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FROM THE NOSEBLEEDS

A TRUE FAN VIEW PRODUCTION

Tag Archives: kids

Baseball is in decline. The important numbers say so.  Football is king.

Let’s take the above as gospel.  I’m not here to debate the why or how.  Yesterday I sat with my wife and two young sons at Minute Maid Park. For those three and a half hours none of baseball’s issues mattered.

My family and 22 thousand diehard fans watched a very entertaining game that in the grand scheme of the season will mean nothing.  It had home runs, controversial calls and great plays. When the Astros bases loaded rally in the ninth fell just short you would have thought it was Game 7 of the World Series.

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We were at the game for the 1st Annual Astros Little League Day.  Kids in the area who play Little League were given a free ticket and parents were able to buy tickets at a discount.  The players and coaches were allowed to walk the field pre-game, and the kids got to run the bases afterwards. The smiles on the faces of those kids were priceless.  Kudos to the new Astros regime for starting this.

I watched my son and his buddies from our Little League team scream for autographs from players 99 percent of even hardcore baseball fans have never heard of and may never hear of.  I saw my three year old scream “CHARGE” and become mesmerized by the train atop the stadium when the Astros hit a home run.  My wife, whose interest in sports comes from watching our children play them always enjoys a day at the ballpark.

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Baseball is about nostalgia.  It lingers in all of us.  The sights, the sounds, the smells never leave us from the time we attended our first ballgame.  Every time I step in a baseball stadium I remember the great times I had as a kid at the Astrodome.  Walking up the ramp to look out from center field and see rainbow colored seats sprinkled throughout the ballpark.  Spending summer days with my buddy.  First to Astroworld, then to a “Business Man’s Special” game at the Dome for $1, then right back to Astroworld.

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Baseball is a sport linked to family and tradition.  You remember playing catch with your dad or brother as a kid.  You haven’t forgotten playing homerun derby with your friends.  You used all nine innings of those days at the ballpark to interrogate the unfortunate soul who decided to bring you along. Why did they bunt?  You think you could hit a home run?  Can I get some nachos?

Some argue baseball has too many games and they are probably right. I used that to my advantage and had a great day with my family.

I coach my son’s baseball teams today and see baseball is being passed down to another generation.  America’s Pastime isn’t dead just yet.

KMik

LP, TX

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As a child I remember the feeling of being part of a team. It was the greatest feeling in the world at the time. For a moment I wasn’t me and my friends weren’t them. We were Hakeem, Ralph, Chevis, McCray, and Sweet Lou. We were Glenn Davis, Alan Ashby, Dickie Thon, Kevin Bass, and Billy Hatcher. In the fall and winter we were Warren Moon, Ernest Givins, Haywood Jefferies, Mike Rozier, and Webster Slaughter. We played as if we were in the Astrodome or the Summit. We played as if H.S.E. and its crews were broadcasting our games. We played.

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As I’ve grown as an adult and a parent I’ve realized a very disturbing trend. The games and sports children play these days have little to do with them. Instead of a child playing the games he or she chooses out of a love and passion for the sport, they play for their parents. This shouldn’t be considered a bad thing if it’s the child’s choice to play for their parents. I’ve seen less “want to” and witnessed more and more “have to” in these children. It saddens me. It angers me. It worries me.

By no means am I going to tell parents how to raise their children. I respect that they are the parents of their children. Who am I to suggest they are doing the wrong thing by forcing their child to play a sport when it’s so obvious the child doesn’t enjoy it? It isn’t my place to tell a parent, “It’s a shame you’re more interested in the team’s win, than the effort of your child.” I could do this, but again, who am I? It gets harder and harder for me to stand by while fathers belittle their sons for missing a ground ball in front a large crowd.

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It’s also getting tougher to sit in the stands next to the parents who think the officials at a junior high game are on the take and aren’t calling it both ways. Once the game is over these parents feel the need to follow Mr. Official to let him know “he shouldn’t be officiating”. It’s frustrating. When the game becomes bigger than a child’s development in said game, it becomes a problem. And this problem has spread like pythons in Florida, it happens everywhere.

The beautiful thing about sports is its ability to build confidence in a child. The ability to support and create and unbreakable bond with our children might be its best attribute. Don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say here. I do believe in instilling discipline. I do believe in making children accountable. If handled the right way these lessons will be absorbed and a competitive edge in our children can be created.

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Maybe we can witness our children playing not because they “want to”, but because they LOVE to.

Manny Palomarez

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