Little boy baseball is a beautiful thing. Especially when grownups aren’t involved.
But … only a few days ago, this bureau learned there was a T-Ball World Series.
You could have knocked me over with a first-baseman’s mitt.
For the great unwashed, know that this is a 6U T-Ball league/organization. That means 6 years old and under.
That means that small people who were getting their diapers changed four years previous are now playing for a “world championship” in competitive sports.
Also, there are as many little boy “World Series” as there are hairs on your head. The Little League World Series for mostly small people 11-12 that you see on television is legit; the rest, well, it’s only the “World” series for whatever the grownups decide the “World” is. (Follow the money.)
Again, if you are not aware, T-Ball is a sport that involves putting a baseball on a stick, or “tee,” and the youngster attempts to hit it. The ball is not thrown; it is sitting there. No change-ups or sliders or heaters.
And the little person hits it, in theory, and runs, and that is when the basic rules of baseball come in.
So you will never hear a fan say, “I wonder how he’s going to pitch him next time?” And you don’t wonder how the pitcher might work the lineup the next time through because there IS no pitcher.
Also, you can’t blame the home plate umpire because there isn’t one, not calling balls and strikes, anyhow.
Never would I have believed this, but my friend Hooks, a Baseball Guy, told me that parents bring sound systems and blare ‘Walk Up” music as the guys come to the plate. The big leagues and most colleges now play Walk Up music when the hitter is coming to bat. It’s the hitter’s preferred song.
And it is one of the stupidest things ever in history. Personal opinion.
But for a guy who is less than 6? It is ever more stupider, which isn’t even a word but which describes the insanity of this phenomenon.
They are one step removed from Crawl Up music. These kids are literal Diaper Dandies.
What is Walk Up music for a 6-year-old. Old McDonald Had a Farm? How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Itsy Bitsy Spider?
Understand that these teams TRAVEL to other states to hit a ball off a tee and play something like baseball. There are real dollars involved in gas and meals and hotels. They have legit mascot names when they should be the Westside Toddlers or the Eastside Pants Wetters, the Southside Knee Scrapers or the Northside Trike Riders.
I understand how important little boy baseball is. Exactly 18 years and one week ago today when I was the ‘coach’ of my last Little League team, if I’d have walked out and talked to Scarf one batter earlier, just One Batter earlier, we’d have been playing for the state title. I’m sure of it. Instead, I didn’t. Kept sitting on the bucket and hoping. Thought I was doing the right thing.
And Evangeline beat us, 3-2.
I live with that every day of my life.
But the difference between Scarf and T-Ball is that my guys were 15.
About to start driving cars. Twice the age and then some of T-Ball “World Series” guys.
When you’re 6, shouldn’t you be just playing and running in the wrong direction, picking clover in the outfield, and looking to see what’s on the snack wagon?
Wouldn’t a guy or girl who’s 6 prefer a snow cone or a Frito Pie to a mythical base hit or a “World Series” title?
They would. I was 6 once. And I know.
Contact Teddy at firstname.lastname@example.org