Brett Jackson at BAWS 2004, held at Saint Mary's College
Birth of BAWS
I developed the concept of a "Bay Area World Series" showcase/tournament in the fall of 2003. The idea was to feature high school players from specific regions of the Bay Area/Northern California, competing against each other for something of "significance", rather than just a simple showcase environment.
One of the reasons I had the idea is because the CIF sectional playoffs don't have much inter-regional competition, which to me does not give us the chance to see the best our area has to offer competing against the best competition possible, with something at stake. BAWS creates and promotes those fun regional competition/rivalries. Anyone that has lived here in the Bay Area for any length of time understands that each region in Bay Area has a different vibe, personality, and certainly they all have local pride. Each area also seems to differ in regard to the style of play of their players.
The event came to be known simply as "BAWS" and quickly became one of the top recruiting/scouting events for many D1 baseball programs, particularly in the Western U.S., as well as the local MLB area scouts. BAWS became the first stop on the summer recruiting/scouting schedule for MANY of the D1 programs in the Western U.S.
BAWS Becomes RNWS...
In 2007, while working for Perfect Game as their National Scout, I was recruited and then hired by the Braves to be their Northern California (and Pacific Northwest) full-time area scout. My scouting director mandated that I not visibly run a showcase event as a Braves' employee, so I entered into a partnership with the owners of a local club team organization. We formed an LLC, which brought about the renaming/re-branding of Bay Area World Series. The name changed and I now had new partners. The format and framework of the event did not change. BAWS just had a new name.
For many years prior to the existence of BAWS, my new partners ran a showcase, primarily for their own players, in late summer/early fall. By that time BAWS had become THE premier event in the state, held the first full weekend in June. My future partners told me they intended to move their small showcase to that time and we would either have to compete in that space or find another way to make things work.
As I happened to be looking for a business partner (at the insistence of my scouting director boss) and the club owners told me of their intention to move their showcase to early June, it seemed obvious what course of action to take. What ended up taking place a short-lived partnership when BAWS became RNWS, now NWS.
I directed the event for the two years (2008/2009) we were partners, sending out the invitations, gathering and organizing the registrations (came across the registrations binder from the 2008 NWS in my files the other day), organizing/running the event, keeping the format the same, etc.
BAWS is reborn...
In the fall of 2009 my time as a scout with the Braves came to an end. I decided to pull out of the partnership with intention to retain what I had originally created. To me it seemed obvious that I'd retain what I created, because well... I had created it. My former partners didn't see it that way and as there were three of us in the partnership, the other two retained majority, and thus, they absorbed ownership of the event.
So BAWS relaunched, once again as it's own independent brand, in June of 2010. The fact of the matter is that it was me who left the partnership and my original creation is now owned by people who didn't create it. That is a fact, but such is the nature of business. Sometimes you get burned, but you live and you learn.
That is why there are two similar events in Northern California. BAWS is run by an independent person in the showcase/recruiting exposure/scouting business with a long history of impartially helping all players in the region. NWS is run by the owners of a club team.
The strength of BAWS in the early years was the many talented, under the radar prospects, many of whom I went out and found by scouting the region. BAWS was not about the already well-known/highly recruited players from the area. It was about finding and exposing the depth of GREAT talent in the area and giving them a platform to become known. When I restarted BAWS I knew I had to go back to my roots of finding those under the radar kids and late bloomers and projectable athletes, like I did as recruiting coordinator at USF. That is what I continue to do.
BAWS serves the best interest of the players.