Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Little League Ballgame....
Take Me Out to the Little League
morning broke bright and early as we dragged our folding lawn
chairs and ourselves to the chain link fence near third base
where my grandson was playing in a Little League baseball game.
If only Little League baseball was not so early, I thought, as I
swigged coffee and tried to wake up.
Some of the parents had been at the ball field for hours already
as the players in the first game of the day wound up their game.
Those were the youngest kids in the league; some of them still
having trouble trying to avoid striking out even in tee-ball,
their little legs barely long enough to run the bases.
What in the world could possess this many people to sit on hard
bleachers on a dusty field when they could be at home mowing the
lawn or doing laundry? On second thought, who wants to do chores
and housework when you have kids as a perfect excuse to avoid
work? As Yogi Berra said: "Little League baseball is a good
thing 'cause it keeps the parents off the streets and it keeps
the kids out of the house."
Little League Baseball is the world's largest youth sports
organization, with approximately 2.8 million players worldwide.
The purpose of the adults is to teach kids sportsmanship,
teamwork, and fair play. The purpose of the kids is to play with
their friends, avoid doing anything embarrassing, and drink
Gatorade. They also learn to study ants crawling across their
shoes while playing outfield, as well as how to chase the hits
that get by them during ant study.
At least some of the kids look like ball players in their new
baseball uniforms as they kick dirt with rubber-spiked shoes,
and remove caps to wipe sweat from their foreheads. We try not
to notice when they stare upward and watch the birds flying over
the field instead of paying attention to the game.
The opposing team stretches a single into a home run when the
shortstop misses the ball and the outfielders all run into each
other while trying to figure out who should field the ball.
Fortunately, in this league teams are only allowed to score a
limited number of runs during one inning.
The baseball glove, which is so big that we wondered how my
grandson would keep it on his hand, suddenly shrinks to the size
of a postage stamp when a fly ball comes in his direction. We do
not understand how this can happen as the gloves of the opposing
team always double or triple in size and snag fly balls in
midair that should go over the fence.
In sports kids learn to model the behavior of adults, so it is
important that parents and coaches show good sportsmanship,
regardless of how bad the call is that the umpire makes or how
obvious it is that he is blind. We want to teach the kids
sportsmanship and that good clean competition means something
entirely different than not getting your uniform dirty while
sliding into home plate.
Except for learning how to avoid tripping over their shoelaces
or being binged by a fly ball, the baseball skills are really
secondary for most kids, who will never play profession ball.
The important part is learning social skills and values that
will teach them to participate in community activities as
In Little League kids learn how to be good
losers and graceful winners. Adults learn how to bite their
tongues and set a good example. It was a great day at the
ballpark when the teams lined up to congratulate each other. My
grandson's team somehow managed to win in spite of the
strikeouts, balls that were thrown away, gnats that were
swatted, grass that grew on home plate, and the players'
interest in unusual cloud formations.
There's nothing like the great American pastime, even for
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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