Hornets Baseball Federation

Michigan Travel Baseball Designed to Teach Kids Proper Mechanics and Positive Hitting Psychology

Are you looking for a place to play 12U in 2021?

Hornets will be taking a team to Cooperstown 7-10 thru 7-16.

Visit our tryouts page by clicking "Learn More..." below.  Signup for 8-15 and 8-16 tryout dates now!  Or go directly to the form here:

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The Hornets Baseball Federation is a travel baseball organization specializing in developing kids that may be too busy playing other primary travel sports. 


The head coaches take on today's travel baseball:  


Having played the game against and with many players that got drafted and played all the way up to the MLB, I can honestly say the game of baseball has changed.  A lot of former teammates that had been through 11U-13U told me the teams today would crush all of the teams when we were young.  In my first season as a travel baseball coach, this was undoubtedly true in tournament play.  On one hand, it’s nice to see baseball has progressed to that level. On the other hand, I believe youth sports has been professionalized and the parents are shelling out big money to have their kids play on a top name team.  These established names make a killing off of youth sports.  How much is a gym membership? Compare that to the cost to play with many of the team’s carrying their own facilities and the price is jaw-dropping.  It’s nothing more than a business today and that is morally wrong.  I know I cannot change it, but I refuse to join it.

As an entrepreneur and established business owner myself, I could easily build my own facility and start making money off of youth sports.  That is not what I am about.  The entire point of my program was to give back to kids and help bring down the cost of travel baseball.  Leaving no child with potential behind.  I definitely do not need or intend to ever make money off of youth sports.  It’s sad to see parents taken advantage of.  Parents will shell out the money if they think it will get their kid to the college level or beyond.  Having the right people work with your child is not going to hurt.  But it's shameful to see it has become a very profitable business.

When I attended the Doyle baseball school in the 80’s and 90’s, since closed, they warned of this happening.  They believed many kids had the potential at a young age to develop and potentially pass up some of the stronger youth players.  They warned that many of the kids that could be developed would be left behind.  I didn’t give it much thought then, but they were 100% correct.

As a player, I have seen it play out many times.  Bigger, stronger kids at age 11-13 would dominate the game.  Some would continue on.  Some would lose their edge soon after 13.  Some of the smaller kids would eventually grow taller, stronger, fill out, and pass them by.  Baseball instincts will soon have a tighter gap than it does with some at a young age.  Those with the talent can and will blossom given the opportunity.  Cream rises to the top, at all ages.

As a first year team, Hornets Black did well in league, finishing 1st in our division, secured still with a game left.  We were knocking on the door in some tournaments.  Falling shy with pitching depth and offensive pop in the lineup from top to bottom.  I see the improvements we need to make.  My goal is not to win at the tournament level.  My goal is to continue to improve the core of my team that can continue on, and pickup needed pieces to make them even more competitive.  I want my team to be in every ball game, and that is all I can ask.  I want to develop them to their maximum potential.

The Hornets will be consolidated to a single 12U team for 2021.  We are looking for pitchers and positional players / solid hitters to join us and help move us one step closer to taking on these baseball names of today.  You will never pay thousands with us.  As I cannot promise sponsorship at this time with an unknown economy, I see no real reason why my company could not help eliminate the cost in a major way along with fundraising.  It truly is my giveback to the community.  Cooperstown is an added expense for 2021, still, we will do everything we can to get the cost way down.  Without Cooperstown, I’d estimate our expenses to me no more than 600 per family to play league and tournaments with 2-3 sets of uniforms.  Cooperstown costs 1295 per child.  Again, we should be able to reduce that cost significantly.  Cooperstown is an experience worth taking.

Visit our tryouts page for more information on dates and times.



The Hornets are based out of Livonia MI, but the entire Wayne County (and more) is welcome to tryout.  We are not limited to any jurisdictions or city lines.  The following cities are just a few that we welcome as we try to build the most competitive teams possible:

Allen Park * Ann Arbor * Beverly Hills * Bingham Farms * Birmingham * Bloomfield Hills * Bloomfield Township * Canton * Clinton Township * Dearborn * Dearborn Heights * Detroit * Farmington * Farmington Hills * Ferndale * Garden City * Highland * Highland Park * Inkster * Livonia * Macomb * Madison Heights * Milford * Monroe * Mount Clemens * Northville * Novi * Orchard Lake * Pinckney * Plymouth * Redford * Riverview * Rochester * Rochester Hills * Romulus * Royal Oak * Salem * Saline * South Lyon * Southfield * Southgate * Taylor * Trenton * Troy * Walled Lake * Warren * Wayne * West Bloomfield * Westland * White Lake * Whitmore Lake * Wixom * Woodhaven * Wyandotte * Ypsilanti

Coaches Backgrounds

Anthony DiCicco, Head Coach (12U 2021 Hornets Team)

Decades of experience as both a player and coach.  From 11-18, played AABC travel baseball on the highest of caliber teams out of Michigan.  AABC was the program back then, USSSA was only softball.  Teams such as Stitt Post 232, Westland Federation, and NFWB to name a few. Competing on a National level and receiving multiple offers from D2 and D3 colleges.  Offered to play in junior Olympics in Japan.  Trained for 3 consecutive years at the Doyle Baseball School.  The Doyle school was used by many college coaches to recruit talent.  Some college scholarship offers were based on Doyle grading scales alone.  Coaches trusted the school so much, some picked their entire teams right from the Doyle database.  Doyle techniques will be taught to all players with added adjustments acknowledging new methodologies.  We will break down the swing into 3 stages, and hitters will be taught proper mechanics in several practices.  The Doyle brothers were the most important baseball people that ever touched Anthony's life.

After being burned out from baseball, competitive softball with USSSA was discovered.  Spending 15 years competing on the national level with teams such as JD's Rage, Detroit Phillies, Pro Glass, Budha's Closet just to name a few.  Finished top 10 at world tournaments with more than 200 teams in each from all over the united states more than 5 times, top 20 about 10 times.  In 2001, played for JD's Rage which was ranked in the top 20 in the entire country.  This team and many he played on, were built from hard ball players transitioning to competitive USSSA Softball.

Anthony spent most of his life on the diamond.  Many of his teammates played at various college and pro levels.  Even in softball, he had the privilege of playing with former AAA players and even one that made it to the MLB.

He has a lot to teach fundamentally.  More importantly, Anthony understands the line between too serious and keeping it fun.  Teaching positive psychology is the most important goal.   An example of that is hitters have hit zones, pitchers have strike zones.  We don't get upset with hitters for swinging at pitches well out of the strike zone.  We do try to tell them to let their bodies hold up the swing if it is not in their hit zone.  This leads to more aggressive hitters long-term.  They will learn in time to hold off on the bad pitches.  However, they will be trained to think hit, hold off if needed rather than looking for a pitch to hit.  Again, all Doyle psychology leading to more aggressive and confident hitters.

Some of our assistant coaches are probably even more qualified.  The coaching staff will work as a unit, not an individual.  Relying on each of their backgrounds.

Drew Malisewski, Assistant Coach (12U 2021 Team)


Drew has played several years of competitive baseball, softball and hockey for various organizations.  Drew played an integral part in winning several tournament, league, and state championships. Drew has 10 years of head coaching experience in youth baseball, Fast-pitch softball, and youth Hockey. Coach Drew’s philosophy is to teach fundamental skills.   You can’t expect a player to execute your strategy, if you haven’t taught them the skills that are required to do so. 

Playing Career –

 8 years of youth baseball for various teams in Dearborn Heights. 

 4 years High school baseball for St Francis Cabrini

 Legion Ball 2 years for Dearborn

20 years of Men’s softball for various USSSA tournament teams; Club House, Scoreboard, Sabre Steel, JD Rage

               7 years of Tier 1 Hockey for various teams, Little Caesars, Michigan Nationals etc..

                4 years of Junior Hockey; Wayne Chiefs,Lakeland Jets, Michigan Nationals

                10 years of senior Hockey various teams

Coaching Career –

                Head Coach 4 years of youth baseball various ages in Livonia

                Head Coach 6 years Livonia Wild Fastpitch Softball (Current Coaching 14U Wild Black)

                Assistant coach 2 years youth Baseball Livonia

                Assistant coach 1 year Livonia Wild

                Head Coach 10 years Youth Hockey Teir Iⅈ Livonia, Compuware, Little Caesars

(Currently 16U Little Caesars Tier 2 Girls)

John DiCicco, Assistant Coach (12U, 2021 Team)


Player History:

•1968 Cooley High School, All City Short Stop, Class A, Captain of the team

•1969 Cooley High School, All City 2nd Baseman, Class A, Captain of the team

•Played 7 years of Travel Baseball, NABF

•Played for the 5th Army Post Team in Fort Carson, CO

•Played in Alaska Fort Wain Right Army Post– Fairbanks, Alaska

•1988 /MVP of State Championship at Liberty Park

•4 Time State Champion

  • 1987 Canton Softball Center, Men’s D

  • 1988 Liberty Park, Men’s D

  • 1995 Rotunda Fields, Men’s 35 & Over

  • 1996 Rotunda Fields, Men’s 35 & Over

•2000 State Championship Runner Up, 40 & Over

•2003 Inducted into the USSSA Softball Hall of Fame

•Too many tournament wins to put on record, over 30 years in the USSSA-ASA-NSA

•Men’s 35 & Over World Tournament, Dayton Beach, 3rd Place

•2005 World Series Champions, Men’s 55 & Over – SSUSA

•2005 World Series Runner Up, Men’s 50 & Over – SSUSA

•Was Top 4, 5 times in Men’s 40 & Over World Tournament (Lexington, South Carolina. Hutchison, KS. Kettering, MD. Panama City Beach, FL. Cocoa Beach, FL.)


Hardball Manager History:

•Started a Travel Team in 1987, Coached teams until 1993. Many players went on to play college baseball.

•1989 NABF State Champions

•1989 NABF World Series Runner Up

•1990 AABC Mayor’s Invitational Champions, Battle Creek (Crestwood Big Bill’s)

•1990 AABC District Champions (Crestwood Big Bill’s)

•1990 AABC Memorial Day Sandy Koufax Tournament Champions, Sterling Heights (Crestwood Big Bill’s)

•1991 AABC Butler, PA Champions (Stitt Post 232)

•1991 AAU 15 & Under National Tournament Runner Up - Blaine, MN (Stitt Post 232)

•1991 AABC District Champions, Mickey Mantle (Stitt Post 232)

•1991 AABC 3rd Place State Championship – Cold Water, MI (Stitt Post 232)

•1991 AABC Mayor’s Invitational Runner Up – Battle Creek, MI (Stitt Post 232)

•1992 AABC Westland Baseball Federation, 3rd Place, Jefferson City, TN


Softball Manager History:

•Started Coaching Softball. After their baseball days, some players followed John to USSSA Tournament Softball.

•Too many tournament wins to put on record. Top 10 several times in Men’s D World Tournament with over 250 teams competing.

•2001 National Invitation Tournament Champions – Sylvania, OH

•2002 State Champions, USSSA

•2002 USSSA World Championship 4th place, Over 225 Teams

•Team was winner of over 25 USSSA Tournaments in Michigan and out of State

*** We have since added a few other coaches to head up our Hornets Yellow team.  They have done a great job with the kids.

The worst thing a little league coach can tell a hitter is to "keep that back elbow up"!  This is 100% incorrect.

Contact Us

Hornets Baseball Federation

Livonia, MI, USA

Baseball and Mitt