Every year as I watch the Little League World Series my mind goes back to that time of relative innocence when the most pressing concern was if my Little League game may be rained out. On game days, the days were long. I would put my uniform on either right before or immediately after lunch and then…wait. We played on a skin infield and the lights were pretty bad, but to me it was like playing in the big leagues. I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark! Our uniforms had “Cubs” on the front and Vincent Ford on the back. All the teams in our league had to get sponsors for uniforms since most parents couldn’t afford them. If you take the set in the movie “Sandlot” and somehow insert Brownsville, Kentucky (population 600) in the early ‘60’s, you then will be able to visualize my incredible youth baseball experience.
I’m still a Little Leaguer at heart, but I’m mature enough to be thankful for my coach, David Webb, my parents, the umpires, the volunteers who drug the field and yes, our car dealership sponsor, Vincent Ford. As I have said many times, and repeat in the Intentional Walk article towards the end of this edition of Inside Pitch, I’m happier when I’m thankful.
Since I’m on the topic of the wonders of youth baseball, I must mention that the American Baseball Coaches Association is not just about a phenomenal convention each January, the ABCA also provides great opportunities to grow as a college, high school, travel ball or youth coach. Andrew Bartman represents the ABCA as the Youth Liaison. If you are a travel ball or youth coach and need support or would like to explore how to become certified as a coach, Andrew would love to hear from you. Whether you coach 7 year olds or 17 year olds, contact “Bart” and get plugged in to all the ABCA is doing for youth and travel coaches. You may reach him by calling (336) 821-3148 or shooting an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to hear from you if you have suggestions for articles or ideas about improving our content. It’s always good to hear from our subscribers and ABCA members. We are excited now to be providing six issues per year…more baseball, more information and, hopefully, more inspiration. Thanks to technology, we have staff in Alabama, California, North Carolina and Kentucky. We want to be engaged with amateur baseball coaches, players and fans world-wide. We have subscribers in all 50 states and in five different countries. We are thankful…and happy!