As an assistant coach on my son's little league baseball team here in Greater Cleveland, I think I have almost as much fun as he does, as there is just something pure about watching a bunch of 9 year olds learn the game of baseball.
They have had two games this year, and the first game they lost pretty soundly and the reverse was true in game 2. While the league doesn't keep score as it's all about player development and fun at this age, these boys sure do keep good score in their heads and are pretty competitive.
What's great about youth sports in Greater Cleveland is since our area is not a "high growth" area, there aren't 10 kids trying out for every 1 spot. Okay, for some private travel teams, it's pretty competitive and even my son has gotten rejected from a travel baseball team tryout once, but as a whole, it's a great area as the abundance of recreation leagues in many of Cleveland's suburbs has a wonderful and diverse set of sports to offer.
I love watching youth baseball:
- Hearing the sound of a metal bat hit a ball (I love the sound of wood better) and watching the excitement in the batter's eyes while running towards first base, teammates yelling, the infield desperately trying to throw the runner out
- Watching a runner on 2nd base steal 3rd
- Watching a runner round 3rd base heading for home as the infield is trying to throw him out
- Watching a pop fly get caught and a double-play ensue
- Watching a successful slide into 2nd base
- Watching the beaming smiles after winning a game and also trying to instill good sportsmanship
- Encouraging them after a defeat also about sportsmanship
and perhaps best of all -- playing catch with my son 2-3 times a day on a warm, breezy, sunny day.