Monday, August 29, 2005

Taking the Little OUT of Little League

For the past week or so the Little League World Series has been on prime time TV via ESPN. Professional announcers have been providing the viewing audience with the play-by-play and, in many ways, treating this annual event like big league baseball.

In the final game, one youngster hit a walk-off home run to bring Hawaii its first ever Little League World Championship. Now we can see over and over again two distinct pictures -- the jubilation of the victors and the genuine tears of the losers. Yes, the young pitcher who gave up the winning homer broke down in tears!

What is Little League baseball doing on TV in the first place? These are 11, 12 & 13 year old kids playing a game for the fun of it. They don't need the eyes of the world watching every pitch and at bat. They don't need the glare of television cameras recording their every move and emotion.

For crying out loud, it's JUST a game! A simple game enjoyed by generations of youth.

But now it's not JUST a game -- It's become a commercialized spectacle!

1 comment:


    In principal I agree with you, but we aren’t talking about your average Little League team here

    These kids absolutely excel at what they do, and during the play-offs, have built a pretty big fan base. At the early teen level, the participants have lasted through several years of sporadically inept coaching, parental squabbles and bored, indifferent team mates. What is left are the stayers who really love the game in all its nuances, and they love the attention they have worked so hard to earn, including TV coverage..

    These are the kids who will play high school and college baseball, winning some very nice scholarships along the way. The very best of them will be drafted into the big leagues, or the “Bigs” as they call it.

    The tears shed at the loss of a very close final game are not something confined only to Little League players. Big Leaguers have been known to shed tears at such a loss too. It is known as “the agony of defeat”. It is as much a part of the game as the jubilation of victory, not a display of weakness.


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