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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Play Ball!

The smell of fresh cut grass, sun shining down upon the faces on a late spring morn, and the the words, "Play Ball!" are shouted out above the milling voices of the spectators. The hard cored ball, spun with fine thread, bound with leather is hurled with great velocity at the batter. As the tightly wrapped ball meets the tremendous swing of a thirty six-ounce hickory stick, the resounding "CRACK" can be heard well up into the upper deck. The crowd jumps to their feet. "And that ball is going. . . going. . . gone!" Yes a Major League Baseball game can certainly be fun and exciting. However, today as I went to pick up my eldest grand daughter from softball practice I was reminded of the time I was was an assistant coach on her very first T-ball team. Now as was then I am given a fresh appreciation for the game as well as wonderful treasures not found at any Major League stadium.
Throughout the extensive history of baseball the Majors have seen countless numbers of changes, from its humble beginnings way back in the 1800's, the gallantry and pageantry of a global multi million dollar money machine. Sometimes it seems the Major Leagues have become more concerned with the bottom line than the game itself. While money certainly is a factor in T-ball or girls softball, the money generated comes from parents, coaches as well as other contributors in the community. The money brought in by these hometown leagues affords things such as equipment and maintenance. Because in doing so, the kids are ensured a safe and fun place to play. After all, playing should be the main focus of the game.
Major Leaguers no doubt have practiced and honed their skills to achieve the status they now enjoy; indeed, a good team is a pleasure to watch play on a sunny afternoon, especially when the home team wins. However, having helped even just a little with development of a young person's skills, far out reaches the rewards of watching a big league team win a pennant race. Plus how knows, to make it to the big leagues, a player has to start somewhere. So, look out Major Leagues here comes the future.

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