More response on spring weather and high school baseball, and one outspoken reader who believes life was better, and more fun, when things were simpler.

In particular, we would like to share the response of one reader who voiced his opinion about our April 8th column on how they play high school baseball in Iowa (in the summer), and why. Our thanks to Gregory Layman for taking the time to express his thoughts with such obvious conviction. With two small exceptions, his words are being presented unedited:

“To Press Pros…I’m writing to disagree with your statement that baseball would be better if played during the summer months, because the weather is nicer, it would be more comfortable for the players, etc.

I disagree because our summers are too busy to begin with. There is very little time for families as it is, whether you take vacations, or just to be together at home. To me this is special time for bonding and creating memories, time that passes by everyone sooner than they realize.

We don’t need year-round sports, and if I had a son who played baseball I would object to two months of (mandatory) baseball just for the sake of warm weather. It may sound selfish, I feel that strongly that we would have better lives if we just made ourselves less busy and stressed. Kids need time to be kids, and down time where there are no schedules and obligations. When school starts it’s fine to play, but when school is out I think it’s time for wholesome family activity.

Thank you for this opportunity.” …. Gregory Layman

(Ed. Note: I’m very familiar with the argument for family time, and I share your opinion that time passes very quickly, regardless of how you spend your summer. Family time is important, but family time is also something that traditionally has been scheduled around the activities of the kids, at least with most of the people I’ve known. But to clarify, no one is advocating that your summer be crammed with more sports. But if you had a son who played baseball, loved baseball, and wanted the best opportunity to play, why would you object to him playing in conditions that are comfortable and safer from injury? After all, we’re doing this for the sake of the kids, right? RIGHT? Why would you not want conditions commensurate with football and basketball? Football is not played in 100 degree heat (without extreme precautions), and basketball is not played outdoors in mid-winter. And…if baseball did interfere with a family weekend at the lake, I suspect that your son would be just fine if he preferred to stay home and play. And if you’ve done the wholesome job of parenting that I envision, I don’t think he’d be drinking beer, smoking pot, or having girls over without your consent…if that’s what you fear. I think this is what Dr. Phil might say; and I hope we can continue to respectfully disagree.)

“I’ve never seen your website before my son sent me this article about playing baseball in the summer. So I’ll tell you what I think. I think the entire idea of high school sports has outgrown its value to the kids. You can’t just play for the fun of playing anymore. You have to be dedicated to winning the league or state championship and committed year-round. There is no time between seasons anymore because the seasons have been expanded because more games mean more revenue. I will share with you that my two boys played high school football and basketball 25 years ago, they never won a league championship, never played in the state tournament, and the fun they had and friends they made are just as good as you can have today by working your a– off to earn a college scholarship.” … Mike Whisman

“The important thing to remember is everything in life is about change.  Just because we’ve always played a sport in one particular season shouldn’t mean that we’re opposed to consider doing it differently.  Baseball would be no different than life itself.  I know.  I’ve been married three times.”  …  Tim Shanks

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