It's spring of 2020 and everything is shut down, including baseball. So here is my hot take... this is exactly what baseball needed!
Let me first be clear... I'm not saying we needed this virus and I wish this breakout never happened. But sometimes we just need to look at the bright side of things. So let me explain why I think this shutdown (not the virus) might be the best thing to happen to baseball!
Baseball and particularly youth baseball as gotten so far off track it's not even funny. Trust me, I have fallen into the trap of why my 6u player needs to be on a select traveling team and If I don't, my kid will never make it in baseball!! I know what it is like. When I look back at that time, I feel like I really missed out on creating a love for the game with my son and instead I probably created fear and high expectations in a kid that all he wanted to do is play ball.
It's more than youth baseball though, let me remind everyone where we left off:
- Astros Cheating Scandal
- Parents Fighting at Youth Baseball Games
- Youth Sports Billion Dollar Industry
- Playing Year Round and Injuries
- Sports Collecting - Not just for kids anymore
You can kinda see where I am going with this. The baseball I remember as a kid is far from the baseball I see now.
The focus has used to be kids just loving the game and playing and if you are good enough you get to play longer.
So that is why I say this break from baseball across the board is exactly what we need. Let's forget youth sports, forget the steroids or cheating, forget the millions of dollars. Those things aren't what made this game great and won't make it any greater in the long run.
"So you're saying not having baseball will help make it great?"
No. I think I'm saying, not having any organized baseball helps us focus on why we fell in love with the game in the first place. Here are a few ways how:
- Just go play catch. Just play catch and talk life. Some of my favorite baseball movies end with a simple catch with dad (The Natural, Field of Dreams and Sandlot).
- Find a way to play. Remember when there wasn't practice every night of the week? You finished your homework and then grabbed your friends and played some form of baseball out in the street. For fun.
- Go through those old baseball cards. It's fun to show your kids your old cards and talk about the players you watched as a kid.
- Check out the history of baseball. Knowing the history of the sport gives you a better appreciation of the game.
- Find a way to give back. It's really cool to see major leaguers give back, especially during this time of need. How can you help the baseball community?
With all that said... I can't wait to have baseball back.
I love watching it and love watching my kid play and I'm not the perfect sports parent. But my hope is during this break we take time to slow down and reflect on the game we love and why we love it. And after this break, we stop contributing to things that bring it down but rather focus on continuing to make it great!
Check out what Keep Baseball Great is all about:
- Ignore These 5 Things and You Will Ruin Baseball
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