had started to stretch his legs playing football, basketball and baseball both his freshmen and sophomore years, mostly on the varsity level.
He made good impressions in football and basketball but it was clear that baseball was his future. Even before this terrific 2014 season with the Indians had come to pass, big-time colleges such as Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and others were calling, sending mail and making offers.
Illinois State, Wichita State, Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State were among the others interested.
"As he started to grow, his reach got longer and he was able to shorten the distance the ball had to travel," said Dave. "His velocity picked up (currently in the mid-80 miles an hour with his fastball) with good movement. He just became more efficient."
In his decision-making too.
"The week before we were supposed to go to Nebraska (for a trip), he told me he liked Illinois," said Dave.
"I wasn't really expecting it (all the attention)," said Ty. "It wasn't very hard really. I just got used to it. In the end, I just really liked the coaching staff there (at Illinois) and I really like the campus too."
More decisions are being made now. After careful consideration, he has made the choice not to play football this fall, opting for conditioning and more time with the Racine Hitters fall team.
He will keep basketball on his schedule because of the conditioning aspects and because it's fun.
And in true Weber fashion, he's looking to get even better next summer.
"I'm going to work on my command, see if I can get better control of my pitches," Ty said.
And with that thought, his dad smiles.
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