Friday, April 29, 2011


This is not another "How the Pittsburgh Pirates
Ruined Baseball in Western Pennsylvania" blog.
There are plenty of them out there, written by
me and others.

This is about 10-under youth baseball.
The first REAL baseball in youths life.
No more tees to hit off. No more coaches
pitching to you. Yes, some of the rules
are restrictive (4 outfielders, only can
steal third base, everyone on your roster
present for the game hits in the lineup...
just to name a few).

But it's baseball. A kid your age
pitching to you. You're first taste
of strikes zones, walks, hit by pitch,
stealing a base...

It's beginning to look like the game
Abner Doubleday put together.
(Minus the DH of course... blah!)

I have been looking forward to the
10-under (minor league) baseball
for a few years. Don't get me wrong,
tee-ball & coaches pitch are fine,
they're just... well, psuedoball.

So as we entered into lasts nights
season-opener (yeah, rain pushed
this back a bit) I was excited.

A little nervous how my 9-year-old
would respond to strikes zones and
fastballs and bean-balls. Really,
I was nervous about him taking his
first ball of his body while batting.

He did splendid. Struck out twice,
but went down swinging both times.
What are you suppose to do when
you've only had 3 practices up until
game time due to... well, you know
what... drip, drip, drip.

He fielded a ball cleanly in the outfield,
relayed it to second base just fine.

My worries were ironed out during his
second at-bat when he received his
first HBP (hit by pitch). In fact,
he backed up a step after taking the
blow, and then stepped back into the
batters box ready for the next one...
missing the whole point that when
you get hit, you take first. I guess
it should be explained at some point
that that's what happens when you
get beaned.

My fears and anxiety rode easily away
on the 30 mile an hour wind of the
night... but my perception of how
10-under baseball would be better
took a blow.

Pitching. Unless you've got a kid
that age who's got the natural ability
to throw strikes... well, for any parent
going to watch 10-under ball...
be prepared for walks, aka base-0n-balls.

If tee-ball is about picking dandelions and playing
in the dirt... and coaches pitch is about enduring
kids who can't catch/hit/run... 10-under kid-pitch
is about the WALK... 3 hours of them.

Then again, if we're talking about walks,
maybe this is about how the Buccos ruined
baseball in Western Pennsylvania.

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