Lets go out to a real ballpark

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 30, 2000

Sports Editor

I’ve been spending more an more time out at the little league ballparks as of late and if you don’t go on a regular basis you might want to think about making the time to.

I’ve always been a fan of little league ball. Ever since I got into this business a little over three years ago I always felt better about putting a picture of a little leaguer in the paper than anything else.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He might not have been an All-Star or might never play on the varsity team in high school, but for that one day that he appeared on my page he was sports news and that’s pretty cool in my book.

Of course there are SO MANY kids and so little time. One can get consumed if you try to take all of it in, but I’ve learned that I just about have to spend at least eight or nine hours a week out there and that’s mainly because I’m addicted.

This stuff is more fun than going to a Braves game. Heck the World Series would be boring in comparison to some of these battles.

The kids and parents all keep up with the standings in their individual leagues and know which team is THE TEAM to beat. This is serious business folks and if you don’t think there is some scouting going on even in some of the minor leagues, you’ve got another thing coming.

These coaches come to other team’s games just to check out their pitchers or try and find a weakness in their infield.

Sometimes that starts to worry me. When people get to serious I start worrying about whether or not the kids are actually having fun. It can get to be a job instead of a fun time out playing ball.

Still, that’s all part of the ball park atmosphere. It wouldn’t be near as fun to watch if you didn’t see a coach or two throw his hat down in disgust over a call or a parent screaming at the top of their lungs.

We crave the competition and we savor the funny little bits of gossip that float around a ball field. Heck, it gives all the parents and family something to chew on between innings.

I’m just a people-watcher at heart too. I love to watch the kids make great plays, but I almost like watching that proud parent strut after said kid made a diving stop at short.

You don’t have to know anyone to enjoy one of these games. They are almost guaranteed to amuse, astound and entertain you. Yeah, there are errors and some little league mistakes around ever corner, but that’s all part of the fun. If you can’t laugh or enjoy that something is wrong with you.

That’s why I say that you can go spend the day watching little league and have just as much fun as you could in Atlanta. Oh, and last time I checked the cokes weren’t $4 and the hotdogs are a dollar.