I am aware that there have been baseball teams for young children for a long time. However, I never saw one of their games until this summer. We have a cousin whose two grandsons are now playing on baseball teams for children. One is on a team of 4 to 6 years of age, and the other is in the next older group. Their games have turned our quiet summer afternoons and/or evenings into grabbing a folding chair and taking off for the baseball field.
There is never a dull moment for us in watching these baseball games. It only took the first game for us to be hooked and not want to miss any future game. These games are made possible because their parents do all the work. They are the pitchers as well as watching over the bases and guiding the little ones as to whether to run or not. The adult pitchers do a great job in teaching them how to hit the ball. Most all have a good swing.
What amazes me is the smallness of these players who are able to hit the ball and make it go out into the field. That has to take a lot of practice before the children could possibly do half as well as they do. There are both boys and girls playing in these games. Usually the boys outnumber the girls, but the girls can hold their own. Some girls have pink helmets, which helps to identify them.
Last week was the last game of this season for the children from 4 to 6 years of age, and awards were given out. These awards consisted of framed certificates with their names as well as descriptive words as to their playing. They also received a trophy with their name on it and a group picture, as well as a picture with just the player and their coach.
One of the entertaining parts consisted of two of the younger ones running into each other while trying to catch a fly ball, and then “kind of wrestling” as to which one got to throw the ball to home plate. While they were wrestling, there were a lot of people in the stands yelling, “Throw the ball! Throw the ball!” Another fun thing to see was how they spent their time waiting to get to run from one base to another. As boredom sets in, some sat down on the ground and started playing in the dirt with the stones they found.
It has been the best sports entertainment I have had all summer, bar none. I found myself saying that these games should be on TV. There was never a boring moment at any time during the entire games. Watching them be pitched to is amazing. While watching them run from base to base, you might find them running on out in the field without stopping at the designated base. I can’t wait until next year to see them play again.
There is a lot of growth spurts between a 4 to a 6 year old, so there will be all kinds of new abilities. I never knew they could possibly bat and run as well as they do. When I asked a 4 year old what he likes best about playing, he said, “Hitting.” That’s the best answer I could have thought of myself. Good luck to him and all the players in their future years in baseball. And, I do believe in the famous line, “There is no crying in baseball” because of what I saw, it was all cheering and laughing.
Thanks to all those parents who get out on the fields and make these experiences happen for these lucky kids. We can’t wait until next year to watch you all play ball again!
Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.