Our blog from last week on the state of amateur baseball drew swift response from readers in the area and from around the state…who took the time to share their own opinion on the state of a boys game that in the words of one, “is just too simple for the times.” A second letter posted today, simply says, “selfishness and the pursuit of the almighty dollar” will eventually kill high school baseball.”
As we opened with in Wednesday’s front page feature, a number of readers have taken the time to respond to the June 2 column entitled, The Elephant In The Room…And The Future Of High School Baseball.
We post the second letter of three chosen to share today, from a reader across the river, near Greenup, Kentucky, who says…”whatever it is they got against baseball must be catchin’.”
Dear Press Pros: I like Hal McCoy and I read his stories on your website, along with the stories you write about the Wheelersburg Pirates, Gene Bennett, Al Oliver and the state tournaments in Ohio.
But the story you wrote last week (the elephant in the room), and your concerns about a future for high school baseball, hit the nail right on the head. The problem is, I got nothing against the nail. The people that should be hit on the head are school administrators, athletic directors, and coaches who talk out of both sides of their mouth, saying they’re doing things for the good of the kids, and all kids, at that. This is a day when you have to be fair to everyone.
But they don’t mean it, because in Kentucky there’s definitely a different set of priorities for baseball and softball, compared to football and basketball. Whatever it is they got against baseball must be catchin’. And yet, they say they’re doing the best things for kids.
They tell them now if they choose to play baseball in the spring and summer then don’t bother coming out for football and basketball in the winter because they need to be working to be a part of those teams with the others lifting and playing basketball. That’s not right to put pressure on kids to make a choice, because a lot of them want to play the other sports to be with their friends, but baseball is the sport they love the best.
You can follow the money in this. They sell tickets for football and basketball games. Baseball games are free. Football gets eleven weeks to compete. Basketball gets fifteen. Baseball gets six. If there was an earthquake during the state basketball tournament they’d move heaven and earth to get it in. If there’s an earthquake during the baseball tournament they might cancel it.
Selfishness and the pursuit of the almighty dollar will eventually kill high school baseball. But kids who play baseball deserve the same consideration as those who play football and basketball. Don Gullett was a great high school athlete in Kentucky and scored 70 points in a football game one night. Then he went on to have a great career as a pitcher with the Reds. But there’s still people who shake their heads and say they wish he’d a played football, instead.