The latest reader responses to Press Pros content since mid-April, with opinions, pro and con, on summer baseball…sports and the pandemic…and umpiring war stories (above). Enjoy the latest installment of ‘The Reader Speaks’.
Without a doubt the majority of reader response since the April installment of TRS centered on our column from April 24 (When Do You Believe?) and the subsequent post a few days later on playing high school baseball in the summer (Kicking The Can Down The Road).
What strikes us is the obvious passion that people have for their convictions over these topics, that and a sense that no one is either listening, or engaged to find a solutions that don’t fit a mainstream agenda.
First, on what you believe about what the media reports:
“Regarding your post of April 24, I’m writing to tell you that I enjoyed the article – well written. And to your point about popular opinion concerning the Coronavirus, it is my own opinion that this is actually NOT going away anytime soon. The OHSAA may be damned if they do, or don’t, but at some point very soon they’ll be forced to make a decision about when and how to play, and that will probably divide people. Sports falls on the side of opening the state to do business, and sports, competition, and sportsmanship is an important element to the educational process, and the OHSAA and local schools rely on games and ticket sales to open the doors and turn on the lights. Like with opening the rest of the state for commerce, if we don’t make a decision at some point to do that we face the almost certain loss of our economy, our way of life, including sports, and our schools. We live in a culture of business and it’s all we know. Our standard of living is built upon living freely and without fear and we have no choice but to live freely in order to live at all. And while people concern themselves over the physical figures of confirmed cases and loss of life, there appears to be little concern over the threat of an emotional crisis and loss of confidence to just live. I enjoy your site.” … Kenneth Giles
“Seems to me that not being able to traipse around the state in search of stories has given Press Pros more time to relax and write. The quality of your writing has moved up to a new level of greatness. I pray that high school football season is not affected by this virus. Stay healthy and best wishes.” … Cris Cron
“We will rise to the occasion, as we always have. But to your point of trusting what you read and hear in the media, the sides are so obviously biased that it’s nearly impossible to know what to believe. Even science seems to have fallen on one side or the other.” … Daniel Flynn
While it was not the first time we’d written on the topic, our May 1st column on warmer baseball brought a record number of responses:
“‘We say we’re in this for the kids, but that’s a lie. We do what’s convenient for administrators and the school schedules.’ The truth, in this case, deserves something more than anonymity.” … Terry Greenwald
“Given that no one can make a good and obvious decision on when to play baseball, I think it’s time to take it out of the hands of the OHSAA and make high school baseball an independent sport with an independent championship. If it’s a matter of revenue, leave the revenue sports to the OHSAA and play baseball (and softball) under the direction of people who believe those who play those sports have equal value and deserve equal conditions. If better decisions are made on behalf of the kids I believe that revenues can be raised, along with an increase in support for baseball. NO ONE cares when it’s freezing outside.” … Tom Gesselman
“There’s no reason why basketball games should cost $6 and baseball games should be free. Just play it when people can justify watching.” … Randy Mote
“In my senior year of high school baseball, we had to practice in the basketball gym several times because of the wet, cold weather. Our first game of the season (1965), the game was cancelled after one inning because it snowed so hard, and the home plate umpire said he couldn’t see the left fielder. In another game, we had it all in one game…blue sky, bright sun and snow. But we played that game til the end. We even played a game or two after we were eliminated in the tournament because we wanted to get in as many games as possible [we wanted to play].” … Dennis Parks (Columbus)
“When I was still involved in public schools I asked the OHSAA about high school baseball in June. Their reply was that the American Legion coaches would not like it. What? Who cares? Are we doing what’s best for high school baseball or the what’s best for the American Legion?” … Larry Wilberding
“Once again, we’ve taken a perfectly good thing and screwed it up over the politics of the school districts. There’s no reason that baseball has to interfere with prom, graduation, or working a summer job. And if someone had asked me if I’d be willing to play after I graduated high school I would have played all summer.” … Jerry Manning
“It makes sense to me that if we’re changing our way of life to adapt to changes in climate, that baseball should be at the head of the list of changes. If this is not so, I don’t want more BS about how we all have to sacrifice.” … Jason Kosta
On a different note, many wrote in to share a smile and a story of their own after our minor league umpiring story on April 29 (A Call For Redemption):
“This article reminds me of the time I was umpiring at Piqua Fountain Park. I had the plate and the infamous Huber “Doc” Staley had the bases. The pitcher had finished his warm-ups between innings and I couldn’t find Doc. I stalled as long as I could, then he steps out from that light tower down the first base line where he was enjoying a Camel. Love reading Press Pros.” … Ronald Mescher
“The thought did cross my mind as I read the article…was Jim Napier (the ejected manager) smoking a Lucky Strike? What a great story.” … David Waller
(Ed. Note: The thought never crossed my mind, and it should have. I’ve made a note of it for future edits. It does add something.)
Finally, sometimes we get letters and emails without an issue. Some people just like to read Press Pros:
“I’m a ‘new’ regular reader. I had seen some previous articles when they involved Fort Loramie, but didn’t sign on regularly until we began having so much time on our hands (coronavirus). Everyone is allowed their opinion I guess, so I’ll express mine and tell you it has been a treat to start my day reading your posts. Keep it up, and thank you for what you do.” … Sue Kaufman (Fort Loramie)
(Ed. Note: Thanks for the kind words, Sue. And from our experience, for keeping a very nice basketball book, as well.)