June 24, 2009: Do the time to earn placement

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To The Editor:
In response to no girls in baseball, I would like to defend my husband Thom’s decision not to place Mrs. Bennett’s girls on the little league team. Out of all the children that tried out for the team, my husband picked 19 kids, quite a large team by most standards, but he does not like to turn away anyone who has the skills to play. When he approached Mrs. Bennett he did so because he had never seen her or her girls in the t-ball or minor league teams of which he has volunteered for the past four years.
All the other children he knows by name, having coached them at some point in his years of dedicated nonpaying volunteering. He was more than willing to give them a fair try-out and even lent them baseball gloves, (all the other parents had made sure their children had brought gloves as this was asked for in the try-out flyer). Then Mrs. Bennett’s daughter put the glove on backwards. My husband tried to explain that with a team as large as this one was turning out to be he would not be able to teach them the fundamentals they should have already to be in this league.
These skills are often acquired by buying your kids the appropriate equipment and spending some time tossing them the ball in the back yard. I should know this all too well because not being the most athletic (to say the least) of mothers I have spent many a long blistering day running after balls that are hit and thrown at me. These skills could have also been acquired like all the other children (including the three girls) who did make the team, in the minor league or t-ball league.
I know it’s just easier to vilify my husband than to accept the personal responsibility of encouraging your daughters to work hard and put the time and effort into something they would like to achieve. It’s much easier to tell them that the big bad system is conspiring against them because they are girls. Being a successful woman in my own right and working hard to achieve my dreams, I take a personal affront to your degrading attitude. I do think your daughters have learned a valuable lesson in trying out. Nothing in life comes easy; it is only with hard work and dedication that you can achieve. Every good athlete knows unless you do the time (practice) you will never shine.

Rebecca Newman,
Margaretville