Life Compass
Keeping You Pointed in the Right Direction

Little League … in the South

I like baseball … NO … I love baseball. As a dad I loved buying my boys their first gloves and bats. I couldn’t wait for my oldest son’s first baseball game when he was five. Now, Little League is an American institution. Just about every man played at least one season of Little League when he was kid. Little League has changed since when I was kid. In the 1970’s there was no pitch count, we were taught how to knock the 2nd baseman over when we slid in, and so on. It’s all different. The main reason: SAFETY. Players cannot make contact with each other, pitchers are regulated to a pitch count to save their young arms, helmets, cups, and more have been introduced into the Little League organization.

Two things have not changed: kids want to win AND parents want THEIR kid to win!  

I can remember coaching in New York and getting into “discussions” with umps and other managers over rules, called plays, and even how long to wait after visible lightning to regain play.

This past Saturday night this guy from New York saw something unbelievable down here in the South. Now, it’s been interesting getting used to things here with Little League. First of all, it starts sooner and is played longer because of the weather. My son, Andrew, has already played 10 games and has 10 more to play plus travel ball before county sectionals and All Star season. In New York we were passionate about it and sometimes parents and coaches could clash with each other, the other team, umps, or whoever. It’s part of the game and our old nature.

Little League has a rule that once the sun sets you cannot start a new inning of play unless you have lights. Our team was playing another town at their field. After 5 innings we were ahead 2-1 against their undefeated team. The sun set at about 7:43PM. Our team lined up to shake hands. Their team took the field to play. Hmmm … dilemma ahead!

Their Little League president deferred to the volunteer Ump who ruled to continue on despite the obvious … it was getting harder to see the ball.

We packed it in and gathered up our gear. They …in a move that was so totally classless I thought maybe I was beamed up to New York again… pitched to no one while the Umpire called strikes and their fans cheered and jeered. I was stunned. Our coach was stunned. THE KIDS WERE STUNNED. Adults in action!!! This wasn’t for the kids. This was for them. Their ego. Their pride. Their desire to win and brag no matter what it did to the kids charged to their care and instruction. The Port St. John Little League needs to be absolutely ashamed of itself. They embarrassed themselves as nothing more than poor sports with overinflated egos. Shameful.

I guess the South has progressed. Tonight they proved they can be as obnoxious and rude as angry yankees.

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