Youth baseball and softball leagues are
in full swing.
When I was publisher of the weekly newspaper
in Red Bay, Ala., a Dixie Youth league coordinator gave me an article
entitled, “An Open Letter to Dixie Youth Parents.”
The words can apply to most any youth league.
Youth baseball should be a rewarding experience
for volunteer coaches, youngsters and parents.
Unfortunately, that’s not always
the case. Poor attitudes by adults often get in the way of youngsters
playing the game for fun.
Remember – adults are setting examples
for our youth, and those examples should always be the right ones.
Cut this out, and keep it on the refrigerator
this season. I’ve caught myself looking at it regularly over the
Dear Mom and Dad:
1. Always applaud when a boy (any boy)
does something right – regardless which team he’s on.
2. Don’t ask him to keep his uniform
clean. This will prevent sliding, which he dearly loves.
3. Dye an old sheet red and use it for
his bed all season. Saves wear and tear on the nerves.
4. Teach him to spray his room every
morning unless you like the smell of leather, liniment and sweat.
5. As long as he faces the diamond a
10-year-old is an excellent outfielder.
6. If he misbehaves at home, threaten
to tell his manager; during the season Mom and Pop come second.
7. A home run, accomplished by a bunt
and/or errors, is a home run no matter what the scorekeeper says.
8. A 10-year-old who attempts to catch
a ball with one hand is doing very well. If he goes after it with two
hands, he’s major league material. And if he actually catches
it - all-stars, here he comes.
9. Fifteen consecutive walks in one inning
by the same pitcher are not grounds for pulling him out. He may have
a no-hitter going.
10. If the final score is no more than
20 runs apart, the game is considered a “close” one.
11. When the team manager is red in the
face and pulling out his hair, it is not the time to ask him, “What’s
12. All umpires are equally blind for
both sides, so sit back and enjoy it.
12. The shorter the boy, the longer the
bat he’ll pick. This is his way of evening up the sides.
13. Sliding is a technique devised by
men which allows little boys to rip their pants legally.
15. When figuring out a 10-year-old’s
batting average, you count each time he lifts the bat from his shoulder
and swings. A real hit counts as a triple.
16. When a 10-year-old infielder catches
the ball and then throws it to the wrong base, don’t yell. You
can yell only if he stops to count the stitches on the ball.
17. Dixie Youth parents are never known
as “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So.” Instead they’re “Joey’s
folks – you know the kid who struck out 10 times in a row.”
18. Scorekeepers should limit each team
to three errors per inning. Any more shall be construed as an act of
19. Any parent disagreeing with a manager
should either volunteer to help coach or else hold his breath for the
balance of the season.
20. When the opposing team “chatters”
at your son when he’s up, don’t worry, they are not intimidating
him – their manager is merely having a roll call.
21. When a youth league player decides
a certain sweatshirt is his “lucky” shirt, cherish it, nurture
it, mend it, and pray it lasts until he’s 13.
22. Above all – remember these
children are just that – children. They can gain a great deal
from their experience as a member of the team, and if they happen to
learn a little bit about the game, why, that’s what it’s
Let’s all enjoy the season.