9 year old banned from playing baseball

Here is 9 year old Jericho Scott.  He used to play baseball in New Haven, Conn.  He has been banned from playing.  He was told he’s to good to play and he should play somewhere else because he scares the other kids.

Right now there is steam coming out of my ears.  REALLY.  I wouldn’t kid you about this.  Apparently he can throw a ball 40 miles and hour.  He has never hit anyone and has never broken a rule.  They told him he had to play another position and could no longer pitch so when he took to the mound last week, the other team packed up their gear and went home.

Okay first…oh, I don’t even know what to say first.  Calm down…deep breath….Let’s start with Jericho.  How does this make him feel?  He said he felt sad.  He’s no different than the other 9 year olds.  He wants to play with his peers and his own friends.  Second, how do you tell him he can’t play to his potential or he’ll get kicked off the team?  How do you tell a child not to do their best?

My boys played baseball at a level that at times, I didn’t like.  It was so cut throat to me.  When they were 10, they tried out to make what was called The Majors.  When Jason was 10, there were over 180 10 year olds that tried out with only 16 making it.  Each team took two 10 year olds.  He made it and it was a tough league to play.  Toby also made it though his class wasn’t as large as Jason’s.  Then they played on that team until they graduated to the next level.  If you didn’t “make” any of those teams, you still played but were on The Minors. 

Every kid that tried out really wanted to make it.  Let me tell you, these kids were good.  We were talking about this last night and Toby said “remember “so and so,” I was always scared of hitting off him.”  So this is nothing new.  Kids that shouldn’t have been on that league, weren’t.  This league is some kind of a developmental league but I’m not sure yet what that means.  If the kids can’t hit against this boy or are afraid of him, I don’t feel the answer is to kick him off the team.

I’ve been reading blogs and reading the news on this all day today.  Opinions are varied.  Mine is this, if in his neighborhood league, there is no option of him playing “higher” up with his own peers and in his own neighborhood, then I feel he should be allowed to play in this league at whatever position he chooses to play.  People have said “put him with older kids” but that can’t work for many reasons.  Baseball little league rules state age and where you live as a requirement.  You could play on a team where you didn’t live but you could not be on any “All Star” type teams.  On All Star Teams and State Teams, they all go according to age and where you live.  Our neighborhood little league had this option but where I live now doesn’t.  So a lot of how this works depends on your parks and little league options.

I also believe that all kids need to learn facts of life like this.  There is always someone bigger and there are always going to be people that your scared of but you don’t just quit.  What does that say?  Should we also tell our kids not to try their best because if they do, they might be kicked off the team? 

Think if this were reversed and this boy wasn’t “good enough” and was being kicked off.  Would that be any more fair?

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14 Responses to 9 year old banned from playing baseball

  1. novice101 says:

    Who are making up all the rules – the adults. It is the adults who are messing up everything. They are doing it in areas where the kids are suppose to be having fun. What losers we adults are.

  2. SanityFound says:

    This is so so sad, I speechless and saddened that adults can be so ridiculous. That poor boy, what message does this give the other kids I wonder hmm… don’t bother trying you’ll just get kicked off… crapola on toast I say

  3. mssc54 says:

    As a former youth coach I look at this on a three different levels.

    First: This is a recreational league and it is supposed to teach the kids about basic skills of how to play the game. That includes not only hitting and catching but sport’s man ship. They know how to be good winners as well as good loosers.

    Secondly: The attitude of the coaches and other players on the team is crucial in this case. If the coaches have this attitude of hahaha we kicked your butt then the kids will learn that too. I have seen many a coach act like all they need to do is coach like they are coaching at the pro level. It’s like they expect a call from the Yankees if they are such jerks to a bunch of nine year olds! It’s really disgusting.

    Thirdly: The coaches have to control the players parents. All of the parents should be cheering BOTH TEAMS. Granted it is difficult when this kid strikes out every batter but clapping and saying “nice try batter” or “good swing” and especially playing up their accomplishments on defense would help.

    When I coached my dautghter in (ten years and under) fast pitch softball we dominated like this kid is doing. We didn’t loose a single game and I don’t remember anyone getting a hit or her hitting anyone.

    At the start of the season I had a parent/player meeting and expressed to everyone that we were there to learn basic skills of how to play the game, that everyone would have equal time playing and that we were not concerned with our win loss record. Learning the basics of the game was most important and if we win a few games doing so then that was just a bonus.

    My team had a fantastic season. Some adult didn’t handle this thing and now the kid is getting screwed.

    On the other hand this little pitcher may well benefit from playing with older boys.

  4. What an opportunity they are wasting. For the coach, I would think it would be an honor to work with someone who might very well go on to be a superstar in baseball. As fellow players, I would think they might be taught to see it as a great challenge (who can actually get a hit off this guy?) And as fans, to get a chance to watch real talent! I mean, we all watch kids sports and root for everyone, no matter how lousy they play (or at least, we should be supporting them all), but what a treat to get to cheer for genuine ability.

    Poor kid. I hope he doesn’t get discouraged, because someday he will find a team/coach/league that will appreciate him.

  5. SKL says:

    I feel really bad for this boy and his team, but even worse for the lost opportunity to teach the other kids about sportsmanship and about the realities of sports.

    First of all, everybody loses sometimes! There’s aways someone better, unless you’re Mohammad Ali. It is an honor to have a chance to try to hit against a great pitcher, even if you strike out. You get a chance to see what real pitching is, and maybe learn a few pointers for your own game.

    Secondly, if the point of this league is to teach kids what baseball is, it seems rather pointless to shield them from the reality that pitchers are “supposed” to pitch balls that nobody can hit! They are lucky most kids haven’t honed their pitching skills to that level, but it’s great to have the experience with one who has.

    Parents are completely wasting their children’s opportunity to learn so many things. I feel this is part of a trend – a scary trend. The head that stands above the crowd gets cut off – sound familiar? Everything must be reduced to the lowest common denominator so that the least motivated kids can succeed and feel – what – motivated? Hmm. I am getting really sick of this attitude. If, as a child, I worked harder on the right things, I deserved to reap the rewards. Likewise in adulthood. If parents shield their kids from this reality in childhood, what kind of adults will they grow up to be?

    As for the boy in question, I feel he is in the sport for social reasons as well as to develop athletically, and therefore requiring him to quit or move to an older league is not fair to him. I also feel it could be dangerous for him – just because he throws a mean fast ball for a 9-year-old doesn’t mean he can compete at a higher level in all respects. Hopefully his family will help him to figure out how best to maintain his talents without being excluded socially.

  6. Just a Mom says:

    I am with you Joy! This whole story stinks! This is the result of trying to make everybody “Feel Good” about themselves. One side wins, one side loses that is how it works. If the kid is a good pitcher he deserves to be on the mound!
    Both of my girls play softball. My oldest plays fast-pitch and they are FAST! She even got hit in the ribs once and had what the girls call “Stitches” for 2 days. (Stitches are when you can see the ball’s seams on your skin and the girls are rather proud of them.) We didn’t ban the girl from pitching.
    My youngest’s team went undefeated last season. We were proud of them because they were very good winners. No other team walked off because they knew they were probably going to lose, they played their little hearts out trying to beat us instead.
    I hope they fix this situation for all of the kids!

  7. vishesh says:

    well well..i might not be over doing it if i say,we have already made another person who might not hate humanity for its stupidity…

    Hmm…guess baseball over there is like cricket here…i hate cricket though…baseball is a nice game to watch..esp,the red sox,lol 😛

  8. nikki says:

    I’m so glad you wrote a post about this Joy. Jason and were watching the news about this boy also and couldn’t believe it. Does anyone see the logic here?? Punish a little boy for being TOO good??? My son’s whole life we have been telling him, play your best, play to your full potential. I can’t even imagine what his parents are thinking. And worse, I can’t imagine how this boy feels!!! To that team who packed up and left…you are teaching your team to give up, they’re not good enough!! What does that say to THOSE kids?? This blows my mind. Right Joy, would it be fair to make a kid who wasn’t good enough to be kicked off? NO!! So how could this be fair?? Tell a kid he’s too good?? Is there such a thing? Not in my opinion. If this were MY child you better believe that Jason and I would be up and arms about this!! Again to the coaches who want him kicked off or positions moved…grow a damn pair!!!

  9. Joy says:

    I knew Jason would be furious over this Nikki. So was Toby. Actually SKL first brought this to my attention and when her email came, Toby was here and we all read it at the same time and NONE of us could believe it. Especially the way they played ball. I think we need to remember that this boy is a child also and nobody seems to be taking how this is affecting him into account. He shouldn’t have to move and he should be able to play with his friends. Parent’s need to get a grip. If their kids can’t hit off him then tell them “way to go, maybe next time.” There were pitchers who my boys couldn’t hit off and we told them as long as they did their best, we were proud of them.

  10. Sue says:

    What is with teaching kids that life has got to be fair all the time. As adults, how often does life treat us “fairly”? There will always be someone better and if you can’t deal with it now how are you going to be able to as an adult? What happened to working hard and trying your best? I feel bad for this kid and I sure hope I don’t become one of those parents who complains to the coaches about every little thing. The kid is good and shouldn’t be penalized for it.

  11. mssc54 says:

    Just a Mom; When my middle daughter was in 8th grade she tried pitching on the JV (fast pitch) team. Saddly she was the best pitcher the team had and she stank!

    One game in particular she hit every single batter! After the game the opposing coach (whom we know) just put his arm around her as we walked of the field and told her that he really admired her for sticking it out and that she did a great job.

    In high school she ended up being the best center fielder they have ever had. She could throw a rope to home plate and made many plays to save the day.

  12. sengdroma says:

    Having my degree in Sport Science from one the world’s leading universities that specialises in this area I agree with “mssc54” comments totally.

    However coming from the UK I find it difficult to understand all the rules involved. I have represented th UK at many sports and for the most part excelled. Yet you could always choose which club to compete for it was not relevant to where you lived. For athletics I chose to join and was accepted into Basildon AC which was a 40 min car drive up the motorway as they were the top club in the county. For Gymnastics as a child from age 4 till 11 at which point I became too “fat” in gymnast terms I was driven over 1 hours drive away from the house again due to prestige.

    So it seems strange to me that this rule is so restrictive. Surely if some one is good enough then they should be allowed to try out and join the club that will stretch their talent. Otherwise they will be hampered.

    No one should be penalized for their ability unfortunately the way the world and government are going they want humans to fit one mould as that makes us all easier to control – if we all think like sheep we are easier to herd.

    Schools and youth teams are becoming more like this – its taking part that counts not winning, yeah right we all know it should be but we all feel the disappointment that comes with losing. To deny that is denying being human and the ability to evolve into something better than we are. I would love to have a kid like that on my team, he is the sort of child that could become a role model if handled and guided well, the kind of child that other children are magnetised to and willing to follow as their captain.

  13. worldwar1letters says:

    I’m really having a hard time understanding why 40 mph is so unbelievable for a 9 year old. My son consistently threw that hard at 9, 50 mph at 10 and now throws 60 at 11. He’s maybe a bit faster than other pitchers, but not by much. There are some that even throw harder. Physical development is hard to predict in this age bracket, but a 40 mph fastball is NOT unhittable nor should be seen as a safety threat. Sounds like the kids need more hitting lessons.

    http://DirtDogBaseball.wordpress.com

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