I’ve always thought that Little League is insane, demented, crazy as a loon, out of its tree, whatever synonyms one can think of, and this proves it. The only reason I can think of for this unheaard-of rule is to avoid the big inning, you know, seven, eight, ten runs—and therefore to avoid the “mercy” rule, which stipulates that if one team does score ten runs the game is over—whichever comes first.
I do have one suggestion, and unpleasant though it might be, it may be the only way to demonstrate how ridiculous this rule is: never mind the batting order. Instruct all your players to take everything that’s thrown at them. They go up to bat, and no matter what the pitch, they are NOT to swing. Just stand there in the batter’s box and do nothing. Now, if the other team’s pitchers don’t know how to find the strike zone, the result will be a festival of bases on balls and maybe a hit batter or two—those pitchers will walk the ball park and walk the ball park and walk the ball park. And you guys will get your runs that way.
I can just picture how the umpire behind the plate will react: “Ball one”, “ball two”, “ball three”, “Ball four”—over and over and over again, ad nauseam. And this reminds me of a very funny—and true—story about what happened back in the early 1950s.
You know the balk rule and its proviso that if there’s a runner or runners on base it’s a balk if the pitcher fails to come to a complete stop of one second before delivering the pitch. Well, the Yankee pitchers had been getting away with murder, just coming to a slight hesitation. Well, in 1952, I believe it was, the umpires decided to enforce the rule, and one day when Vic Raschi was pitching, and he came to that slight hesitation not once, but four times, and each time he was called for a balk. He was ready to scream—but Allie Reynolds managed to calm him down and said that he would put a stop to it.
Reynolds was pitching the next day, and there was at one point a runner on first. He got the ball—and he held it and held it and held it. Then he called time, stepped off the mound, went to the rosin bag and futzed with it for a minute or so—and then got back on the rubber and held on to the ball for what seemed an eternity. By now the plate umpire was getting very restless, even a little exasperated, and he went out to the mound and asked Reynolds, "Why don’t you throw the ball?"
Reynolds: “I’m afraid to.” Allie Pierce Reynolds, who was not afraid of anything.
Umpire: "What do you mean, you’re afraid to throw the ball?"
Reynolds: "Because if I let go of the ball you’re going to call me for a balk."
The umpire spluttered and then burst out laughing. Then he decreed that for the rest of the season the Yankee pitchers, and ONLY the Yankee pitchers, would be permitted to come to that slight hesitation when pitching from the stretch.
The following season everybody paid attention to the balk rule.