Thursday, May 21, 2009
Applaud for both teams
Rain put a lot of Marshall County Dizzy Dean baseball and softball on hold.
But back before much of the rains came, we had a coaches’ meeting focused on doing what’s best for the children and making the games fun. Youth baseball should be a rewarding experience for volunteer coaches, youngsters and parents.
When I was publisher of the newspaper in Red Bay, Ala., a Dixie Youth league coordinator gave me an article entitled, “An Open Letter to Dixie Youth Parents.”
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 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 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 the score?”
12. All umpires are equally blind for both sides, so sit back and enjoy it.
13. The shorter the boy, the longer the bat he’ll pick. This is his way of evening up the sides.
14. 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. Scorekeepers should limit each team to three errors per inning. Any more shall be construed as an act of God.
18. Any parent disagreeing with a manager should either volunteer to help coach or else hold his breath for the balance of the season.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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 learn a little bit about the game, why, that’s what it’s all about.
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