Organizational aspects of Youth Baseball have made great strides over the years. No matter which of the several organizations your community choses to join, the benefits are many. However, it saddens me to think that today's young players may never experience the innocence and fun of sandlot baseball.
For young readers, do you even know what sandlot baseball means? I know, I know; I’m an old geezer living in the past. Unfortunately, the days of walking to the schoolyard and picking teams to play baseball for the entire day are long-gone. However, that was how the game was mostly played in years past – and how baseball became entrenched in our lives. For today’s players to only experience organized ball – with coaches and parents always present – is sad.
I’m now concerned that even organized league play is taking a back seat these days – to travel ball. Don’t get me wrong, I think travel ball and playing in tournaments is exciting and fun. However, is it coming at the expense of less talented players who also want to play our great game?
As we focus more and more on elite players (in all age divisions), we’re leaving thousands of young players without a place to play. We cannot allow this to happen.
In recent years, Youth Baseball has experienced a decline in participants. Sure, one of the many reasons is that we need to make the game and practice more fun for the instant-gratification needs of our society – but, parents and communities need to ensure that all of our youth have an opportunity to play this great game.
Baseball in not only for elite players….it’s a game for ALL levels of players.
Sandlot baseball is a thing of the past. Let’s not let organized league play also become a memory.