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Cnliwin Journal, Wifatiioy, May 13,1970
Little League Ball
A few nights ago on my Charlotte television
program, I figured it was time, now at the beginning of
the silly season, to issue a shrill cry against the more
obnoxious Little League parents who have turned what
seemed to be a very good idea to begin with in many
cases into a ridiculous experience in vicarious living off
the doings of very small children.
There were a couple of indignant phone calls which
insinuated that to criticize Little League activities at all
is tantamount to an attack on Motherhood. But there
was an avalanche of letters from Mamas and Daddies
who agreed that too many Little League parents are,
When one is forced because of the drab unproductiv
ity of his own life to find whatever thrills he can from
the lives of his children, he has a serious problem. And
when parents attempt to force little boys to play and win
beyond their physical and emotional capabilities, then
the resulting trauma is little short of criminal.
The country over, antics of many Little League
parents have been the subject of severe criticism of
child psychologists, coaches and the few sportswriters
with courage enough to speak out about it.
Playing Should Be Fun
Kids ought to have fun playing. Of course, they will
play to win, but if they lose or strike out with the bases
loaded it ought not be viewed with seriousness like a
professional manager might see the same incident
involving one of his play for pay adults.
To be brutally brutal, when we were kids all adults
were considered natural enemies, and we would not
have welcomed anybody's Dad onto our ball field, nor
for that matter, in our tree house or our swimmin' hole
or anywhere else. Kids were kids, and we wanted the
older folks to keep their distance and they did.
In recent years it has been argued that Pops ought
to be pals and buddies with their sons. I cannot
imagine my father as a pal. He was a fugure of
To argue that Daddy-buddies can know more about
their kids and do more with them is answered by the
incontrovertible fact that my Daddy could control me
completely, and I had an awesome and affectionate
respect for him until the day he died.
Familiarity breeds contempt. In my boyhood there
was a stern line between kids and adults which neither
crossed, and we didn't have much trouble with each
Everyone Should Play
But times do change, and if now it is a good thing to
take the play away from kids and dress them in
uniforms and have some adult supervise their every
move from the time they pick up their first ball.. .okay!
But let all the little boys play.
We used to choose up sides and each team had to
have its share of the little ones and the poor players.
Sometimes when a boy was really small someone else
was allowed to take his last strike, but in the event of a
hit the little one would do the base running.
It was fun. and it really didn't matter who won. We
all tried to win, but the next day the teams would all be
Believe me, I have nothing against junior baseball. I
know that many sicere and well meaning people devote
untold hours of time and effort and considerable money
to it, hoping they are helping boys. I hope they are
accomplishing just that.
But on the old neighborhood pickup teams there
were no broken hearts because everyone played, and
there were no recriminations if someone failed in the
clutch. It was, after all, just for fun.
So, hoping the parents will behave with restraint,
hooray for the Little League season which begins soon.
And, incidentally, hooray for the millions which have
been made selling equipment and national certification
for all these good-time, little boy fun Ujams.
of the South |
• ♦ StL
■' -1 Bk^l
DAVIE SHOT STAR Alan Barger
placed second in the North-South Pied
mont Conference track meet in the shot
put. Barger won the NPC meet, and he
Davie To Defend
Track Title Saturday
James Ijames led all sewing
in pacing Davie County's track
team to a third place finish in
the North-South Piedmont Con
ference track meet at North
Rowan last week.
Ijames will again lead the
Rebels in the Western North
Carolina High School Activities
Association track meet on Sat
urday at the North track.
Ijames placed second to Boy
den High s Roger Jackson in
both hurdles events, won the 100
and tied for fifth in the 220 in the
Davie County's sophomore
Andy Atwell triumphed in the
mile in a time of 4:44.5, edging
Boy den's Coleman Ramsey by
two-tenths of a second in an
Other records were broken by
Boyden's strong Robert
Pulliam in the shot put, Kan
napolis' Ronnie League in the
discus, Lexington's Joe Mason
in the 440, and Kannapolis'
Benny Bishop in the 880.
Boyden 107 Mi
Davie County 58Vfc
East Rowan 57
North Rowan 51
South Rowan l«
West Rowan g
North Stanly 8
North Davidson 2
South Iredell 1
Central Davidson 1
will be a threat in the Association meet on
Saturday at North Rowan. (Photo by
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B -• ,^» s 5'
5 Lewis Koontz - Randy Renegar
For Energeacy Repairs, Tueeeps,
Water Pomps, Starters, Etc.
7:30 A.M. To 12 Nooa
I Yadkiaville Hwy.