Little League Baseball
I would like to cheer all the kids who did not make it to the Little League Baseball World Series.
When I was growing up just outside West Philadelphia in Yeadon in the 1940s and ’50s, I played baseball all summer long.
I played stick ball on the macadam streets, wall ball against the movie theatre rear wall, pick up baseball on the local ballfield with my own equipment and no umpires.
I was fortunate to have an older brother who hit to me all kinds of fungo fly balls for hours.
I don’t see kids playing baseball on the ballfield a block from my home that I walk by regularly.
In addition, I played in an organized baseball league, the Eastern Delaware County (EDCO) boys club, for ages 12 to post-college age. We had “pass the hat” paid umpires.
There was an all-star game with the first-place team playing a select group from the other teams. But we played all summer long, with no let up from the time school let out to the day before school started again.
I went on to play in college and my brother went on to play minor league baseball at one point on the same team as future hall of famer Orlando Cepeda.
Little League provides glamour and excitement with huge spectator crowds, being on TV and the chance to play against teams from all over the world.
But do kids have the chance to enjoy baseball the way I did?
So baseball gets in the blood. Even without manicured fields, and ESPN and Goodyear blimps.
All it really takes to enjoy the game is a place, a ball, bat and gloves and some kids who love the game.
So, cheers to all who play the game.