us now follow this young man from childhood to his Major League Baseball
tryout. We will focus as much on the player on the field as on
the ball field itself. This young man had a better baseball experience and
also invested in every community where ever he found himself.
For most young men the initial interest and dream to play
baseball comes from a mom or dad. And so it was here. This young man had
a dad who as a youth played baseball summer and winter. Sunshine or snow.
The dad had played to his heart’s content… till a high school
baseball field caused an injury that shutdown any hopes for future competitive
This dad still loved to throw a ball and hit fungos to
the fence. So when his first born son came along, so did wiffle balls,
baseballs, bats, and gloves. As the dad and the son started to play catch
in the back yard, the dad noticed his little guy had quite an ability
to throw and he hit his target dead on. By the time this young man was
six he was convinced he wanted to be a pitcher.
So off to little league he went. Now the sports complex
where they played had 5 baseball fields. They were used by teams from
age 5 to 18 and ranged in size and quality. Now the baseball field
where this young man started was known at the time as the ‘arm pit
of Citrus Heights’. In other words, this baseball field
absolutely sucked. It was an all dirt infield with lumps and bumps, and
had an outfield of knee high weeds hiding holes all over the place.
Such was this young
man’s humble initiation into organized baseball. He was having fun
and a poor field just wasn’t going to get in his way… until
the awful events when he was 13. At that time he was having his best year
ever at the plate and on the mound. But a disgusting field injury
ruined his chance to make his first all-star team.
You probably know
that this is the age group where baseball has its biggest drop in participation.
Around age 13-14. Baseball is competing against lots of other distractions
and interests for guys this age. The sport gets more competitive as you
get older. And it is harder to make a team as you get older.
The last thing I want
is a ball field induced injury to cause a promising player to be discouraged
and hang up the spikes. That is just so sad. But it doesn’t have
to be that way.
In the next article
I’ll tell you about this young man’s injury and I’ll
also tell you seven horror stories others have shared with me. These are
stories of baseball fields gone bad that have caused
injuries, aches, broken hearts, and wasted time and money.
It’s a good
thing this young man and his baseball experience eventually had a happy
ending. Will yours be a player with a winning ball field?
here to find out what you can do to create a winning baseball field.