A coach that I knew had a JV club that was a great team in the making. His pitchers were very young but showed better than average potential. He wanted to continue their interest and enthusiasm so he posted all kinds of tryout information for summer leagues in the locker room.
By chance, I came into possession of some game tickets for a minor league club that was a few hours drive from where he lived. So, I offered the tickets to him and his young pitchers. In addition, I contacted the minor leagues pitching coach and asked if he could see to it that the kids got a good lookat the bull pen activity and maybe if he had some time – talk to the kids. “sure, no problem” —great!
About halfway through that summer I met my friend and asked him how the experience go for the kids? This is what happened.
The park was an older structure of wooden beams and flat seats. Not much on comfort but big on minor league sights and aromas. The kids and their dads fit right into the grove … but the moms were expecting a little more class. All the moms wore dresses which didn’t exactly fit the bill, and the various stains on the stadium seats didn’t help matters any. One mother seemed to ordain herself as queen bee – spokeswomen for the rest. Things did seem to simmer down a bit when the hometown club took the field and the pitchers were in the bullpen. Queen bee remarked to my friend… “what a fine group of young boys they have there”.
The first inning had some quick action and it kept everyone spellbound. However, after that things kind of fell apart. When the kids turned their attention to the bullpen then saw a few of the players poking pencils and paper through a wire fence trying to get the phone numbers from some girls in the parking lot, and a couple of guys had reached into their uniform pants and were comparing cups, another guy was clipping his toenails, one was reading comic books, and still others were playing Rock – Paper – Scissors.
I couldn’t help but come up with some sort of apology, but my friend just shrugged the thing off. He said the mom’s left right after that leaving the dads, the kids and myself watching the game. I expressed concern about the kid’s experience, for which I was told the only thing the kids had to say was….” Is this great or what!”