Saturday, October 26, 2019

Kids Baseball, A Great American Tradition :: Art

Kids Baseball, A Great American Tradition Kids’ baseball is a really great American tradition. Fathers can relate to their kids who play Little League because male adults remember the experience as something vital that taught them life-skills and socialization during their youth. Little League is as American as apple pie and now the rest of the world is finally wonderfully acclimated to enjoying everything American including baseball. Even an institution as wonderful as Little League has its critics. Some complain that it emphasizes competition too much and that the lesser skilled kids ought to get more playing time. Others cite that the risk of injury is all too real. I believe that Little League is a terrific â€Å"coming of age† growth experience. It teaches kids organizational skills, division of labor, cooperation and competition. By organization I mean nine kids have to function like one unit working under one main coach. In division of labor those same nine kids must perform different tasks and responsibilities. They must cooperate with each other in order to defeat the opposing team in competition. Varga’s Drugstore versus Kiwanis is a small-scale version of Compaq going up against IBM or General Motors taking on Ford. That’s what makes Little League so uniquely American and why it helps to perpetuate this country’s unparalleled â€Å"free enterprise† value system. For those critics who claim LL is dangerous, there is danger and risk everywhere. If every young boy or girl lived in a protective bubble, no kids would ever interact. Those vocal LL critics should not cross streets, should not walk down crowded aisles in Wal-Mart and should not mow their lawns or drive to Wildwood on summer vacation because something threatening might unexpectedly happen. Dangers are all around us, and in Little League competition, injuries happen by accident and they are not deliberately or maliciously inflicted. I guess that’s one particular reason I absolutely love Little League’ baseball. I have always been quite fascinated by physical danger and by competition, especially in sports. In 1953 I played Hammonton Little League ball for the town Exchange Club. My coach was Mr. Reid, and his son Bruce was also on the team. Frank Reid would come to the practices and help his dad work with the players, and ironically, Frank’s son Scott wound-up working for me in my boardwalk arcade in Ocean City, Maryland two decades later. From my own life experience, there’s no doubt in my mind that LL promotes an appreciation of the American free-enterprise economic system.

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