Kids not only don’t play baseball as much but they do not know the rules. I guess those things go hand in hand.
On Saturday I went to the Nick Fairley kickball event in Dearborn Heights and watched a bunch of kids play a couple games. My son B was part of the crowd, sneaking his way into one of the games beforeo we had to go.
Kick ball has the same rules as baseball, except the pitcher rolls the ball to the plate and kids kick the ball rather than hit it with a bat. The children were ages 8-12 and you would think they’d know the rules. We did at that age because we played baseball. The modern day kids had no concept of tagging up. They ran every time the ball was hit. Of course there were a lot of double play balls because often fly balls were caught and the kids were doubled off.
But that was only after Lion players told outfielders to throw the ball to first to double off the runner who was still rounding second headed for third on a routine fly ball.
I know what some of you are saying. But they are kids. That is no excuse. Or maybe that is the sign of the times. We had a basic concept of baseball at an early age. We were playing almost daily pick up games by age 7. Now you see kids almost twice our age with no idea on how to play baseball.
Get these same kids on a basketball court and they know the rules.
Baseball remains a great sport. It is simply slipping away from us. Fewer kids play. Fewer kids watch and fewer kids care. Something must be done to push the sport more. My kids are into soccer but there is a group of 8-10 of them that play whiffle ball in our neighbor’s backyard. They know the rules and how to tag up and tag people out.
It is our little oasis and I am glad they get the sport. Of course it helps that our neighbor is Molly Coldren, Central Michigan University’s all-time home run hitter in softball.
Baseball needs to make a come back. Do not let it die.