When John H. Ruiz traveled he had to miss his son’s baseball games. That bothered him because watching his son, Johnny, play was very important. So he started La Ley Sports, an avenue for other parents and families who can’t attend a game to watch their children play.
Ruiz already had a media production company that he had put together to broadcast his law program that runs nightly.
“He figured now I’m going to get into broadcasting Little League and high school games, and bring youth sports to the Internet, TV sets or smart phones,” said Henry Vilar, La Ley’s director of sports marketing and stadium operations.
There’s even a La Ley Sports application that you can download for free onto your iPad, iPhone or Android.
The concept took off and in just a year La Ley Sports is in the midst of an expansion by taking over the Homestead Sports Complex and hosting major youth baseball tournaments this summer.
La Ley Sports also purchased the Hardball Training Center in the Falls, renamed it the La Ley Sports Training Center and brought in former UM great Mike Tosar to run the operation.
“We are coming up on our one year anniversary in August,” Vilar said. “The main focus is youth sport, from 8 to 18.”
La Ley wants to make it easier for athletes to be discovered so they created www.laleysports.com, a database of sports minded students that includes athletic profiles and school information as well as community service commitments.
Vilar said this is so high schools, college recruiters and pro scouts in a variety of sports have a central place where they can see an athlete’s sports history.
In addition to the database, La Ley Sports provides coverage of all sports. La Ley Sports broadcast as many games in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties as it can.
“We have more events than we can handle,” he said. “We cover lacrosse, baseball and football just to name a few. For all the girls that cheerlead, those are also covered. We broadcast more than 4,000 games across the world.”
Currently, baseball is the core of La Ley Sports.
“That’s how we got started,” Vilar said. “We just took over the Homestead Sports Complex.”
They refurbished the fields, making them ready for summer tournaments that began in June leading to World vs. States International Baseball Classic during the week of July 22, under the guidance of Ruiz, La Ley president; Vilar, and tournament director Enrique (Kiki) Fernandez.
“Teams from all over the world as well as the United States, from 8 to 18 years are going to try to qualify and win the tournament,” Vilar said. “Once those three qualifying weeks are over, a tournament team is going to be selected from each state.”
Players from all over the world will try to qualify to participate in the Youth World Baseball Classic, July 22-28, at the La Ley Sports Complex.
La Ley also is offering summer camps in girls softball and boys baseball for ages 10 to 18. The campers can be dropped off at the Homestead complex or they can be taken to the indoor baseball facility at the Falls to be bused to Homestead.
Campers will be taught by experienced softball and baseball coaches, and there will be surprise guest speakers including former Major League Baseball players.
For more information about La Ley Sports, go online to www.laleysports.com.